February 10, 2022

Expectation vs. reality

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It's been a couple of months since the three of us met up for a meal, and given the current strict restrictions in place, we chose a place that would still allow us to dine together. Duddell's (都爹利會館) is a place I haven't been to in years, so I guess it provided me an opportunity to, as our fearless leader recently proclaimed, "killing two stones with one bird".

The boys left the ordering up to me, and I don't think I did a very good job in the end. I tried not to over-order but in the end, I'm pretty sure we didn't have enough food.

Shrimp spring roll, bacon, cheese (芝士煙肉蝦春卷) - this was pretty good. I really liked the smoky bacon thrown into the mix.

Cabbage dumpling, fungus (翡翠白菜餃) - this was pretty good, too. Very clean and light flavors.

Shrimp dumpling with mullet roe, goldfish shape (年年有餘•金魚餃) - I figured we have to try out some of their lunar new year specials, and I wanted to see whether they would do as good of a job as, say, The Eight. Well... the presentation seemed to be a little more elaborate.

But this was a FAIL. There was nothing wrong with the shrimp dumpling itself, but none of us were able to taste the mullet roe that was advertised. What looked like salmon or trout roe on the plate turned out to be gelatin, as the cores were solid and crunchy. Seriously WTF.

Pork and shrimp dumpling with semi-dried oyster and beef tongue (好事大利•金蠔大牛脷燒賣) - another lunar new year special which left me scratching my head. The menu shows that there are two pieces per portion, so we asked our waiter to change it to three pieces for the three of us. Makes sense, right? What our waiter did not tell us is that the two pieces of siu mai (燒賣) from each portion are different - one comes topped with oyster, and the other topped with beef tongue. I was expecting that each piece would come with both tongue and oyster, and wanted to see how they would work together.

So now we had to choose who gets the oyster and who takes the tongue...

Sakura shrimp wrinkle rice roll, conpoy (金柱櫻花蝦皺紋腸) - this was pretty interesting. Very wrinkled for sure, but the sakura shrimp and conpoy made the rice rolls pretty tasty - along with some fried egg.

Pan-fried vermicelli, spare ribs, fermented black bean (豉椒排骨煎脆米) - OK, this was really, really good. I can't remember the last time I had fried vermicelli that was done this way... with a whole "pancake" of the noodles fried till they were completely dry and crunchy. The topping is a dish that we are familiar with, and they used big chunks of pork spare ribs which were pretty tasty.

I wasn't very full, but the list of desserts didn't look inspiring, so we left the restaurant somewhat unsatiated. Oh well... I'll do better next time in terms of ordering.

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