|The famous roast goose at Yung Kee Restaurant.|
The next morning, an old friend booked us all a table at the HK Jockey Club, no longer with its Royal prefix. The ambience resounded with the family gatherings that yumcha sessions are associated with. We had nine adults and six children of which the youngest lay napping on a chair in the corner. We were plied with an endless array of dim sum as we lingered and chatted until 3.30pm.
Hustling about in Central, my husband and I finally found the secret hideaway of a dining club come evening time. As a testament to how unplugged I was during my early days there, I did not even know or hear about the existence of the Shanghai Fraternity Association. It had been established by the Shanghainese tycoons who had fled communist China and taken along with them their best and favorite chefs. The location became a meeting point to dine on their old favorite dishes while wheeling and dealing and re-establishing themselves in their new haven. That was its history but now, coveted membership attracts many non-Shanghainese like my friends who want exclusive access to authentic food.
My friends ordered Shanghainese dishes that I had never quite seen before, despite my six month sojourn in Shanghai. The fish cooked in a sweet wine reminded me of a dish served to Nixon when he visited China. (See Nixon's Chinese Banquet). The club was decorated plainly and reminded me that with old billionaires, less is more.
|Fish at the Shanghai Fraternity Association|
|The interior of The China Club.|
- Barbecued Suckling Pig - delicately crispy skin
- Braised Asparagus Stuffed in Bamboo Piths with Assorted Fungus and Tofu - light as air, the tofu melts in your mouth
- Beef Cubes sauteed with Mandarin Peel - moist meat and punches of flavor
By evening time, my friends who had taken us to the Shanghai dining club, invited us to venture on a tram ride down to Sheung Wan to one of their current favorite spots. They kept forewarning me that it was a 'hole in the wall' with 'no tablecloth'. When we got to that humble outpost, the wife promptly began dipping the chopsticks in a glass of hot tea and swirling the bowls and cups in an even larger bowl of hot tea to sterilize the utensils. But the food that came was amazing. Perhaps the fiery roar from the wok in the kitchen added to the senses. Infused with the breath of a wok and glazed with such tantalizing flavors to the palate, the spare ribs, ginger chicken and clay pot fish head tasted so delicious. Every morsel was appreciated. I only had to trick my son that he was having 'Chinese fish and chips' and he gobbled up half of the small whole fish fritters.
|Superb glazed pork ribs at the 'hole in the wall'. Name withheld for two reasons:|
Cannot read complex Chinese characters, and want to keep this gem a secret.
|The breath of a wok|
Yung Kee Restaurant
32 Wellington Street,
Lung King Heen
Four Seasons Hotel, Hong Kong
8 Finance Street,
Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop
International Financial Center