When David first suggested a trip to East Asia, Hong Kong wasn’t part of the plans. That was completely my doing. Being a huge fan of Chinese food in New York, and hearing from my coworker how much more delicious it was in Hong Kong, I had to go. Of course, at the time, I didn’t realize it would extend the plane ride an additional five hours (fifteen hours and forty minutes total, one way!), but l’m glad to say it was definitely worth it. Thank god.
Our first day in Hong Kong, dim sum was obviously in order, so with a little help from Chowhound, I picked Victoria City Seafood Restaurant and off we went with fingers crossed. We were in Hong Kong for only three days, and we didn’t want any duds.
The meal began with little fried fish, salted peanuts, and jasmine tea. The fish were so small, it was hard to taste anything except the “friedness,” but hey, it was free. We had a few fishies while we checked off the dim sum we wanted from the menu. (There are no carts at Victoria City. All the dim sum is freshly prepared after you place your order.)
First to arrive was an order of Steamed Vegetarian Dumplings (HK $22/US $2.83). Since the dumplings had just come from the kitchen and hadn’t taken a spin on a cart around the dining room floor, the dumplings were piping hot. It was nice to eat hot dim sum for once. In addition, the vegetarian dumplings were filled with lots of fat juicy mushrooms and bright greens, not the sad filling of cabbage, noodles, and mushroom bits you get in the States. If vegetable dumplings tasted like this in Chinatown, I’d actually order them myself and not get annoyed every time a vegetarian placed an order for them.
The vegetarian dumplings were so good, we got another order of vegetarian dumplings that were on the menu. In English, the name was the same — Steamed Vegetarian Dumplings (HK $26/US $3.35), so we didn’t know how they would be different except for the cost, but we ordered them anyway. The second set of vegetarian dumplings were just as good as the first, but tasted more savory because it had bits of soft egg in it. It’s possible I preferred these slightly more than the first round of dumplings, but it’s hard to say. For vegetable dumplings, they were both very good.
When these fried triangles appeared at the table, we were slightly confused because I had ordered Pan-Fried Cuttlefish Rolls (HK $26/US $3.35) and these looked like fried taro puffs, but upon breaking though the delicate fried mesh, we found some seafood in the center. It wasn’t too memorable, except it tasted fried and greasy. I’d skip this the next time.
I’d also skip the Shark’s Fin Dumpling Soup (HK $45/US $5.80) which tasted extremely fishy in a not so good way. We were told to add some red vinegar, probably to cut the fishy taste, but it really didn’t help and just made the soup taste sour and look less appetizing. Moreover, the crumbly, boney texture of the shark’s fin left little to be desired.
The Steamed Rice Rolls with Shredded Duck and Pork Liver (HK $36/US $4.65), however, I’d order again if given the chance. There wasn’t too much duck, but the little duck there was in the roll was fresh with just enough flavorful skin. The rich pork liver didn’t hurt either. We definitely need more variety like this in the States. I mean, a girl can get bored of shrimp and beef rice noodles.
Lastly, we ordered Fried Soft-Shell Crabs from the regular menu (about US $10). Neither of us liked this too much. Much like the fried anchovies at the beginning of the meal, it was over-fried and had a strong taste of MSG. Victoria City seems to be better for their steamed dishes than their fried ones.
Sadly, we didn’t have time to try another dim sum restaurant during our stay in Hong Kong, but based on our one meal at Victoria, dim sum in Hong Kong is pretty damn good. It wasn’t as mind-blowing as I expected (I’d expected deliciousness of epic porportions), but it was definitely better than New York. Now if only someone would get that teleportation thing worked out.