Friday, November 12, 2010

Hong Kong - Paramount Banquet Hall

You know, I just realised what perfect hangover food yum cha would be.

No, I didn't get drunk the night before (this time), but I know a couple of other friends who did in the group that I was with while I was in Hong Kong for the weekend. The next day, yum cha was organized for us, down an escalator (very high-tech Hong Kong, no stairs like Melbourne here!) and into what could almost be described as Vegas.

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The room was a surprise to walk into, firstly it was absolutely gigantic. Like, huge. I'm amazed at how many tables could fit into one area and I'm also amazed that people would actually consider having their weddings in a basement, there were old wedding decorations (white feather boa hearts) scattered around for Mandy and Ben. Or something along those lines.

But yes, I do describe it as Vegas-esque, due to the size, the lack of windows, the bright gaudiness and those...chandeliers. But you know what? It's so typical Asian over the top tacky, that you know the food's gotta be pretty decent.

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So what is this 'Yum Cha'? In Cantonese, it literally means 'Drink tea'. And well, you tend to do a lot of that. While eating dim sum dishes, in Hong Kong this is actually generally done as a breakfast activity, or a late breakfast or early lunch. It's supposedly done for afternoon tea as well, but I've never had it that late before.

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Traditionally, restaurants doing Yum Cha, have the dim sum dishes piled onto a trolley and wheeled from table to table and the eaters then just point out what they want to eat. Although this tends to be a very dangerous case of eating with your eyes before your stomach! At Paramount though, the tables were left with a bunch of sheets to tick off which dishes you were interested in eating and then they magically materialize on your table! For those who don't speak or read Chinese, everything is listed in English as well!

So I can't really put the names behind everything here, yet again, it was pre-ordered for us, so I will just happily food porn away and point out a few of my favourites that we had. I promise, there was so much food, this is definitely not all the food we had!

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Classic dim sum dish, a sheet of rice noodle wrapped around prawn, beef or char siew. In this case it was char siew. I love how soft and almost jelly-like the texture of the rice noodle is and then of course, punctuated with the saltiness of the meat.

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Siu Mai, of course (Shrimp and pork dumpling)! Some Har gow was also floating around the tables at some point...

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We had a massive array of steamed buns continously float onto the table, whilst I did not indulge in what looked like lovely, white, fluffy buns, I saw different fillings in the centre whilst different people were eating them. There was the typical pork filler and I think there may have been one or two sweet ones, if all reports were accurate!

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Eggplant and pork.

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Spring rolls (again, of course!), not devoured by me, but they looked really crisp and not too oily.

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Calamari and some glass rice noodles, this wasn't such a hit with me, the calamari was a little tough and I think I like my more standard dumpling dishes. Unless it's beef tendon. Mmhmmmmm.

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I thought these sized sticky rice dishes were so cute, I'm used to seeing much bigger, my grandma does them about twice the size! These looked like you could pop them down in two bites!

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Phew. There be a lot of food y'all. I was actually kind of amazed at how much I ended up eating, but then at the same time, I was amazed at how much food was left! It made me so sad to see so much delicious food left untouched!

So overall? It's a bit crazy, it's noisy, it's a lot of food, it's a lot of people who have no idea what I'm asking for since I'm a fail Asian, but it's a lot of good fun too.

Paramount Banquet Hall
LG, South Seas Centre
75 Mody Road
TsimShaTsui
Hong Kong



8 comments:

  1. You should try Fu sing at wan chai!

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  2. Ashely I think I've been here! For dinner though. This sounds great. I so feel like ALL this right now. Especially the rice noodle sheets. mmmmm. You're getting me excited for HK in 3 months!
    Heidi xo

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  3. Michelle - Ah if only I had more time in Hong Kong! :) Only a weekend trip this time!

    Heidi - Haha, what a small world! I don't usually have Chinese food cravings, but when I do, it's ALWAYS for yum cha. :) I can't wait to see your posts about HOng Kong in 3 months!

    ReplyDelete
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