Something we have learnt about China is that there is NO CHINESE FOOD. What we mean by that is that there are 10 regional cuisines that make up Chinese food: Shanghaiese, Chui Chow, Hakka, Sichuan, Hunan, Fujian, Yunnan, Beijing and Xinxiang. There are a few more but these are said to be the most predominate here in China and Hong Kong. Each from a different region or a settlement. So we are being awfully abstract when we say we feel like ‘Chinese’ tonight.
We went to a lovely restaurant called Crystal Jade in Wan Chai. Shanghainese food from what we have found is a lot mellower and has a slight sweetness to it in comparison to your other Chinese regional cuisine. Noodle soups are a big thing but unfortunately as they has pork added to all their bases so I couldn’t have any. However, Elena and the rest of the crew ordered a pot of beef noodles and peanut noodles to start with. There were a number of condiments available to add flavour which is another process for eating Shanghaiese food.
The restaurant were kind enough to give me a bowl of plain vermicelli noodles so I could add condiments without the pork based soup so I was happy.
For main we ordered sweet and sour fish and steamed vegetables. The sweet and sour fish looked rather impressive. The flavours are a lot more subtle than that tangy and intoxicatingly sweet stuff we get in London. Usually chicken is the meat we would associate with sweet and sour dishes, but our local friends said that fish was actually the preferred choice in Hong Kong. The fish is deep fried and covered in the sauce. The meat just melts in the mouth and is delicious.
Crystal Jade is a nice and cosy place to eat with groups of friends. Seating is made up of booths and tables and it has a traditional yet modern look about it.
Shop 310, Tai Yau Plaza, 181 Johnston Road Wan Chai.
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