|Bamboo clams stir-fried with peppers and black bean sauce|
|Deep-fried golden prawns with their shells on|
You are given a large kettle of tea, not only for drinking but to clean your utensils as well.
But you're not here for cleanliness -- you're here for the good food.
After a few rounds of Asahi beer poured into cold bowls, we started eating. First came the deep-fried pork knuckle that were more about cartilage and bone than anything else which makes it very similar to chicken feet. Those who enjoyed gnawing bones had fun pigging out as it were.
|Clay pot rice with Chinese sausages and diced pork|
We also had excellent soya chicken, meaty, juicy and had a crisp dark skin. I was pretty much addicted to the chicken and every time it swung near me on the lazy Susan I had to get another piece.
For the vegetarians at the table we had braised tofu with vegetables, and a claypot of vermicelli and Nappa cabbage.
Another winner was the bamboo clams -- they were laid out nicely on top of the rectangular-shaped shells, stir-fried with black bean sauce. They were cooked perfectly, the stringy clams very fresh.
We also ordered two clay pot rice dishes where the rice and ingredients are cooked right in the clay pot. It takes a while for these to cook so we drank more beer and watched the table next to us, mostly a group of young men in suits trying to get each other drunk, shouting and swearing at each other and playing drinking games. We wondered if they were a bunch of repressed accountants trying to relieve some stress.
|Clay pot rice with minced pork and salted egg yolk|
Then we paid the bill -- not even HK$200 a head -- and were on our way out when the waiter brought out dessert -- herb grass jelly with ginger in it. My colleague remarked the last time she ate this dessert it was so spicy from the ginger but this time admitted it was tolerable and finished the whole bowl.
Thanks to birthday girl YTSL for these pictures. Her blog is here. Hope we have another cheap and cheerful feast again soon.
2/F, Java Road Municipal Services Building
99 Java Road