travel: rabbit hungry in his city
It had been two years since I last step foot in Hong Kong, so visiting my family provided an opportunity to reconnect to some favorite food traditions of this city. High on the list was the wonderful dim sum 點心. for lunch. Most tourists visit dim sum parlors famous for their traditional style of endless servers whooshing past with trays and carts overflowing with specialties. It’s hectic fun, but I prefer places that focus more on taste, execution, and quality of ingredients.
Fook Lam Moon does exactly that each time. The food was exquisite, the service impeccable, and the décor understated contemporary elegance. We went with my brother, a long-time customer, who discussed various dishes with waitress before confirming our order. The customers always seem to be a very satisfied lot.
First row from left to right: Har Gow, sweet shrimp filling encased in the thinnest crystal wrapper; Shiu Mai, moist unctious pork filling in a classic yellow pocket wrapper, garnish with a dab of crab roe; Crispy Taro Dumplings, delicate lace-like batter with mushroom, pork and mashed taro.
Second row from left to right: Crispy Taro Dumplings; Shrimp with Crispy Tofu Skin wrapped in Rice Crepes drizzled with Sweet Soy Glaze, you must eat this fast to experience the different textures; Char Siu Bao, sweet and savory bbq pork steamed inside a light spongy rice bun.
Third row from left to right: Beef Fried Rice, flavorful ground beef stirred fried with egg and aromatic scallions; Salt n Pepper Dried Squid, a delicate balance of fragrant Szechuan peppered salt and sweet flesh of calamari; Har Gao, classic shrimp dumplings served in a bamboo steamer basket.
Fourth row from left to right: Steamed Tripe with Black Bean Garlic Sauce; Young Pea Shoots braised in an Egg White Crab Sauce; Supreme Soy Sauce Stir Fired Egg Noodles, al-dente noodles with crunchy bean sprouts in a dry soy glaze, a flavorful compliment to many dishes.
Top row from left to right: Banana Wrapped Steamed Dumplings with Red Bean Paste; the sweet red bean paste filling inside the dumpling.
Bottom row from left to right: Steamed Bao with sweet and savory Sesame Egg Yolk Filling; Silky smooth Coconut Custard.
Without doubt, another must-do food activity is afternoon tea, one of the few lasting influences of British Culture in Hong Kong other than the English language. Some people go for the grandeur of the Peninsula, others enjoy the new contemporary coffee houses. We opted for the Mandarin Hotel Coffee Shop instead of its classic lounge on the mezzanine. The artful display of cakes, pastries and confections seduced us as we walked past on the way to our table. Especially for this time of the year, they offered many Christmas creations that were too beautiful to eat—well, almost.