The One With He Jiang – A Tale Of Two Rivers

If I can only use one word to describe He Jiang – a new discovery thanks to my baby project RedeeME – it would have been “understated“.

One glance from the outside of Cosmopolitan Hotel, where it was situated at, things do no look very promising. It was only after you cross its treshold that you realised, really, one should not judge a restaurant by its exterior alone. With its floor-to-ceiling windows all along one side, He Jiang is an oasis of calm amidst the hustle and bustle of Causeway Bay.

He Jiang

He Jiang brings together cuisines of Huaiyang and Sichuan, hence its name “He” meaning “together” and “Jiang” meaning “delta”. A tale of two rivers indeed. I am no fan of Sichuan food – I blame it to a lifetime adversity towards overly spicy food – but that was about to change.

He Jiang

So serious was their dedication to remain faithful to their food heritage, the kitchen of He Jiang was helmed by natives of both provinces to recreate the tastes of home and give it a modern twist.

He Jiang

I do not remember the name of half of the dishes we ordered that night. What I do remember was how everyone – and I do mean everyone – at the table were exclaiming in delight as they devoured chicken soaked in a decided fiery broth, a platter of pork knuckles so fat I gained weight by just looking at it, to the delightful fish head swimming in broth so murky one had to wonder…

How did they do it?

He Jiang

Each of my friends have their favorite dish. Some like the abundance of spicy garlic and chili sauce. Others gave thumbs up for the generouse use of the highly potent Sichuan peppercorns. What amazes me that, instead of tearing eyes and drippy nose I was accustomed to whenevr I have something too spicy, the flavors at He Jiang was, though complex, delightfully numbing yet not overpowering.

He Jiang

Case in point: I chewed on the slightly crunchy peppercorns. I am not a fan of chillis but here these fiery “fruits” were used not to supercharge its spiciness but as an actual flavouring. There was an evenness to the heat and the other flavours were allowed through.

He Jiang

For such a gem of a find, He Jiang was kind to our wallet. I would wagger you could keep your dinner at about $300 per pax without wine easily.

Now excuse me while I go and chew on some chillis to see how far I can go.

He Jiang
1/F, Cosmopolitan Hotel Hong Kong
387-397 Queen’s Road East, Hong Kong
3167 7833

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