The acclaimed Hong Kong stage play “The Mad Phoenix” has had reruns overseas recently, including in mainland China.
Last Saturday was Shenzhen’s turn, which made fans like me to hop across the border for an evening’s entertainment.
Though I first watched it about two decades ago, my enthusiasm for the play hasn’t dimmed. Adding to the excitement was the fact that my good friend Samson Yeung Ying-wai had a role in the production.
Stage runs in Broadway productions in New York are often measured in terms of years or even decades, but such phenomenon is rare in Hong Kong.
“The Mad Phoenix” is the only Hong Kong show that comes close to the longevity of the Broadway productions.
In order to enjoy the play fully, I and one of my friends decided to have a good meal in the afternoon, prior to the Shenzhen show.
The friend suggested the Hong Kong Golf Club (Fanling), where we could have good coffee, braised beef tendon and brisket with crispy noodles and sambal belacan seafood fried rice.
The friend highlighted the fact that the crispy noodle is prepared in a very traditional manner.
That reminded me of the Cantonese fried noodles with shredded pork that is served up by Sheung Wan’s famous Lin Heung Tea House.
The beef tendon from the clubhouse at the golf club was chewy, while the beef brisket soaked with chu hou sauce (柱侯醬) — a soybean-based sauce with garlic, ginger, sesame seeds and many other spices — was exotically delicious.
However, I stopped after two bowls as the dish was quite salty. I needed to have one coffee after another in order to get over the intense taste. Luckily, there were free refills for the beverage.
After the meal, we continued our journey to the Shenzhen Longgang Cultural Center, which was somewhat farther away than I had expected.
After taking the Lok Ma Chau Cross Border Yellow Bus, we still needed an hour-long taxi ride to get to the venue from the Longgang terminus.
We got there at around 7 pm, an hour before the show was scheduled to begin.
After a long journey, the first thing that people would do normally is to look for a washroom.
But in our case, all we wanted was another drink to wash out the salty taste from our afternoon meal.
When we saw a convenience store, we dashed into it. I grabbed a Coke while my friend helped himself to a Pepsi.
Gulping down half a can, we burped loudly and said to each other: “It’s the fault of the braised beef tendon and brisket with crispy noodles!”
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on May 25.
Translation by Darlie Yiu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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