Blessing from Shanghai

City Talk | Siu Sai-wo 10 Dec 2019

The shop owner of Lu Yang Cun has retired, but there is another Causeway Bay shop where gourmands can get excellent Shanghainese food.

This shop, opened just recently, is called Lao Ji Tang. Its head chef is from Jesse Restaurant in Shanghai, a shop that many Hongkongers have tried.

Lai Sun group chairman Peter Lam Kin-ngok, who himself runs a string of Michelin-starred restaurants, visits this new shop from time to time.

Recently, I had the famous sauteed bean jelly with crabmeat there. The crabmeat was fresh, delicious and smooth, and a pinch of it eaten with bean jelly was marvelous.

To create such an outstanding effect, only male crabs are used, with their transparent fat extracted to flavor the meat. It takes dozens of premium crabs to get enough ingredients for one dish. With the hairy crab season approaching its end, crab lovers should hurry if they want to try it too.

Fish heads cooked using the appealing Shanghainese scallion-oil method are definitely worth trying. The presentation is interesting too, as the dish looked like it was full of seaweed. You have to move the scallion aside to reveal the fish head.

The head, as big as the dish, comes from a kind of flatfish. It is rich with a collagen-like substance and soft bones that have a cartilage texture. The best way to enjoy it is to take a bite of the sauce-imbued meat, followed by a sip of red wine.

Pan-fried pork buns are a signature Shanghainese dish. Lao Ji Tang also offers pork and scallion buns steamed in the Beijing style with soft, spongy skin.

Northerners are experts in bun-making, and the pork buns were a perfect conclusion to the stronger-tasting rich soy sauce-flavored Shanghainese courses.

Hong Kong is a small place but delicacies from different cities are available for our enjoyment. How can we say it is anything but blessed?

Siu Sai-wo is publisher of Sing Tao Daily

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