December 19, 2015

Heavy mouth taste yum cha

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Late lunch today, and Hello Kitty wanted some dim sum, so we strolled over to The Mira and found ourselves a table at Cuisine Cuisine (國金軒).  It's been 3 years since I last stepped foot in here, and since then they've lost their coveted macaron from the Rubberman.  But that doesn't matter and all we cared about is that it's one of the closest places to us for good Cantonese food.

Honey-glazed barbecued pork (蜜餞叉燒皇) - pretty good, actually.  A little too much glaze perhaps, which meant it was on the sweet side.  But nice charring here.  One side of it was a little dry at times, although still very tender.

There was a good amount of fat running down one side.  Slurp.

Oyster and Chinese chive dumplings in hot chili soup (水煮麻辣金蠔粉果) - I don't usually order anything that is deemed as "mala (麻辣)", but this combination intrigued me.  The kitchen is obviously trying to be a little creative, and I wanted to see if they could pull it off.

Well, we both really liked this.  I liked the fact that they put dried "golden" oysters in the Chiuchow dumplings, as it's got pretty distinct and intense flavors.  In this case the spicy mala flavors did not actually overwhelm the flavors of the oyster, but rather complemented them.  Definitely something I'd order again.

Crispy glutinous rice dumplings with diced chicken and lotus root in fermented bean curd sauce (南乳雞粒咸水角) - another item that was a little unusual.  I'm normally not a big fan of fermented tofu sauce (南乳) as it's too strong and stinky for my liking, but once again my curiosity was piqued.

As it turns out, these were pretty decent.  The deep-fried dumpling skins were crispy on the outside but remained glutinous on the inside.  The flavors were from fermented tofu sauce was enough to make the filling interesting without being overwhelming like a punch in the face.

Crispy prawns in salted egg yolk (黃金蝦球) - another request from Hello Kitty.  How does one say "no" to salted egg yolk covering the prawns?!  If one had to pick faults, it would be that they used a little too much baking soda to treat the prawns, so that there was a little too much crunch.

Chilled sesame pudding with Japanese tea (玄米茶芝麻布甸) - we were kinda full, but I still wanted to try dessert.  This was a little disappointing.  The pudding didn't taste like genmaicha (玄米茶) at all, as there was no trace of the fragrance of roasted rice.  Rather it was intense and on the bitter side.  The black sesame ice cream on top was very rich and nice, and one needed to take the pudding together with the ice cream to balance the flavors.  The strips of black sesame jello is conceptually interesting, but didn't add too much in terms of flavor... and in any case they were cut too long and became awkward to eat with a spoon.

This was a pretty good lunch, and we packed away half the prawns to deliver to a friend nearby... doing a bit of walking to help with digestion.  We later realized that everything we ordered today was pretty intense in terms of flavor...  I guess we were just in the mood for it.

P.S.  About half an hour later, I realized that the kitchen never delivered the steamed crab meat, bamboo piths and vegetables dumplings (蟹肉竹笙菜苗餃) that we ordered, although we ended up paying for them when I settled the bill.  So I dragged my ass back to the restaurant, told them what happened, and asked for my money back.  They looked up the bill, checked with the kitchen, and refunded me without any hassle.

It wasn't a lot of money and I could have easily let it go, but I wanted to see whether they'd kick up a fuss.  They didn't, and I was satisfied with their service.  So I left them a little more tip than I already had.

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