November 19, 2022

Mom's HK Michelin tour day 8: last stop, Shunde

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It's the last supper for the Parental Units in Hong Kong, and my last chance to show them something they've never had before. Shunde cuisine (順德菜) is a distinct branch of Cantonese cuisine which has produced a number of classic dishes, and these days my go-to place for this would be Stellar House (星月居). It doesn't deliver the best version of every dish, but there are enough fireworks to keep me going back.

We were expecting to be seated out in the dining room tonight, which would be fine, but we ended up sharing one of the large private rooms with another table.

Snake soup with fish maw (花膠燴蛇羹) - it's snake season and I was happy to have the opportunity to give mom a taste of a nice snake soup. It's not my favorite version, but I like it well enough. It's also the second time she's ever had snake soup - with the first being decades ago before I was born.

There was more white pepper already added to the soup than I had expected, which was a bit of a shame. I didn't ask how many types of snake were in the soup, but we've also got shredded aged mandarin peel, bamboo shoots, shiitake (椎茸), wood ear fungus, and fish maw.

I did add some chrysanthemum petals and kaffir lime leaf to my bowl. The chiffonade certainly added a wonderful fragrance.

Sautéed fresh milk with fresh crabmeat and triple layered crispy pork rolls (大良野雞卷炒鮮奶) - a dish that was totally new to mom. She was surprised how light this was, but that's what you get when there's a ton of deep-fried rice vermicelli.

Pan-fried stuffed mud carp (家鄉釀鯪魚) - another classic dish that mom's never seen before. I do love how they do this here - much more refined than many other places around town.

The combination of fish and pork is always so interesting. Love the aged mandarin peel in the mix.

Crispy pan-fried and baked fish jaws (鳳城煎焗魚咀) - totally got this dish for dad. This was pan-fried and then baked so that it reamined crispy for a long time. Dad was so happy.

Signature roasted pigeons (紅燒脆皮妙齡鴿) - after the experience last year when I realized that my third pigeon did not deliver enough satisfaction, I chose to have just one little bird tonight.

This was still my favorite Cantonese-style pigeon, as I love how juicy and succulent it is, every.single.time.

Braised sea cucumber and goose web with pomelo piths infused with shrimp roe (蝦籽柚皮海參玉掌伴翡翠) - mom was happy that we got goose webs because they're not very common in Taiwan for some reason, and she doesn't remember having pomelo pith before. The flavors of shrimp roe in the sauce was pretty nice, but the sea cucumber wasn't very good and needed to be cooked longer.

Stir-fried glutinous rice with Chinese preserved meats (生炒臘味糯米飯) - a decent version of this. My Birdbrain Cousin insisted that the rice should be darker in color, but the truth is that she hasn't eaten at enough restaurants serving this dish...

Walnut cream with lotus seeds (蓮子核桃露) - this was pretty creamy but the walnut flavors were a little lighter than mom would have wanted. The upside, though, was that it wasn't very sweet.

As the Parental Units weren't really drinking, I only brought 2 bottles of wine tonight:

2018 Blanc de Lynch-Bages - flinty with notes of muscat grapes.

2007 Henri Bonneau Châteauneuf-du-Pape - drank 30 minutes after decanting. Showed a lot of sweet fruit, some leather, and a little smoke.

I was pretty happy with tonight's dinner, although there was definitely too much food for the five of us. This was the last proper meal of the trip for the Parental Units, and I was glad that both mom and dad were pretty happy with what Four Sheets and I had put together. Here's hoping that they could come back to Hong Kong again next year!

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