Last week was pretty bad for me. First there was laryngitis, and then a nasty attack of the influenza virus. To get me back in good shape, my general practitioner put me on a strict diet of plain and simple dishes.
Anyway, it didn’t matter as my tongue was already numb from taking several tiny colorful pills.
But then I had an interesting gathering. A long-planned dinner meet with some fellow alumni of Hong Kong Baptist University came about during the week. During the event, Justin Chiu Kwok-hung, aka “God of Property (樓神)” played the host.
I opted to restore my voice temporarily with the help of an injection, as I didn’t want to miss out on the fun. And there was also the opportunity to sample some good food, offering relief to my dull taste buds.
Jiangsu Club (江蘇薈), located at Alliance Building in Sheung Wan, has been opened just six months earlier. I was aware that the club was patronized by Chiu, Henry Tang Ying-yen and many other prominent figures from the Federation of Hong Kong Jiangsu Community Organizations.
Anyway, it was time to dig in. The appetizers were pickled dishes of radish, cucumber and broad beans. To my surprise, the next dish was bat nuts, better known as ling nut, which usually makes an appearance during the Mid-Autumn Festival in September.
Steamed shad fish was the main course, and the restaurant manager kept reminding us to be careful in consuming the bony fish.
Though it is often suggested that the bonier the fish, the tastier it is, I however discovered that it requires a lot of meticulous work. I would rather enjoy the oily layer of scales and skin.
The other main course was steamed egg, in which the chef had made good use of the soup that was left behind from steaming the fish. The silky egg mixture with a strong taste of umami of the shad was fantastic.
And then there was a very delicious pot of braised pork belly. I wasted no time and picked up two pieces which had the thickest layer of fat.
Lawrence Cheng Tan-shui and some other guests, however, avoided the pork belly and helped themselves to bamboo sprouts and pickled vegetables that lay underneath the meat.
The guests may be thinking that they were making a healthier choice, but one may take an issue with that notion.
Also, there was this another thought that came across my mind: Why not put aside the health factor for a while and just enjoy the moment?
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on April 27.
Translation by Darlie Yiu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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