I recently visited Jun’an town in Guangdong’s Nansha District for an exclusive dinner date with the restaurant owner and head chef Yau Gor.
Steamed minced pork and steamed minced fish are two of the town’s signature dishes.
The restaurant was built from an old traditional mansion, where all the three rooms are elegantly decorated.
Chef Yau Gor, in his early forties, has already more than 20 years of professional experience under his belt. He once worked as one of the top chefs for some senior officials of the central government.
Recently he set up his own farm for his catering business. Its products are featured in his Shunde cuisine; it also provides high-end ingredients like bird’s nest and abalone.
The lunch we had was impressive. We first had double-boiled abalone and shark’s fin with macrolepiota albuminosa fungi in beautiful amber color.
The abalone and shark’s fin are rich in collagen. Yau Gor had done a good job in cooking them until tender and elastic.
Hand-shredded steamed chicken with ginger and salt, and fried capsicums, eggplants with minced fish were good companion dishes.
The main course was Yau Gor’s signature dish: braised Indonesian dried abalone (three heads). I was told that the dried abalones were first soaked and steamed for six hours, and then braised in low stove fire for another four hours.
Every drop of the sauce came from the abalone. It had the 100 percent taste of authenticity.
While there are many fine chefs in Shunde who are also good at stir-frying, steaming, braising, stewing and simmering dishes, only a few people like Yau Gor could handle dried seafood products so well.
It was indeed a rare privilege to partake of Yau Gor’s heavenly creations while listening to his incredible stories about his life as a top chef.
It was an eye-opening encounter.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Dec. 16.
Translation by Darlie Yiu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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