November 29, 2007

Crappy Meal Again!

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Dunno why but this has been the week of crap meals... My friend Linda came into town from Singapore, and as usual, she craves Chinese food (especially Shanghainese). So we ended up at Xiao Nan Guo (小南國) in Man Yee Building in Central. I hadn't been there in a while so it was a good opportunity to revisit. What a mistake that turned out to be...

The two starters, century eggs with tofu (皮蛋豆腐) and jellyfish head (海蜇頭) were OK but nothing to write home about. Then they served the noodles with oil and scallions (蔥油拌麪) before other dishes came, which is a big pet peeve of mine. The noodles were as bad as Linda had warned me about (she came two nights ago) - flabby (instead of nice and chewy) and uninteresting.

The tofu skin with veggie (小唐菜百葉) was OK if a little bland. The hairy crab stir-fried with rice cakes (毛蟹炒年糕) was terrible. The crabs had an awful taste to it, which Linda described as tasting of dirt and I certainly thought it was not the freshest. I didn't bother finishing my half of the small crab. The rice cakes weren't that great, either.

Linda and Chris were still a bit hungry, so they ordered two more dishes. By that time I was upset with the quality of the food and everyone knew it. I didn't feel like eating anymore, but didn't want to discourage others from ordering more food. Well, the restaurant didn't redeem itself with the next two courses.

The fatty pork belly (東坡肉) came in an intersting earthen pot and was cut into small pieces. It was not bad but, then again, was far from what it could have been. Chris ordered the deep fried spicy chicken with chili peppers (炸子雞), which is actually not Shanghainese but a dish from Sichuan. Nobody was impressed with this dish, either.

I don't know what happened to this restaurant in the last few years to cause this huge drop in food quality, but I certainly have no reason to go back again.

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