After being asked to lead a food tour of Nanhai, Panyu and Shunde districts in Guangdong province, I did a poll in order to better understand my companions’ expectations.
Sunflower chicken from the Sunflower Garden in Nansha topped the list. It was not surprising to learn that the restaurant is one of the best in Nansha.
Its signature dish has been so named because the chickens are raised and fed strictly on sunflowers and sunflower seeds.
This is what makes the meat sweet and tender and the bones crunchy.
I was not particularly crazy about it, though.
Nevertheless, since it was everyone’s favorite, I decided that I should not disappoint anyone.
That’s how we got to feast on nothing but chicken.
We started with half a steamed chicken. Everyone put on gloves and tucked into the dish right away. The beautiful golden yellow oil running all over the plate from the meat was much too tempting.
The chicken soup with pepino melon was sweet, with a strong essence of poultry thanks to a process of long stewing that brought out the best out of the ingredients.
The famous dish Jinga shrimp with papaya from Xinken, however, barely managed a pass but the steamed crabs were quite impressive.
We were each given a straw to sip the marine shellfish soup.
It’s no exaggeration when I say the firstborn eggs from the sunflower chicken were as good as premium-grade eggs from Japan. The yolk was dense.
Xinken is a newly designated agricultural site in Nansha, where lotus roots are the best produce. Steamed lotus root slices with mashed mung beans are famous as a traditional rural cuisine.
Meanwhile, Fisherman’s Pier at 19 Chung Nansha is a tourist site for seafood, local farm produce and desserts. Double skin milk and sachima are popular choices.
Sunflower Garden should consider making claypot sunflower chicken rice which would definitely be highly sought-after in winter.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Nov. 14
Translation by Darlie Yiu with additional reporting
[Chinese version 中文版]
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