Friday, January 17, 2014

Live Seafood in the New Territories

For those of you used to dining in the Hong Kong style seafood palaces of the San Gabriel Valley or the San Francisco Bay Area, seeing tanks of live seafood is de rigeur.  But nothing in the good old USA compares to our meal this evening at Chuen Kee Seafood in Sai Kung in the New Territories.  Because while one might end up ordering a few live seafood items as part of the dinner back home, at restaurants like Chuen Kee, your entire menu may consist of live seafood items.  For instance, tonight we had nine courses consisting of live boiled shrimp, salt and pepper mantis shrimp, razor clams in black bean sauce, individual sized South African whole white abalone, whole scallops served in the shell with glass noodles, geoduck sashimi style, geoduck jook, stir friend geoduck with celery, and steamed tiger fish.  Not exactly a balanced meal, but all I can say is "Wow!"  And have you ever seen tanks that look like this?

1 comment:

  1. Chuen Kee actually specializes in imported seafood from around the world, and there is actually a growing trend due to high demand and consumption of seafood, to import sealife. Star Seafood (another chain of seafood restaurants that blow away Koi Palace or Sea Harbor) operates in a similar manner.

    There is not a lot in the tanks at Chuen Kee (or Star) that would be considered local fish. The closest would be South China Seas as well as things like mantis prawns from Thailand. Once you eat around HK you will learn that ingredients is king, and with the right skillset a certain dish will blow away what we have in NorCal and SoCal easy, also because what we have access to in the US as substitutes do not come close.

    If you want a sample of local fish, the southwestern region of Hong Kong is the best place to do it...Aberdeen and Ap Lei Chau where 85% of the fish sold at markets are caught locally. Your other option is Lau Fau Shan in NW New Territories, but not much local fish there other than oysters and the delectable nine striped shrimp (which are a must if you are in the area).

    The razor clams you had were probably imported from Scotland, geoduck from Pacific NW/Canada. Fish imported from Saba (off the coast of Borneo) is the rage these days, like various types of grouper.