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To Eat In Or Out?

    Here is an example of a typical Chinese home cooked meal. As you can tell, there is an appropriately and strategically planned lucky even number of dishes along with a soup. You can also see that there's the typical fish, Chinese vegetable, and chicken. Though this may seem very delicious right now, try having this same combination every single day. It gets old and bland... REAL fast.

    As you can see, we tried to spice up the typical dishes with some not so traditional additions such as Vietnamese Nam brought all the way from the U.S. (Box 1), Vietnamese caramelized pork (Box 2), and dumplings bought from the market (Box 3). Why do we bring Vietnamese all the way from the U.S. you ask? Simple... because Vietnamese food in Hong Kong sucks. If you see a Vietnamese place in Hong Kong-Run and don't look back. No exaggeration. HK people do not know how to eat or make Vietnamese food. So, with the food we eat at home being such a bore, it's no wonder why we love going out and eat. Let us do some compare and contrast with home dinner food and dining out dinner food.

    For big dinners out, there are usually set dinners you can choose from where the dishes are already preset and ready for you like so... This was our set that we had at Dynasty for our Winter Solstice family dinner. 

    Yummy eating restaurant one: Dynasty in the New World Hotel. Picture above is of shark's fin soup(魚翅)- a Chinese delicacy that goes way back. And the 2nd box is a close up of the sharks fin. As you can tell this was some expensive shark's fin. The cheaper the shark's fin, the less noodle-like substance you can find. In the really cheap soups, you have to almost fish to see if you can find a strand of questionable fin. But kabam! One scoop and you an see it all!

Other dishes that were paraded out of their lovely kitchen included: Abalone (Box 1), Black pepper fish (Box 2), fish with scallions (Box 3), and delicious goose (Box 4). I don't know what Dynasty feeds their geese, but they are delicious!

Next, we had some yummylicious quails. Absolutely delicious.

Just as we were about to explode, our last dish showed up along with our desserts. Sticky Rice (Box 1), Mango Pudding (Box 2), and Red Bean Soup (Box 3). The end result is that we enjoyed a fantabulous dinner out with the family with a nice view looking over Hong Kong. Also good news is that we did not have to pay. I don't think we could have afforded that bill and it is clear they this restaurant does not need any more dishwashers in the back. It is also worth noting that upon entering, the staff already knew my family's name and shouted in walkie talkies to coworkers 2 feet away from them to usher us in within seconds. If the Secret Service had to manage a restaurant- this would be it.

Yummy eating out restaurant 2 is Farm House, which I previously mentioned in my dim sum post. We were started off with a type of 老火湯 (soup that has been brewed for many hours/days) made of the insides of pork (Box1.) Box 2 is of Farm House's famous pear juice with red dates, also freshly brewed.

Box 1 is some yummylicious shrimp, Box 2 Ginger short ribs, Box 3 Vegetarian Buddha's feast, Box 4 Ground pork with steamed water chest nut.

Next to come out of the kitchen was a vege dish with tomatoes and tofu (Box 1), an expensive steamed fish (Box 2), Crispy skinned chicken with yummy fried shrimp chips (Box 3) and some chow mien (Box 4). Side note: Chinese always have noodles during birthday dinners because it signifies longevity! 

    And lastly, our desserts came. They  brought us an assortment of fruits and "dan shan" fried sweet wontons skills with honey (Box 1) and 壽包 aka birthday buns, which are for longevity as well.

Dining out location 3 is The Jockey Club in Wan Chai. People definitely do not go here for the food. It's more so about watching old men and slutty young chinese women getting their groove on in the salsa and latin dances or in ballroom dancing to the sound of live music. In the mix of dancers, there are also professionals that use the dinner as a time to show off their students. Also in the mix is an awesome Filipino Elvis who rocked the house by touching himself and doing hip thrusts as he sang some old school songs and my Aunt's sexy Russian instructor that has mastered the Latin dances as well as touching himself while dancing and licking his lips at the same time. Hawt! You can spend your night laughing at ladies wearing hideous outfits or watching the 5 good people in the room dance. Your choice. The food wasn't amazing or horrible. Pictured: Ham salad, shark's fin soup, abalone & sea cucumber (an expensive and slimy Chinese delicacy), and fish. 

They were followed by chicken in soy sauce, Chiu Chow Yi Mian (where the top part of the noodles are fried and vinegar and sugar is added), and as well as some yummu fried rice. The Yi Mian was pretty good. I never thought I would add sugar to something salty, but it actually tasted good. 

For dessert, we had an assortment of fruits and 2 different cakes. The left chocolate cake was from Island Shangri-la Hotel. It had a layer of hazelnut crust that was so delicious I had 3 slices myself within the night. The second is a Chestnut cake from Cova. Personally, I feel like anything from Cova is overrated. People go to this place for the name cause their food and cakes seriously suck. But the Shangri-la cake was soooo good. It definitely would have warranted a 5 for yummyness on my previous awesome bakery post here
In sum, we've learned that whether dining in or out, Chinese meals are sure to include a lucky number of dishes as well as a soup and that abalone, shark's fin, and sea cucumber are expensive delicacies. Numbers that Chinese especially like include: 3,8,9, and variations of them. Noodles and special birthday buns are a must during big celebrations-especially on birthdays and fish and chicken are important parts of a proper dinner. Also, eating out is way more tasty than eating in so when given the choice-GO OUT!
Happy Eating Out!

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