Hong Kong in Houston
The one problem I have with waiting so long to blog about the food I ate in Houston is that I forget which Hong Kong restaurant this one is. There are more than one, and I am sure they are all quite good. This one was specifically picked by my Uncle, who is know for precision in making the right choices, for really good Hong Kong style food. This place delivered Hong Kong style food, and did right by their restaurant name: Hong Kong.
What I cannot get in Nashville is really good Hong Kong style roasted pork and duck. So, the first thing on my list was to get roasted pork and duck. These meats are hanging in the window, and I was just smacking my lips as I walked up to the Hong Kong seeing the delicious meats. The meat was well seasoned, crispy skinned, and just reminded me of good old fashioned Chinese food treats of when I was a kid. We did not eat roasted pork and duck very often when I was a kid, as it was always for special occasions. Every time I eats these treats, I get transformed into a giddy child enjoying the flavor and texture of the meat.
The soup my Uncle ordered was sea cucumber, seafood, chicken and egg soup. The broth was a light broth, and the sea cucumber had a slight crunchy texture that is similar to tripe, but less tough. The sea cucumber also has a rough texture like a cat's tongue. I really enjoyed this soup, and it is saying something about how my palate has changed from childhood until now. I have not had an opportunity to eat this soup since I was a grammar school child (too many years ago), and I am sure I did not eat it because of the rough texture and the al dente teethiness of it. There were a lot of foods I fought with my mother, and refused to eat. How things have changed. I liked the soup because it was soothing and comforting to me. It was a proper way to begin a Chinese feast. A little side note, I did notice my young cousin who just finished middle school did try the soup too. She drank the broth, ate the other goodies and left all the pieces of sea cucumber in her bowl. I suspect her palate was like mine when I was young, and one day in the future, she too will come back to the sea cucumber soup and find that she enjoys the texture and flavor too.
We got a lot of food this evening, and all the foods I cannot get in Nashville. This dish was dried string beans with chopped chicken and a pungent chili and fermented tofu sauce (I am guessing). This is a dish I rarely have, so I am not sure what ingredient added the pungent nose to this dish. I guessed fermented tofu, but I am not sure. It caused the nose sensation after I took a bite, and it made my mouth water. It was very good. If you know what that pungent flavor is, let me know! Maybe I can try to make it at my house.
The next dish is one of my comfort food favorites. It is sliced pork and bitter melon (foo qua) with fermented black bean sauce. There is not one restaurant in Nashville that serves foo qua that I know of, so I was so thrilled to be able to have it here. I have not had bitter melon in a few years, and I nearly got weepy with joy when my Uncle ordered this dish. The bitter melon was too bitter for me when I was a child, and I never ate them, but as my taste buds have dulled through the years, I have grown to love that bitter sensation in my mouth and nose as I eat the melon. It is almost a full body experience.
Another dish that I love is chow mein noodles with seafood and veggies. This seems like I can get chow mein most everywhere, but I can't get THIS recipe. The noodles are thin Chinese egg noodles that have been boiled al dente, then drained very well, then hot fried in a wok with some oil to make much of the noodles crunchy, the wok is flamed to give a smoky flavor to the noodles, and then some noodles still soft too. This dish has seafood and veggies sauteed in a light broth thickened with some cornstarch and then poured over the noodles. It is a textural and subtly flavorful dish that I could just eat daily if I had the chance. The preparation of the noodles is what you can only get in a real Chinatown. It just does not exist in Nashville, and many areas of the USA. I just loved this dish.
Ok, so what does the sign say? Does it say Hong Kong Restaurant? Hong Kong Cafe? Hong Kong something else? I need a little help remembering which place we went for our dinner feast.
Labels: Houston Eats