Another place my father and I randomly ventured into was Very Good Seafood Restaurant, located in the basement of 90 Nathan Road in TST, a restaurant accessible only by a very narrow and barely conspicuous staircase above which clings an even less conspicuous sign. The name of the place begins with “very good.” We were not expecting it to be. But it was!
Here are some of the delicious and new things we tried there. Unfortunately, the photos were taken, again, with my iPhone so please excuse the quality and tepid yellow hue I could not edit out…
Slivers of chilled jelly fish in a light, slightly sweet vinegar. The flavor was mostly of the sauce it was pickled (?) in but the texture was something quite extraordinary, crunchy, cool and very refreshing. It reminded me a bit of crunchy glass noodles or a seaweed salad except with a slightly subtler flavor.
Winter melon soup with dried scallops, a local wintertime staple which we ordered next and which I was hesitant about at first. It was, however, not bad although a bit bland for my taste. The broth was a slightly gooey liquid with a chicken flavor to it and was thickened with plenty of starch. Floating poached egg whites added a soft delicate touch to it. Within the broth were suspended (as it was pretty dense) thin strips of green winter melon and even thinner strips of pulled dried scallop. The scallop was, for me, not quite enough so it didn’t really pack the broth with flavor, as I was expecting it to, and added only a very weak little stringy feel. I would’ve also preferred the winter melon in chunks, since this ingredient has very little flavor of its own and the unique texture it usually has was not really showcase by the thinner-than-julienne-job it was treated with. The broth was warm, thick and comforting, like a nice chicken egg-drop soup – nothing more, nothing less.
The first GOOD…nay, AWESOME… chicken feet I’ve had in Hong Kong, a dish that made me understand the tremendous popularity and demand for these bad boys on this side of the globe. I think the main difference between these and the ones I’ve tried and did not really care for in the past was that this one was warm and served in a delicious sauce instead of having been chilled and pickled. Chilled and pickled chicken feet, while sometimes pretty refreshing in the summer time, leave a disturbingly cartilage-y crunch as an echo on the teeth while the skin is reminiscent of a goose bumped slab of cold, harsh rubber. When cooked, however, this delicacy completely changes its tone and becomes hands-down delicious. This one was deep fried and then steamed (to puff them up a bit) and then simmered in a wonderful soy and fermented abalone sauce which had a fantastically deep, slightly briny, sweet and salty flavor and permeated the skin, giving a great flavor and a beautiful golden brown color to the feet. The texture of these feet, far away from their cold, crunchy, cartilaginous counterparts, was soft and comforting. The skin, thin fat, and tendon- y inside of the limb had melted down a bit and become delightfully sticky and soft, akin to warm, steamed rice-paper cover of a steamed dumpling, except deliciously fatty from the skin and flavorful from the sauce. Some of the phalanges were small, soft and surrounded by cartilage enough to chew through, which I did, and they provided a nice crunchy base to the otherwise soft, sticky and mushy exterior.