web analytics

Lunch in Shenzhen

I promised to take my daughter to Shenzhen this morning as it was a nice break from our Saturday routine. It’s an easy 50 minute train ride from Tsim Sha Tsui East train station and we had timed it perfectly to arrive just in time for lunch!

Lo Wu Commercial City (LCC) is a huge shopping mall that is open from 6:30am until midnight. The mall has 1,500 shops laid out over five floors. Hong Kong dollars are welcome and change is given back in Hong Kong dollars. There are eight banquet size restaurants scattered throughout the five levels. Our choice today was King Elephant restaurant on the fourth floor.

Eating in China is unique and often amusing when it comes time to ordering food. But don’t fret; most of the restaurants in LCC have English menus and some staff speak a bit of English. Another way is to look around you and see if you like any of the dishes being served. Most people don’t mind if you point to their food. Personally, I feel the best way to enjoy Chinese food is to get some of your friends together and have each person order a dish. When the food arrives it’s placed in the middle of the table for everyone to share.

Ok, so today we are short a few people but nonetheless we ordered three dishes and enjoyed every bite! I ordered Bolay tea (also know as Pu-erh) as it is a good choice to serve with food especially dim sum or other hearty South East Asian fare. Many southern Chinese drink Bolay tea everyday for taste and also to improve digestion.

When the drinks are ordered, the waitress brings condiments to the table such as roasted peanuts, pickled vegetables or marinated tofu. Today it was tofu and quite nice.
Ok, down to the good stuff! Eggplant stuffed with minced pork (above), deep fried garlic spareribs (left) and Yeung Chow fried rice. Our bill came to CNY$149.00 (USD$18.70). In a word, YUM! Of course, afterwards, we needed to walk off our lunch and did so with a bit of shopping! Can our Saturday’s get any better?

What the heck is a wet market?

A wet market refers to types of markets not necessarily selling live animals, but one that is selling fresh vegetables, meat and fish in the open and gets washed down with water regularly.

Hong Kong has many wet markets and if you have never been to one, you are in for a treat! Yes, all five of your senses will be activated! I personally like the one in Causeway Bay (near Times Square) and the one in Central (in and around Peel St, Gage St. and Graham St.). I have been told that chefs frequent these places due to the freshness and abundance of quality foods which is something all Hong Kongers enjoy and insist on!

I am always impressed how the owners of the stalls have their goods laid out in an orderly fashion. Within the wet markets one can also find shops that sell dried goods and condiments such as rice, noodles, pastes, oils etc.

With freshness being key in these wet markets, I cannot see why anyone would not frequent them. The markets are always alive and buzzing with merchants calling out to entice the passerby to shop at their stall. And, you can’t beat the price!

I bought these 3 tomatoes, lettuce and sugar snaps all for HK$21.00 (less than US$3).

Of course, Hong Kong has its grocery stores offering local and international brands and some even have an element of a wet market inside (such as Park n Shop in Coda Plaza).

All in all, the wet market brings an ultra fresh element to whatever you decide to cook in terms of freshness, flavor and color. What else does a personal chef need?