March 19, 2011

Quick meal at the Russian department store

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I met up with a couple of friends tonight who love going to Tien Heung Lau (天香樓).  Over the years I, too, have found a special place in my heart for this restaurant, and I was happy to return.  Since we did not have a big group, we took it easy and didn't pre-order any dishes.

Marinated duck with vegetarian goose (醬鴨/素鵝) - the duck was very, very nice... A little salty and chewy for sure, but the gamey flavors of the duck definitely comes through.  The deep-fried tofu skin had nice, smoky flavors.

Smoked yellow croaker (煙熏黃魚) - the one dish I looked forward to all night.  We took a small one, and I definitely got to have enough of it tonight.  Flavors are definitely a little more delicate compared to the one I had last week at Hong Zhou Restaurant (杭州酒家).

Rosette bok choy stir-fried with salted pork belly (鹹肉塌窩菜) - finally!  I missed this dish on my last couple of visits, so I was particularly happy to have it tonight.  As usual the young hearts are served.  I've always thought that this veggie was only grown in China, but earlier this year mom showed me the Taiwanese cultivar... which grows to be pretty big with long stems and looks nothing like the Chinese cultivar.

Fish balls with watershield (蒓菜魚丸) - the fish balls were a completely failure... waaay too watery and soggy, and without any flavors at all!  The ones I had at Hong Zhou Restaurant were sooo much better!  The watershield was nice, and the soup was nicely flavored thanks to the shredded ham and chicken... although the shredded chicken had become tough and completely tasteless.

Stir-fried shrimps and pig's kidneys (炒蝦腰) - this was actually pretty delicious.  The de-shelled shrimps were good, and the kidneys were particularly fresh with lots of bounce to the bite.  We joked that this was the ubiquitous "brown sauce" seen in your average American Chinese food...

I was pretty full and decided to skip the usual noodle with crab roe (蟹粉撈麵).  The complimentary glutinous rice balls in fruity fermented rice soup (什果酒釀丸子) was yummy as always, and a great way to finish off.

I think our next gathering will be at Hong Zhou Restaurant (杭州酒家)...

P.S.  I was told by a fellow diner that the toilet looked clean tonight, so you ladies no longer need to hold it in while dining here...

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