|Taste ||Environment ||Service ||Hygiene |
Value for Money
Waiting on the Other Side of the New Adventure Sep 17, 2009
I don't mind waiting in line, in fact I have come to enjoy the process of it, with equal anticipation that I'm waiting in line for something great. (If there are people lining up, there must be some good things about it). Previous experiences have proven me wrong, but that doesn't happen all that often. (Gotta need crying face experiences to make smiley faces worth the while, no?) There's waiting in line, and then there is waiting for something to open, get ready, for business. What happens is that I called up a joint to make sure they open in the morning. They reassured me by 11:30am everything will be all set to go. I arrived on the dot to find that, no, nobody was at the shop. "Come back in half an hour", the lady-in-charge said. At 11:30am only half the shops were open on this same street, and so, to rid of my temporary state of disappointment and raising level of hunger, I was tempted to give up, but wait, there it was, 唯珍 was open. There's a lady in a floured apron frying potstickers in the front, as I could see from the greasy window at the front.
I walked into the shop, to find everything quite old-style. The tiled floor and the booths were rather narrow. On one side in the front you'll get the kitchen where noodles are boiled and dumplings were fried, behind that you'll see the dumpling production station, where mounds of freshly made chive-and-pork mixture would be swiftly put into floury wrappers and the entire thing folded into dumplings. The ladies here worked quickly and in no time, they finished off trays of those dumplings. I was in the mood for something smaller in serving. So I ordered 3 pcs of those fried dumplings (煎餃, 4pcs for $10) and one gigantic "filled pastry" (韭菜餡餅, $7).
I ordered them to go, only to find that from a distance I could see the shop I wanted to go to has yet to be ready...I changed my order to stay-in instead. The dumplings were served crispy and hot off the griddle. Toasty brown on the base and thick floury wrappers glowing with the excessive brushing of oil through the cooking process. The dumplings were gloriously crispy on the outside. The interior was loosely packed with green chives and minced pork, the proportion is about 50/50. I especially love chives in dumplings but not so much when they're well, in "chive" form...Anyways, the filling was rather juicy but seemed to need a little more seasoning, or maybe some minced ginger will do the job to give it some depth. The wrapper was thick the way I like them, as they are not so easily torn during the flipping in the cooking process.
The gigantic filled pastry was the same chive and pork filling, except this one was more floury and tougher on the dough. Fried with lots of oil and both sides browned, the frisbee round was crispy on the initial bite into it, followed by a burst of meat juices and a sharp grassy taste of the chives. The dough, however, soon has gotten cool and when it did, it became unpleasantly chewy as juices could not permeate into it. I blame it being too large, if it were smaller in size so we could finish each within a few bitefuls, this would give significant perks to this pastry.
Service may be minimal, and it may seem like the ladies here are yelling or complaining at you, but don't fret. They are actually very nice, and will make suggestions if you ask nicely.
Settling comfortably at the table near the entrance, looking over to the opposite side of the street, wondering about the next stop I was about to make. The dumplings may have carried me away for the time it took to take a few "first bites" into each dumpling, in those mere seconds I felt great, but the follow-up didn't quite live up to the crispy beginnings. I looked over to my "next stop", the front door was wide open, furniture arranged. I quickly paid my bill, and hurried across to venture into my new adventure.
Recommended Dish(es): 煎餃($10), 韭菜餡餅($7)
Spending per head: Approximately HKD17(Lunch)
Value for Money3
為吃余均益 4: 唯珍上海麵家的北京餡餅 Jun 19, 2009
It was a completely spontaneous with 唯珍. I was attracted by the queue outside the open window, and as I approached I noticed a lady frying up some Chinese pancakes. Nice, what not to love about fresh made Chinese pancakes? I followed the queue and ordered a Peking pancake 北京餡餅 and a scallion pancake 蔥油餅 for takeout like the person in front of me.
I didn’t have much expectation given the cheap price, but these average-looking pancakes were surprisingly good. 北京餡餅 has a thin skin which nicely crisped up upon pan-frying, and the meat patty inside was a mix of coarsely chopped-up pork and chives. The presence of bits of fatty pork contributed to the juicy filling, while the chives provided the complementary assertive fragrance that filled every bite. I liked it a little spicy so I grabbed my 余均益 chili sauce and added a little. It’s so simple yet so satisfying.
蔥油餅 was a thin and slightly chewy pancake instead of the thick flakey version. The scallions were abundant but not very aromatic unless the pancake was freshly pan-fried and served hot. By itself it was a bit dry and monotonous, but with some 余均益 chili sauce the texture was immediately enhanced and the flavor noticeably brightened up.
Just $14 in total – Instant and simple gratification!
Recommended Dish(es): 北京餡餅, 蔥油餅
Spending per head: Approximately HKD14(Tea)
Value for Money4