I’m glad I had another dim sum meal before leaving Hong Kong. It is still the best you’ll ever get anywhere in the world.
I was supposed to meet my god-parents for lunch and my brother and I decided to reserve a table at Zen, a restaurant which I remembered to be good back in my day, and it was in a central location situated within the Pacific Place mall, convenient for all. My god-sister as well as my sister-in-law joined in and there is nothing better than having a dim sum meal with four or more people for the best effect.
I can never leave dim sum without eating Har Gow, shrimp dumplings. The wrapper is good here, not thick but again, not as translucent as the ones at 1-Michelin star Shang Palace.
Chicken’s feet is one of those things which you either love or hate. There is no in between about it. I happen to love it and believe it or not there is a good chicken’s feet and then there’s a great chicken’s feet. You don’t want a mediocre chicken’s feet.
Great chicken’s feet are those that just melt when you suck on it. You don’t want the ones still hard and stuck to the bone. The ones here are perfectly cooked and the black bean sauce clung to each digit.
I generally don’t like Fried lo bak go because I like the steamed version. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the latter here so we opted for the fried kind which, incidentally wasn’t bad at all. The daikon is mashed into a paste and then formed into a pan, steamed and then cut into squares before they are fried just before serving. Bits of Chinese sausage and cured meats dot the pieces giving them added flavor.
One of my brother’s favorite dim sum items while growing up was Pai Guat, steamed pork spareribs with black bean sauce. Now, this isn’t one of my faves and I don’t usually order it, but since it’s on the lazy susan, I picked a piece up to try. Meh…. as always, I can take this or leave it.
Cha Siu Bao or steamed barbecue pork buns are my son’s favorite and he devoured these pretty quickly only stopping to let me take a quick snapshot of what was in his hands.
I generally don’t like Ham Sui Gok (deep fried crescent dumplings) because the ones in America because they tend to be dense and very heavy. At Zen, each morsel is airy and light with the inside hollow. The mochi exterior is so light and fried perfectly that they are not greasy at all. The interior has a dollop of very flavorful ground pork, dried shrimp and mushrooms. I quite enjoyed these.
Shu Mai — pork dumplings — aren’t on the menu whenever I go to dim sum but these were ordered for the kids. They were okay. I don’t particularly care for them whether I’m in Hong Kong or the US.
We ordered some spring rolls for the kids and these were decent. Nice crispy exterior with a decent filling.
I was happy when my brother orders a tureen of Soup of the Day which happened to be pork with carrots and jeet gua (fuzzy melon). The soup is rich and dark in color and flavor and I slurped it up with vigor wishing there was more.
A plate of Siu Ngor (roasted goose) was quite lovely. The bird was plump and the greasiness from the skin moistened the flesh to give a crispy skin covering a tender succulent slice of meat.
Vegetables round out the meal and Vegetables in a Clay Pot was so intensely flavorful I wish I had some steamed rice to accompany it as it was bordering on the salty.
Braised tofu was a filler just in case you didn’t get enough dim sum and it was okay, nothing spectacular.
My brother ordered Seafood Hor Fun (thick rice noodles), something I definitely did not care for. First of all, I don’t like hor fun noodles, they are slimy and slippery and really tasteless. Secondly, the seafood topping was also slimy so that unpleasant texture doubled making it very unpalatable for me. Not only that, the dish was bland and I added a bunch of chili sauce to it to get the two mouthfuls down my throat.
At the end of the day, the dim sum is always a good bet for lunch at a Cantonese restaurant. Soup of the day in a tureen is another Cantonese specialty so take advantage of what they do well at. You won’t regret it.
LG1 Pacific Place Mall
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