November 17, 2022

Mom's HK Michelin tour day 6: Excursion to Ningbo

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The last time mom was in Hong Kong I arranged a dinner at Xinrongji (新榮記), which served up a lot of familiar flavors from Zhejiang Province. In the time since her last visit, Yong Fu (甬府) has opened up a branch here, and in general I've been pretty happy with the food barring a few exceptions. I figured I should also take mom here, especially since one of their signature dishes is something she doesn't get in Taiwan.

With just the 3 of us, there was no need to get a private room and customize a menu, so we sat in the open dining area and I just picked a few items from their trimmed-down menu. I do miss the old menu which offered more choice of dishes, but for some reason the restaurant management decided to listen to PR8 - which is usually a mistake...

Drunken crab (招牌十八斬) - I normally wouldn't go near this stuff, but I had to order a half-portion for mom. I was kind of surprised that dad, too, chose to partake. The important thing is that mom was very happy with this.

Stewed colza, Ningbo style (寧波烤菜) - the flavors are on the heavy-handed side while being sweeter than expected, but mom was surprised at how much effort they put into the dish with very simple ingredients. Taste-wise this bore similarities to preserved mustard greens (梅乾菜).

Pickled cauliflower stems (泡制花菜梗) - this was a real eye-opener for mom. She couldn't imagine pickling cauliflower stems and making a pretty dish out of it, and she was also surprised at the tiny coriander shoots used as garnish on top - despite having just tasted them the night before. I've always liked this dish as cauliflower has been a favorite since childhood, so ordering this dish is a no-brainer for me.

Wild greens (malantou) with dry beancurds and caviar (魚子醬馬蘭) - ordering marinated Indian aster (馬蘭頭) and beancurd for mom is a given, but wait... there's CAVIAR on top now?! This I gotta try..

Unfortunately, the caviar overwhelmed the wonderful fragrance of Indian aster. Removing the caviar would leave a "standard" version which was very refined and elegant, having been finely chopped and lightly seasoned. Pity.

Traditional broth with yellow croaker and fish maw (傳統黃魚魚肚羹) - there were some finely diced preserved mustard stems (酸菜) in the soup, but otherwise mom felt the soup was on the sparse side in terms of ingredients. I still found it tasty.

Fried duck tongue with fresh fennel, mild spice level (鮮茴香孜然炒鴨舌, 微辣) - I thought I would order up some duck tongue for mom, and found the description of the dish intriguing. Well... they were pretty heavy-handed with the spices and the seasoning, so we ended up only eating a little and packing the rest.

Signature sauteed green vegetable (甬府捨得) - I've always enjoyed this dish, but mom doesn't feel it necessary to order up something like this in a restaurant. Nevertheless, I was happy with it and found it tasty with the chicken broth.

Dumplings with shepherd's purse (薺菜水餃) - my favorite dumplings, with really thin, delicate, yet springy wrappers.

I was glad that the filling still included shepherd's purse (薺菜) as it is really, really tasty.

Hawthorn and pear drink (山楂雪梨飲)

Finally, a fruit plate to finish. Mom was glad that this included melon from Xinjiang.

Reasonably happy with our lunch, although it was a shame I couldn't let mom taste the 9-year-old lily bulbs. Next time!

Michelin stars this meal: 1

Total Michelin stars so far this trip: 9

As part of my afternoon coffee service when we got home, I brought out the Musang King Durian Mooncake from D'King (帝一榴). I've been saving this for a couple of months and I was glad to finally be able to share it with the Parental Units. Oh, OF COURSE our CC Dogcow got some, too!

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