Chinese cuisine is complicated, exotic and at times bewildered to the western world. However, it has undergone thousand of years of refinement and millions (possibly even billions over the centuries) of taste buds. Like it or not, it is here to stay. I've enjoyed many weird stuff and even forbidden fruits to many people (be it their beliefs or preferences). Here are some of my favorite delicacies...
The texture of Abalone is something you've to try before you know what I'm referring to. I love when the restaurants served Abalone with oyster sauce. Yum! Favorite restaurants are Ah Yat Seafood Restaurant in Singapore and Forum Restaurant in Hong Kong. Japanese Amidori Abalone (4 heads) costs more than $1000 each, anyone buying me dinner soon? ;-)
The Chinese & Thais love Shark Fin Soup. Wish they are not that expensive! Anyhow, best Shark Fin Soup I've ever tasted were from Sun Tung Lok Sharks Fin Restaurant in Hong Kong and Thai Village Restaurant at Goodwood Park Hotel in Singapore.
Geoduck Sashimi, oh, how I love them. Order it only when it's fresh. I had the best at the same restaurant my friend May took me to. Hmmm, have to search for the name of that restaurant so that I can post it here on Lunch!
I love roasted pigeon and had them more often than the rest of the dishes on this list. You can literally find them in most high end Chinese restaurants in Shanghai and Hong Kong. The Shatin Roasted pigeon is very famous but I don't recall trying them. If I had, it would have been when I was young. I like the Roasted Pigeon from Macau Coffee House in Shun Tak Centre at Sheungwan in Hong Kong. They are cheap and good. HK$33 each.
When done well, Roasted Pig is crispy and awesome. It is also something a bridegroom family will give to the bride family on her wedding day. A sign of good luck. Only the top layer of Roasted Pig is eaten (aka the skin), which is also the best part of it all.
One can only get snake soup in the winterly months. Snake soup warms the body and possibly even generate heat somewhat. That's why it's very popular with the Chinese in Hong Kong and also those in Toronto during cold weather. For those who had never tried it, the meat is not much different from chicken. Actually, it's nothing special about snake meat, but the stew itself is cooked with some herb and Chinese ingredients that make it pretty unique.
Turtle soup is not common on the dinner table. However, at times you might just find a restaurant serving it along with the other dishes. Turtle soup is another herbal soup and the only place I've actually tried them is in Singapore.
Frankly, I don't cook and know nothing much about how a dish is being prepared. So, I don't really care to know if Zhangcha Duck is a tea-smoked dish or not. If they say it is, then it is as far as I'm concerned ;p It tastes good and I love it whenever I visit Sichuan restaurants. More so than Peking duck as it is not as oily and you can even keep it in the fridge and microwave it again the next day. Great with beer too!
Best Peking Duck is not found in Peking (Beijing) but in Hong Kong. The Peking Garden Restaurant (北京楼) is the best. The original restaurant is at Alexandra House in Central but the chain also has another outlet at the Pacific Place in Wanchai. In Beijing, go for the Quanjude (全聚德) restaurants at Qianmen & Peace Gate. They are the best of the lot in Beijing. Eating Peking Duck is an art itself. The chef will slice the skin off the duck and as with roasted pig, this is the best part of the deal. Wrap each one up with some green shallots and sweet sauce & bingo, you've a mouthful of heaven! What a way to dine! :-) Oh, oh... I'm making myself hungry!!!
See the full review, "Eat like royalties".