Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Chinese Hotpot in Hong Kong

(May is spending all of February in Hong Kong and reports her food discoveries)

Of course, we've had Chinese hotpot (or Chinese fondue) in Ottawa before, but the trick to any great food lies in having the freshest ingredients possible - whether they are prepared by the world renowned Jean-Georges, or by my humble self over a steaming pot of broth!

Chinese hot pot - or as we call it: "Da Been Lo" - which means literally "Hitting the side of the pot" - is best enjoyed with family and friends. My dad decided to treat me to such an affair after I muttered a passing comment about how "Da Been Lo" in Ottawa just doesn't compare to the HK version.

We went to a restaurant my parents used to frequent many years ago in Prince Edward (HK). We ordered a divided hotpot with 2 types of broths: Satay, and cilantro. We ordered some common hotpot accompaniment - beef balls, squid balls (stuffed with cheese), fatty beef, veggies...

Amongst the more exotic - the top part of duck intestines - definitely not for the fainthearted. Then my dad went to the fish tanks and picked out some seafood - big shrimps, fish, fish head (yes - fish head).

La piece de resistance is a king clam (also known as geoduck, or elephant trunk clam) - it weighed 3.5 catty (about 2 kg) - it was sliced paper thin, then presented on a bed of ice - ready for sashimi! Delicious - because it's so fresh. Also noteworthy are the chives dumplings - freshly made and very well seasoned. After 3 hours of eating, drinking, and merry making, we asked for some udon noodles to soak up the flavourful broths. What a satisfying evening!

The bill came to HK $2300 - 4 adults and 2 kids

Thanks Dad!

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