Culinary Delights in Southern China
Our family spent 10 days during Easter break in China and Hong Kong. Fears of dirty water and fried scorpions had us packing our suitcases with granola bars and beef jerky. I am happy to report that we never touched the snacks from home because we LOVED the food in China and Hong Kong. Super fresh shrimp and lobster that's pulled out of an onsite tank was the norm for every restaurant not just the high end ones. Lots of greens, as in broccoli sprouts, spinach, and chards are a delicious mainstay while eating out.
American Chinese food is like qualifying Domino's Pizza as Italian food, REAL Chinese food is served in small portions similar to French portions, but boy do they make up for quantity with quality. Noodles of every kind are serve rather than rice, which I only saw once brought to the table for a young boy. The noodles are boiled in flavorful broths of duck, shellfish or pork. Yes, the fish is served with the head on but I'm sure the fish would be happy to see us all enjoying every last bit of his tasty body including his cheeks. Stuffed hot peppers, dim sum with delightful pork filling, and savory soups satisfy even the heartiest appetites.
Our favorite place was Laurel Restaurant in Shenzhen, we ate at three locations throughout China all delicious. In Asia it is common to request private dinning rooms so that was where we ate most of our meals. Our hosts ordered everything from shark fin soup (not so great) to fried wontons with honey and sesame seeds sprinkled over them (tasty). Laurel is known for their Peking Duck and I can vouch for their reputation, its spectacular! They slice the crunchy duck skin off the duck at the table and serve it with a tortilla (Asian), plum sauce and thinly sliced cucumbers. Moo Shoo oh so good! The rest of the duck is taken away and served later within several dishes, pulled duck meat w/veggies, duck soup etc. Remember in China they eat everything but the quack.
My hubby was craving a steak, so we ate "Western Style" food for the only time in ten days.
Nansha Grand Hotel has an awesome steakhouse and their dinning area is beautiful with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Pearl River. California red wines along with many Aussy wines. English is very limited this far into China but they speak volumes with their food. The steak and fish were perfect along with the baked potatoes and veggies. No fear about the fixings, butter and sour cream are imported from Australia, with the wine I guess. Our first time trying Russian Soup, very good. Nansha Grand Hotel is worth staying at, great place to have breakfast too, which we did the following morning.
In Huizhou the Kande International Hotel is the only place to stay because of their awesome restaurants. The Imperial Palace served everything under the sun, Asian, Western, French,
you name it, they bring it. There were six of us and we all ordered a different cuisine, I was very impressed. They have an onsite French pastry shop that we visited several times and enjoyed wonderful desserts.
In Shenzhen the Portofino Village has several wine tasting shops, restaurants and cafes, that all have alfresco seating lakeside. Twinkle lights reflected off the lake as we enjoyed late night lattes and wine. All the restaurant are good in this area.
Wish we could remember all the restaurants we ate in, but fear not, enjoy Hong Kong and China because they really treat Americans like family. If you saw the Olympics you will understand that China is a wealthy country and health and food standards are strictly enforced.