Sunday, May 8, 2011
Tang Palace Seafood Restaurant (Shanghai, China)
Yes you read it correctly, this is pigeon. Those birds that you see in the parks all the time or the things that nest up in signs and skyscrapers. This is one of their most popular items and for good reason. The taste and texture is pretty much the same as quail, but they fry this to perfection where the skin is nice and crispy but the meat is so tender it drips with juice. It was definitely a favorite of mine.
Something typical that you would see on a dim sum menu but theirs was flavored perfectly and they don't cheap out on the pork and egg to make this a nice hearty porridge. I feel like thousand year old egg is an acquired taste that I seemed to always have since I was a kid. I love eating it with other things like tofu and in noodles, but some people definitely aren't used to the taste.
With the right combination of spice and flavor, these things can be very enjoyable to eat. When cooked right, the meat falls right off the bone. If you haven't tried chicken feet or pig's feet, the texture is kind of gelatinous mixed with pieces of meat. It definitely tastes better than it looks.
Yes, every dim sum place carries turnip cake, but NONE do it like this place. They literally take shredded pieces of turnip and combine it to form a block of it. When you break it apart, you can literally pull the shreds of turnip apart from each other.
This dish can easily be overcooked causing it to come out very chewy, but here, it's very tender and soft. They do a good job of cleaning it so you wouldn't even be able to tell that it comes from the inside lining of a cow's stomach.
I'm not exactly sure what these are called in English but if you could imagine a flat square piece of rice noodle wrapped into a roll and then steamed, this is what you would get. This is the dish in it's simplest form, with sauce and that's it. There are multiple versions where it's wrapped with things like shrimp or beef. If you can imagine a spring roll's skin a little thicker and steamed, that's what it would taste like.
These just looked good so we got an order of it. The skin is see through because it's not a typical dumpling wrapper that's made from flour. This skin more closely resembles the slightly chewy skin used to make spring rolls.
I think this is one of my favorite things to eat at a dim sum place because the meat on these ribs are so delicious. A lot of places I eat dim sum at in the US use ribs that have too much fat content so all you get is bites of fat, but here the it was probably 90% meat with just enough fat to make it a perfect balance. When steamed, the meat becomes super tender and comes right off the bone when you eat it.
Different from what you'd typically see in a dim sum restaurant in the US, they make these cube shaped and throw them in the fryer. They also add some chili peppers into the mix to give it a little kick.
Like I mentioned above, these are the rice rolls that have beef inside them. I think the shrimp ones are my favorite although I don't have a picture of them but you get the idea of what it would look like.
To be honest, other than knowing that there's egg and pork fat used to make this dessert, I'm not sure what else is in it. It is a sweet dessert and is very rich. It would be hard for someone to eat a whole one by themselves, well, it's hard for me at least.
The difference between these and the ones you typically see is that when they say filling, it's filling. Most places that serve these, the middle isn't completely filled with the filling but these are so full that when you bite into it the filling will come out the side of your mouth.
These are really popular in Macau and many other areas. Even the KFC's in Asia carry them. The crust is much fluffier and flaky than regular egg tarts and the middle is just sooo good I'm not even sure how to explain it. Just think of a regular egg tart, and upgrade it.
Verdict? Do you really need me to tell you if I would go back to eat here? It would definitely be one of my first stops the next time I go back to China. While I was in Shanghai, I'm pretty sure I ate at this place about 5-6 times. Needless to say, be sure to eat here if you're in Shanghai.