Thursday, May 18, 2006

Only in Hong Kong...

My grandmother had been visiting us in Hong Kong and while she has quite bad arthritis, she has incredible energy. She loathes sitting around at home doing nothing. Unfortunately is also getting unsteady on her feet but refuses to let anyone help her.

Anyhow, while she was here, my Mom and Aunt took her out ... a lot.

So obviously they ate .... a lot.

My grandmother has mild diabetes r(is that possible? Mild? That's what she tells me and who am I to argue with the family matriarch?). However, she likes sweets (can anyone see a pattern here?).

*sigh* stubbornness runs in the family.

She and my Mom came back raving about this wonton place they went to for dinner. The boy was a bit pouty that he wasn't asked to go as he is very fond of wonton. After a bit of pouting and guilt-tripping, my Grandmother and Mom agreed to go back (not 2 hours after they left) with us. Provided, of course, that we all go to the Hong Kong dessert place afterwards. The boy happily agreed.

The wonton noodles were good but I couldn't really say since I can't eat shrimp but the boy liked them. The fact that they were only HK$14 may have also been a factor.

One thing I ordered that my Mom had raved about was "Ngow Bat Eeep" literally translated to Beef Hundred Leaves. Now, after intense discussion, no one really knew exactly what part of the Cow this was but it is believed to be part of the stomach. It was lightly boiled, topped with coils of green onions and served with a spicy savory soy sauce based dip. It looked absolutely revolting to the Western eye but I noticed every single table had a plate. I had to order one.

Usually it is boiled with other things to remove it's unappetizing black color but here it did not seem to deter anyone enjoying a big plate.

It was somewhat chewy, making a satisfactory crunching sound in the mouth, what we call "song". I don't know that I would order a whole plate again, I didn't enjoy the texture that much but it was ok.

Onto my grandmother's favorite bit, dessert!

The boy had egg custard, which was nice but not as rich as next door's. It had the right look but the texture was more like tofu-fa, the tofu based dessert with its wobbly, slightly watery texture.

The three generations of women all had the same thing. Which was gelatinous rice dumplings with sesame paste in ginger and rock sugar syrup. We each received 5 generous dumplings and my Mom and I each shared one with the boy. My Grandma? She had all five to herself. Her excuse when admonished?

Only in Hong Kong.

These gelatinous dumplings or "tong yuen" were perfect. Just enough chewiness with not too thick a wrapping with molten, black sesame and sugar inside. They tasted just right with the light syrup slightly sweetened and flavored with ginger.

The mood was slightly ruined though, when the boy nudged me, pointing to a stacked box behind the cook. It was a box labeled "Black Sesame Rice Balls". They weren't homemade after all!

My Mom was in a lot of trouble that evening when my Aunt heard the news. Number one for not taking HER to the dessert place and number two for letting my Grandmother stuff her face. My Mom's excuse?

Only in Hong Kong.

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