Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Epic Seafood Dinner in Hong Kong

It was on my very last night in Hong Kong that I had the most memorable, most epic meal of my entire two-week stay. It was the most epic meal during my vacation in Hong Kong and also the most epic seafood meal I've ever had in my life so far. read right.

I mean, think about it. How many times will I ever get a chance to walk along an outdoor seafood market? Not in Toronto that's for sure. Plus, how many times will I ever get to pick out live fishes and other seafood catches of the day for the night's dinner? Not many. To top that off, how many times will I ever get to have that fresh seafood that I just picked and have it cooked to my liking at a nearby restaurant? Hm almost none?! Case closed.

All kidding aside, this awesome experience wouldn't have been possible if not for Chef Vicky Cheng from Liberty Private Works (see post here), who, along with a few of his cooks, took me to Tuen Mun on their day off. Thanks soooo much you guys! :) Oh and I should add that this whole experience was as great as it was because one of the cook's parents actually own a seafood store there! AND his Mom (which I will refer to "Auntie" from now on lol) also works at a nearby restaurant...BONUS!!! =D

Live seafood in tanks everywhere! It was such an incredible experience just looking at all the different varieties of live seafood. Below are Mantis Shrimps or "Lai Liu Ha" in Cantonese ("攋尿蝦"). .

The direct translation of "Lai Liu Ha" means "pissing shrimp" due to the fact that they spray water when taken out of the tanks live. Fascinating! By the way you can't find these mantis shrimps in Toronto.

Giant scallops.

Not sure what type of lobster this was but I thought it had a really cool colour. 

You NEED to take a look at this short clip. This ginormous fish is not for sale but is now a resident pet fish at the store. Its sheer size is amazing! It may look old and slow but check out how quick it is when it comes to feeding time *CHOMP*

I was really overwhelmed with all the seafood around me. Vicky kept on insisting that I could pick whatever I want to eat. I just couldn't! It felt like a very daunting task to choose seafood for me and six other people for dinner that night. Thank goodness Auntie helped me out :) The gentleman below followed Auntie's orders and picked out the seafood which were then weighed.

We all walked to the restaurant where Auntie worked.

Got Blue Girl beer as it is not available in Canada.

Auntie took full care of us very very well =D She made all the decisions in terms of how to cook the seafood, how she wanted it served, and when to bring which dish out. Again, so appreciative of this because if it was left to us, we would have no idea where to begin!

We ordered chicken to start. Delicious!

And also a lamb stew.

Really hit the spot as it was really cold outside.


Razor clams - I love these with black bean sauce. A lot of places tend to over cook these. Not here.

Lobsters - The same ones as the one I posted above with the cool colour.

So meaty and fresh.


Not a lot of meat in these but still, they were full of flavour. I also enjoyed the spicy sauce that came with it. It was really fun picking the meat out with the wooden sticks~

Mantis Shrimps

Auntie taught us how to open these up with scissors. Vicky offered to help me with mine haha~

The meat is all at the top. Hm.... I really don't know where to begin in terms of describing the taste but man, these mantis shrimps were.fabulous. The texture of the shrimp is similar to regular shrimp (some say lobster) but as for the just much much sweeter and way more flavorful than the normal shrimp. The sweet taste also extends to its shell!

Scallops ♥ So big and meaty. Always my favourite to have them steamed with green onions, garlic and vermicelli.

I don't know what this fish is called in English but it is called "Lou Shu Pan"  ("老鼠斑") in Cantonese. This was one huge fish but the meat was really really tender, not tough at all, also very flaky and soft. I would've ate so much more if I wasn't so full  already =(

For dessert, Auntie gave us this huge fried bun to share. Served hot, this delicious bun with a spongy soft inside and a crispy shell covered in sesame was so extremely tasty. Dip a slice into condensed milk...omg so good...

What an amazing dinner! I will always remember this experience; from the hour-long bus ride to Tuen Mun, the atmosphere and liveliness of the seafood market, the brisk walk from the market to the restaurant full of anticipation, and finally sitting down and enjoying all the incredible fresh seafood that we just saw, live and swimming in those tanks, merely an hour ago =D

After much needed rest, all of us went to eat again! Want to know what we ate? Stay tuned for my post on Friday, the final Hong Kong post!