2009-06-21 1403 瀏覽
I had a few “treasure hunts” at 九龍城 recently, and one of the best treasures that I found got to be 元合! Those who visit Kowloon City often probably know about this historic store which had been located on 衙前塱道 since 1958. One may not expect much from the unassuming storefront of this humble store, but let me tell you, if you haven’t visited this place, YOU ARE MISSING OUT, BIG TIME!Since my first visit to 元合 I have been so amazed and surprised by the high quality of their food and goodies that
I had a few “treasure hunts” at 九龍城 recently, and one of the best treasures that I found got to be 元合! Those who visit Kowloon City often probably know about this historic store which had been located on 衙前塱道 since 1958. One may not expect much from the unassuming storefront of this humble store, but let me tell you, if you haven’t visited this place, YOU ARE MISSING OUT, BIG TIME!
Since my first visit to 元合 I have been so amazed and surprised by the high quality of their food and goodies that I went a few more times to check out their offerings. Here are some 寶物:
These fish balls have quickly turned into my favorite fish balls after my first try~. They are not very bouncy but rather fluffy and soft (不算十分彈牙但鬆軟滑溜). The fish flavor is pleasantly sweet (魚味鮮甜不腥) and not assertive or fishy like the ones at 潮苑. When biting into the balls they are like pillows – light and subtle and slowly bounce back in your mouth! Compared to my recent tries of handmade fish balls at 潮苑 or 陳興發 nearby, these fish balls are definitely less dense and smoother in texture. Since I prefer my fish balls to be on the soft side rather than super bouncy, I found these fish balls to be extremely enjoyable and so far one of my favorites!
These are totally different from the 鮮魚蛋 I just mentioned. They are denser and strong in fish flavor (魚味較濃郁), and the fried skin is a bit thick if not eaten hot. The addition of scallions 香蔥 is brilliant to balance the fried exterior. I tried them both pan-fried and in soup and prefer the latter, as the skin and the interior are softened by the soup yet still retaining its bouncy and chewy texture (煙韌彈牙但不韌或乾). I also tried the fried fish cake 炸魚片 (with and without scallions) and while the flavor is fine, the texture is lacking in both when cut into slices. I highly recommend the 鮮炸香蔥魚蛋, though the other two are still worth a try.
寶物3: 鮮炸豬肉卷! 驚喜!
This fried pork roll are an amazing surprise to me! I thought they were fish rolls at first, but when the staff told me that they were pork and priced very differently (not by tael, but by piece $14/roll) I thought I would just give it a try. Boy, they are so good!!! Put it in simple words, they are 鬆軟, 鮮甜, 肥美, 好好味! Unlike the fried fish balls, they are good both pan fried and in soup. This will be my 強烈推介 from 元合 for sure!
寶物4: 韭菜粿, 芋頭粿, 芋頭糕 (New Year Special)
While 韭菜粿and 芋頭粿 are common items in 九龍城潮州店, the ones at 元合 are arguably different. 韭菜粿 are large in size and filled with nothing but large stripes of chives. There are no dried shrimps or pork, so all the attention is focused on the raw and assertive tasting chives! For those who love strong bold flavors, these are for you!
芋頭粿 is even more unique. They are filled with mountains of taro juliennes 芋頭絲, chopped-up peanuts, and scallions. In every 芋頭粿, you have 啖啖芋頭絲, 鬆軟香口, 充滿蔥香和脆爽花生! SO GOOD!
Both of these are meant to be eaten hot so you should pan-fry or steam them before serving. The only caveat is that the skin 粿皮 may get a little mushy in the afternoon, so the earlier and fresher you get them, the better they taste!
(Secret Tip: They also make a killer taro cake 芋頭糕 during Chinese New Year, and it’s so good and natural I can eat it non-stop!)
These are clearly not for the faint of heart. They are RAW 鰤魽 marinated in housemade garlic and chili sauce. The 鰤魽@元合 are cleaned exceptionally well(look at the cleaned white shells!) and the meat inside is very fresh and very “bloody”. It is definitely an acquired taste and not for everyone. I will only recommend this dish to those who have enjoyed (and liked) 鰤魽 before, and also those who had never experienced any “side-effect” after consuming 鰤魽.
寶物6: 余均益 辣椒醬
For those like me who have no idea how to get to retail store of 余均益 at 西營盤, here is the good news for you – you can get 余均益 at 元合! Actually it is also available at a few other 潮州雜貨店 in Kowloon City, but you are coming here for other goodies, why not just do a one-stop shopping?
There are many other 寶物 @元合 to try, so I will for sure to continue to visit this store very often. I highly recommend 元合 to everyone and hope you will support them 支持老店!