I think I have a slight addiction to the hot pot at He Jiang. When I saw this deal on Groupon, I just couldn’t resist. It was a hotpot set for four, plus a bottle of Spanish wine, all for some $500+.
Quite a steal, right? And knowing He Jiang, I knew the deal will be limited, so I went ahead and bought the Groupon without even thinking about who will go with me.
It was a decision I don’t regret.
The dual hot pot of Chengdu hot & spicy pot and fish pot with Chinese herbs sets the tone for the night. There were rich and aromatic, which gets us going all night long.
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We meet up with Dillon and Jim on their way to Taipei. Two rounds of drinks at our beloved Pavilion sets the mood of the night right. I finally found the key to get Dillon blabbering all night long. Oh, it is so much fun!
Then we head to He Jiang Restaurant at Cosmopolitan Hotel Hong Kong. It is certainly the right choice – the location is absolutely convenient and the service is impeccable, so different from the recent hotpot experience we had not days ago.
The daredevils in us opt for the fiery Sichuan hotpot, and it lives up to its name. The broth is certainly spicy, with a peppery level which might be unsuitable for some, but it delights us all the same.
The ingredients we choose, which include the hot pot set for $588 plus additional dishes such as taro, goose intestine and beef go right down a treat. Unlike the usual Sichuan-style hotpot, this doesn’t numb our lips, and that certainly lead to a disaster – we order endless rounds of food. Plus wine and beer.
Certainly a night to remember. And you know what they said about that ring of fire? A lesson learned, but it is indeed a “mistake” worth repeating!
My discovery on Groupon continues at Jiang Shan Hui which offers a mix of Shanghainese and Sichuan cuisine. When I saw what’s on offer – drunken chicken by award winning chef – I was intrigued. I walked by the past often enough during my Sheung Wan days, but never thought of “popping up”. If you are like me who can’t read Chinese, you always live in the fear that this will be that restaurant where the waitresses will mock you for being an illiterate Chinese and derisively laugh off my request for an English menu. Though I am happy to report this unlikely incident seldom happens, and it certainly did not at Jiang Shan Hui.
Because it was a set Groupon menu. Hah.
Platter of appertiser.
The starters for the night were rather uninspiring. I was looking forward to a steaming bowl of hot and spicy soup; what eventually transpired was a tepid serving of gooey starch. The platter of appetiser – shredded chicken in crystal flower sheet in sesame sauce, pork jelly in Zhejiang style, cucumber – fared better. I particularly enjoyed the crystal flower sheet. Very slurpy and fragrant with the sesame sauce (which I almost mistaken for peanut sauce, LOL). The xiao long bao was just alright, nothing to shout about.
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Hotpot has got to be the best invention of Chinese cuisine. There are so many ways of doing a pot – from experimenting with different broths to dumping anything edible into it – that at every turn, you bound to be surprised.
I thought my hotpot discovery was excellent, until Sichuan hotpot dropped a fiery bomb onto my radar. My (hotpot) life will never the same again.
Golden Valley Restaurant was like a throw back to ancient times, when Hong Kongers revel in all things gold plated, and thick carpeting with swirly patterns commanded a mortgage to install. Located at Emperor Hotel (which is literally two minutes from my door step), it was a restaurant fit for a king.
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