This year’s Chinese New Year holiday in Hong Kong marked my brother’s first visit to the city as an adult. After he arrived at IFC in Central he was tired, hungry and curious, so lunch would have to be satisfying as well as interesting and promptly served. Just a ten minute walk from the airport express, Tsui Wah’s Wellington Street branch met all of the above.
Tsui Wah is well known to locals and foreigners as the go-to for “after-clubbing food” in Lan Kwai Fong. Open 24 hours a day, brightly lit, loud and hectic, it is the perfect place to sober up due to the sheer atmosphere of the place but also by soaking up seas of alcohol in your stomach with copious amounts of carbohydrates and protein. No doubt, I will be covering Tsui Wah in other… *ahem* capacities for future posts under the “Drunken Dibs” category. But on the day of Matt’s arrival we enjoyed a sober dumpling soup and fried noodle dish together for lunch.
Overall the soup was nice but not particularly memorable, save the novelty of eating cartilage. Apart from Tsui Wah’s “Pork Cartilage Bun” which pretty much tastes like a regular slab of meat in a burger, I had, to my knowledge, never eaten cartilage before.
The texture was, for lack of a better word, dubious. I only had the comfort of knowledge that I wasn’t eating a piece of pork fat. Disclaimer: fat is wonderful, but I am quite incapable of eating pure fat in chunks. The cartilage itself was a bit porky for my liking but, if you’re a big pork and fat fan, this might hit the spot. As for the rest of this dish: the dumplings were very fresh and green tasting and the soup was in need of a drop of soya sauce. I don’t see this as a negative however, I always appreciate it when restaurants let the customers adjust their salt and sauce needs themselves. A too-salty dish is irreparable and therefore translates to cuisine crime!
Next came one of Tsui Wah’s most popular dishes, once recommended to me by a friend when I was new in town, and now passed on to my next of kin: Shredded Pork and Mushrooms with Fried Noodles. When served steaming hot and fresh, it is one of those combinations where silence follows its arrival to your table as those eating it battle it out for the crispiest enclaves and the juiciest bites of meat and vegetable. Golden brown with spices reminiscent of cinnamon, ample pork and mushroom, this dish is simply delicious as its sauce seeps through the layers of noodle to give you wonderful crispy and soggy mouthfuls.
If you pass through a Tsui Wah anytime soon, be sure to order a Pork and Mushroom Fried Noodle! It was such a hit with my brother, he insisted we return before his departure for one more round. To finish this post, please check out a guest video appearance by my brother as he contemplates noodles vs. pasta @ Tsui Wah itself.