Liu Yuan Pavilion: Shanghainese Food in HK
Hi Friends! I'm sure many of you have noticed that my food posts have been coming to you from Hong Kong for the last few weeks. I'll actually be staying in HK until mid-May so stay tuned for more of my adventures from around the world. Now, Hong Kong is a very multi-cultural city with a plethora of different cuisines. The question really is what to eat when you get to Hong Kong? While I'm here, I'll be breaking down the must-eat traditional HK foods, but I'll also be spotlighting some of my favorite restaurants that I think are worth paying a visit to. Today, let's take a look at Liu Yuan Pavilion,留園雅敘 in the Wan Chai District. They specialize in Shanghainese food and have been a staple in my Hong Kong dining for years. I'll be keeping my blog posts brief since I know no one likes to read much these days. =X Drunken Chicken is a Shanghainese cold dish where chicken is steeped in rice wine, hence the name. The meat is tender and there's no bones. Win-win. The highlight of my meal is this gorgeous dish. This steamed fish head laden with chilies is extremely spicy. Beware! I'm a spicy lover so this always hits the spot for me. Not only is it a feast for the eyes, but it is so tasty. The sauce also makes for the perfect topping on rice. The restaurant only has 2 of these fish heads a day. I suggest to call in prior to pre-order. Close up of my baby. Yes, I'm referring to it as my baby. Spicy beef with chili dish.
Shanghai Sesame Biscuit with Minced Meat. Highly recommend! Shanghainese carbs are the best. You take the biscuit and stuff it full of the meat a la taco style. See exhibit below. And then all is right in the world again...Spicy wontons. Don't forget to mix properly. Another highlight for me at Liu Yuan Pavillon is the Guoba, which is basically a Chinese food made of scorched rice. I call it Chinese Rice Krispies except it's savory. What makes this dish unique is that they pour salted duck yolk all over the guoba.
And for dessert we have Lei Sha Tang Yuan (擂沙汤圆). This dessert, which was supposedly invented in the Qing Dynasty, is a dish where glutinous rice balls are stuffed with black sesame paste and other fillings and either served in sweet broths or rolled over a mixture of sesame seeds, crushed peanuts, sugar and nuts.
I highly recommend Liu Yuan Pavilion, but the absolute best time to go is during Hairy Crab Season, which is in the Fall. They have speciality menus and dishes during that time where dishes feature the delicacy. Of course, on a plain regular day, this is still a great place to eat at. A fair warning to those not familiar with Hong Kong, the restaurant is located on the 3rd floor of a small office building. The interior is a tad on the smaller side as are most restaurants in Hong Kong, a city where every inch is precious real-estate.
Liu Yuan Pavilion 留園雅敘
3/F The Broadway, 54-62 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai