Hong Zhou Restaurant

Hong Zhou Restaurant

Where:
Hong Zhou Restaurant 杭州酒家
178-188 Johnston Rd
1F, Chinachem Johnston Plaza
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2591 1898

Price:
Around HKD200 each for lunch for a shit tonne of food.

The deal:
I’ve never had Hangzhou food before – I quizzed people what Hangzhou was famous for and the only answers I got back were “lakes” and “tall women”.  Hong Zhou Restaurant is another Chinese HK restaurant which owns one Michelin star – for whatever that counts for today.  This shit is better than the one Michelin starred Tim Ho Wan or Din Tai Fung, but fuck, it all feels a bit like bullshit at this stage anyway.  Hangzhou is close to Shanghai – so of the more popular Chinese cuisines, there are some parallels that run through Shanghainese food – ie. drunken animals, red sauced meats and all the baos.

Our lunch party leader was ordering aggressively but there were some dishes which really stood out as being different from the Chinese food you normally get in HK. The fried buns / dumplings were predictably a fuck yeah – because surely you lose your right to be a Chinese restaurant in HK if you fuck that shit up.  One of their signature dishes was really fucking interesting – a fish ball soup with watershield (蒓菜魚圓).  The fish ball is a large, white ball which is almost covered in a membrane and when bitten through, gives way to reveal a soft inside (a bit tong yuen-esque but without the peanuts / sweet dumpling) – with none of the chew of a spongey Cantonese style fish ball.  Apparently they fly this watershield (蒓菜) vegetable in from the West Lake in Hangzhou for this soup – it’s like a small water lily pad which is slimy in the soup. No doubt it’s probably “cooling” and “good for health”. I’ve never had anything like it before and that fish ball was a goddamn revolution.  I don’t know how many fucking fish balls I’ve eaten in my life, but I can’t think of any that I vividly remember – so fuck yeah in the fish ball memorability stakes, Hong Zhou Restaurant.  High recommend, get involved FYN homies.

Another serious fuck yeah was the braised Dong Po pork belly (東坡肉) – which is a marinated, red sauced, fatty as fuck pork belly, slow braised in a combination of cane sugar, Chinese wine and soy sauce which you carve out a piece to smash between a man tou (steamed white bun).  This shit is not easy on the heart but fuck me, it was tasty as fuck.  You can fuck that trendy Little Bao shit right off and come and get the real deal here instead.

The deep-fried stinky tofu (炸臭豆腐) always fucking polarises a dining table – regardless of its composition of Asians or otherwise.  There’s no fucking escape here though because it’s regularly ordered and the stink is ever present.  I fucking love that shit though and it was one of the more pungent ones I’ve had, while I half-heartedly assured fellow table mates that it tastes a lot better than it smells.

Other than that, we continued to fuck yeah our way through the animal kingdom – drunken chicken, deep fried eel, sweet + sour pork, fried chicken, before landing into a bowl of seafood noodles.  Chewy noodles in a flavourful as fuck broth, clearly gleaned from making a concentrated stock from prawn shells.  By this stage, I was shallow breathing but continued my relentless march towards a carb filled stupor, piling a second and a third serving into my increasingly torpid existence, because it was that fucking good.

But no lucky celebration would be complete without the peach longevity buns (寿桃) filled with red bean paste.  Everyone was full as fuck, which meant I ended up with a boxful to take home – it seemed pretty inauspicious to throw those bad boys away which meant dinner that night consisted of two longevity buns and two glasses of red wine and breakfast the next day consisted of two longevity buns and a cup of coffee.  LBR, you’ve only got yourself to blame if you throw out six longevity buns because it was too high in carbs and you get run over by a fucking bus the next day – and I don’t ever fucking take chances like that.

ps.  Totally lifted the Chinese characters from this blog post.

Verdict:
Fuck yeah – Hangzhou the home of lakes, tall women and fuck yeah food.

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