Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Luxury Dinner at Special Price

In Hong Kong, there are many ways of eating good food at reduced price. One way I do it is by taking the special offers from restaurants. I receive a leaflet in my mail box from U Banquet for their special promotions. All my favourite foods are there. So I decided to take my family members there and enjoy an economic luxury dinner.

Chicken Broth with Shark Fin
HK$368 (US$47

Wow, a lot of shark fin! Depends on the type of shark fin, it could be very expensive. But I paid HK$368 only which is good for four persons.Chicken broth usually required a lot of cooking time in order to become milky white, thick and rich in taste. Essence of the broth is the ingredients. Cantonese restaurants usually serve the ingredients and here is our chicken.
Cantonese Mutton Hot Pot 羊煲腩HK$98 (US$12.56)
Cantonese mutton hot pot is served on real fire. We really love this in winter days which keeps us warm. Apart from mutton, we have tofu sheets, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, mushrooms and plenty of gingers. And there is a special kind of preserved bean curd sauce. The whole combination is meant to make the mutton less smelly and more delicious.

Spinach with Garlic Cloves in BrothHK$55 (US$7)
As a matter of balance of diet, we must have a dish of vegetable. The beauty of Cantonese cuisine is simple yet delicious. And spinach is extremely healthy, not oily and rich in fiber.

Steam Live Fish - $0 Apart from the special price items, here comes the free items. This fish is not too big, but just good for the four of us. The best thing about it is 'FREE'. The chef mastered timing extremely well, and the fish was JUST cooked. Very fresh and delicious!
Snow Ear Fungus and Red Dates Dessert - $0
The snow ear fungus dessert is a Chinese delicacy cooked with white snow ear fungus (雪耳), lotus seeds (蓮子), dried red dates (紅棗) and rock sugar (冰糖). I love this dessert as it is beneficial for facial beauty because the ingredients used are highly nutritious. It is another free item of the night and of course very yummy.
Chinese Birthday Bun - HK$14@ (US$1.8)
Although we were pretty full, we still wanted to share half a birthday bun. None of us were born in November, but we simply love it. This buns were exceptionally good, not only because it is cheap. It is BIG and steam to order. The most important thing is that it has a very thin cover and lots of stuffing. Many chefs were unable to produce a bun with thin cover and thick stuffing. The stuffing consists of lotus seed paste and egg yolk (similar to that of mooncakes). Very yummy!

Dinner date: November 15, 2011
Cost: HK$668 (US$85.6), included 10% service charge
Restaurant name: U Banquet

Restaurant address: 3/F, 288 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Restaurant telephone: 852-2811-9628

Hong Kong Food Blog - Luxury Dinner

Message to Shark Fans

Please DO NOT post comments about your shark protection / protest message.  I will NOT publish them.  If you want to protect sharks, here are my suggested methods:

  1. Advertise in mass media
  2. Everyday protests, demonstrations…in front of all shops selling shark fins
  3. Everyday protests, demonstrations in public areas such as streets, parks to educate the public not to eat shark fin
  4. Letter, fax, email, telephone or personal visits to restaurant owners to insist them to remove shark fin from their menu
  5. Write to the government to request shark fin eating to be illegal
  6. Hire fleet of ships to go out to the sea to stop any shark catching activities.
Leaving comments in my blog is a matter of wasting my time to read and delete.  It is in no sense contributive in saving sharks.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

How to Make Green Bean Syrup

Weather is turning cool and dry in Hong Kong. Per Chinese calendar, winter began Tuesday November 8 in 2011. 立冬, one of the 24 weather festives - time to enjoy some hot and sweet desserts. One of the most traditional and easy-to-make Hong Kong Cantonese desserts is Green Bean Syrup. Every dessert shop would have this on their menu, but home made is cheap and you can tailor to your own taste.

Home Made Green Bean Syrup 綠豆沙

Home-Made Old Hong Kong Cantonese Dessert –
Green Been Syrup with Seaweed and Herbs

• green beans
• seaweeds
• herbs (optional) (臭草*)
• sugar

* The herb itself is very fragrant, but I don’t know why it is called the opposite – bad smell grass.

1. Soak the green beans for a few hours. Overnight if possible.
2. Soak the seaweeds until soft and cut into slices of your own preferred width.
3. Boil 8 bowls of water.
4. Add green beans, turn heat down after boiling.
5. Let it simmer for 20 minutes. Then turn heat off.
6. Cover for 20 minutes.
7. Add seaweeds and herb.
8. Turn heat on and simmer for 20 minutes.
9. Add sugar and then turn heat off.
10. Cover for 20 minutes before serving.

NOTE: The alternation between simmering and covering is important to let the syrup become very silky and smooth.

Bar sugar is usually used in making green bean syrup. But I have some red sugar which has a flavour of ginger. I tried to use it and find that my green bean syrup taste extremely well. Did you notice that my green bean syrup has a tint of red?
Hong Kong Food Blog - Green Bean Syrup Dessert