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Chinese cuisine for everyone!

Lei Garden

Lei Garden

Lei Garden

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  • Image © 2011 Alex Wong

As the Chinese proverb goes, "People view eating as important as the sky." The Chinese cuisine has evolved tremendously throughout the past centuries and is showing no sign of ceasing. In places like Hong Kong and coastal areas, the local Chinese cuisines have thrived in terms of taste, texture, yet a new element, healthiness. Not only are coastal areas not limited in the variety of materials, their geographical advantages add new elements to their dishes, creating distinctiveness among other Chinese dishes.

In Hong Kong, it is just a little harder to find Chinese restaurants than finding toilets. I hope I have made a fair recommendation on one of them. Situated in Wanchai Hennessy Road, the Lei Garden Restaurant is always found packed with hungry visitors. It pushes for innovation to attract visitors over time.

The ‘shadow of lantern' is one of my favorite dishes so far (I love exotic names!). It is actually deep-fried rice dumpling made in a shape of a hollow sphere. Sprinkled with sesame seeds it looks translucent under the light and casts a shadow like a lantern.

It is rather chewy and sticky in texture but because it's deep fried it has a little crisp. Not having a hard time tearing away bits. Despite the light sweet taste, when grinding the sesame seeds, the strong fragrance burst out and fills my mouth chamber. I couldn't help but want to have more of it.

‘Dim sum', meaning touching hearts lightly, could be a border between sweet and savory. It is the delicate taste and proportions that people especially foreigners fall in love with. Moreover, a dish would look like this but actually tastes like that. So don't let your eyes decide, but your taste buds.

Another favorite dish of mine is the ‘lucrative stomach', actually pig's stomach in curry style. I guess actually Chinese people call it that because selling stomachs is really lucrative. Served in a small porcelain pot, it is priced HKD 38, a relatively expensive dish. Foreigners are usually reluctant towards trying because they feel guilty consuming animals' organs, but I assure you, your guilt will soon be overwhelmed by the allure of Chinese cuisine. The stomach has chewy fibers that line up like checks and thus accumulates the perfectly seasoned curry sauce. The first bite is chewy yet brings a preoccupying taste of Chinese curry that is half spicy and half savory. Turnips are laid neatly in the bottom of the pot and they soak in the smell like sponges.

The desert, baked sago custard pudding with chestnut fillings, well balances the heavy lunch and further alleviates the meal. The sago is mixed with chestnut fillings in paste form, moist and tender, resembles texture of sticky rice and taste of sweet locus paste fillings in mooncakes. Enjoyable meal though, my family is shooed away because another wave of customers are about to fill in the place.

Hungry for more exotic Chinese cuisine? Stay tuned for similar critics.

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Published on 2/20/11

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