Wednesday, May 11, 2011

MY FOUR HOURS IN GUANGZHOU

An opportunity to go away for a holiday is extremely rare and precious to me now. Gone were the days when I could just spontaneously book an airticket and fly off the very next week...sigh. Depriving of a holiday, Hubby decided to squeeze in a 4-day food trip into my "already-very short-12-day" homecoming visit. The 4-day food trip includes Guangzhou, Humen, Macau and Hong Kong..very ambitious, weren't we?

It was my first trip to Guangzhou and I was told again and again, Guangzhou offers the very best of Cantonese cuisine. Mr B, our friend/host in Guangzhou told us before our trip that he will be bring us for a very yummy steamboat lunch as soon as we arrived, so you can imagine how much I was looking forward to it. Well, thanks to the system breakdown at the KLIA control tower, our flight was delayed for more than 2 hours! We were hungry (who said MAS serves good nasi lemak? ) and cold (it was a rainy winter evening) when we reached Guangzhou.

Traffic was bad that evening, so Mr B took us to his favourite neighbourhood restaurant for dinner. He told us that there is a very special dish here that we MUST try. First dish to arrive..."Steamed Salted Chicken with Wine" served with a small bowl of chicken gravy, no no, "chicken essence" more like it! It was delicious! Forget about the calories and cholesterol (not that I care), the crunchy chicken skin was just to hard to resist! The meat was so flavourful and I just love the slightly chewy texture. I could easily finish off the whole plate of chicken myself.
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We ordered a bowl of steamed rice to share and I ended up having the most of it because the "chicken essence" I mentioned earlier tasted OHHH SOOOO GOODDD with rice!!!
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Feeling greedy, I requested another serve of chicken, this time, just plain Steamed Chicken. A big let down as it was bland and cold. I was too shy to request for another serving of the Salted Chicken I had earlier cos the boys already ordered a long long list of other dishes.
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The long long list of dishes of course includes Mr B's 'Must-Try" dish. Can you guess what it was?
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TOADS!! Though it looks exactly the same as paddy frog, texture wise, this has more bites to it. Slightly chewier and the meat is so much sweeter. The toads were deep fried in light batter and then toss with Maggi seasoning sauce. Very very tasty!
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Deep Fried Eel with Coriander Salad, honestly I couldn't remember how it tasted as I was too busy indulged in savouring every tiny morsel off the toad's bones.
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This dish was recommended by the lady boss, who kept asking me to take a bite while refusing to tell me what it was. She was smiling cheekily when I put the first piece into my mouth. Turn out, it was Poached Pig's Tongue! Wasn't as bad as I thought but hey, with so many good stuff on the table, I rather save my quota for other better tasting dish.
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And here are some veggies to balance our meal! Watercress with Dace Balls in superior stock. Simple yet tasty.
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This dish tasted as yucky as it looked. If not mistaken, this stew dish was Pomelo Pith (the white parts) with Goose Intestines. It tasted soft and mushy, more like a gooey paste than a stew. We ended up sending it back to the kitchen.
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A big surprise after a big disappointment.....Stir-Fry Kailan with Garlic and Deep Fried Lard won our hearts. Why oh why tasty food has got to be so UNHEALTHY???
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Stir-Fry Goose Intestine was my bro-in-law's request. Pretty tasty too!
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We went to pick up Mrs B and Princess B after the dinner before heading to our next destination, Humen. Just before we turn off into the highway, bro-in-law spotted a big restaurant at the roadside. Mr B told us that it is famous for eel. Needless to say, we made a pit-stop. True enough, there were LOTS, 3 HUGE tanks to be exact, of live eels slithering around....brrr...didn't feel like taking a photo of it cos it kind of scary to me to see so many eels at one time. Anyway, this is their famous dish...........huh? A bowl of shaved ice with 3 pieces of miserable jellies?
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Dig dig dig....tada.......we found fresh thick slices of juicy eel hidden underneath the ice. The preparation of this dish involved poaching the eel and then cool it down with ice, hence the eels were extremely 'bouncy'. A bowl of soya sauce with wasabi was given to go with the eel. I found this new way of eating eel very interesting. 13

Mrs B said that their Char Siu aka BBQ Pork is famous too. Though I like my meat FAT, but this plate is waaayyyy too fat for my likings. I could barely find any meat on this plate. Too much on the sweet side too.
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We spotted this refreshing plate of Garland Chrysanthemum (Tung Ho) on the table next to ours and so we decided to order this salad to boost our appetite, ahem not that we were lacking any..hehe. True enough, it was very refreshing as it was dressed with Chinese black vinegar. The is my first time having garland chrysanthemum raw and surprisingly, it doesn't taste as strong as compared when its cooked. Love it especially pairing with those addictive crunchy peanuts.
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The finish off our night in Guangzhou, we polished this plate of Stir Fry Kai Choy (mustard green) with Beancurd. Full of wok hei and only recently, I learnt to enjoy the bittersweet taste of kai choy. Yummy yummy yummy!
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A big thank you to Mr and Mrs B for hosting us as well as driving us off to Humen in the middle of the night. And not forgetting, Princess B for being so tolerable and patient with us throughout the meal. Isn't she pretty?
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