By: Jasmine Chen, PhD student, Department of English, FAH │ ISSUE 90 AUGUST My UM
A Bite of Shunde
How do you capture the glamour of a city, through visual perception or through spiritual immersion? Shunde, esteemed as one of the tastiest cities in China, not only attracts your eyes, but most particularly allures your taste buds. The journey to Shunde is a pilgrimage to delicacy. Follow me to have ‘a bite of Shunde’.
If you are a big fan of dim sum, Shunde will not let you down. A perfect place for dim sum, called ‘Xiangyun Pavilion’, is hidden in an exquisite garden hotel. The refreshing bamboo and exotic green vegetation serves better than any culinary starter to boost your appetite. The exterior tranquility sets a dramatic contrast to the interior hustle-bustle, saturated with familiar Cantonese tones, peals of laughter, and the sound of waiters dashing around with food orders. We highly recommend that you try their special rice noodle with chopped pork ribs, roasted pigeon, steamed vermicelli roll, and crispy durian cake. How you wish you could have more than one stomach in order to devour all of the dishes listed on the menu. Of course, all of these delicacies should be enjoyed with a fine cup of tea. The restaurant offers a freshly brewed mixture of Pu’er and chrysanthemum tea, a perfect combination to protect your stomach as well as to decrease your internal heat — a traditional Chinese belief.
When you leave the dim sum place with a full belly, you may like to have some icy and sweet desserts. Minxin Laopu or Renxin Laopu are your best choices. Don’t forget to try their award-wining double-layer milk custard. The smoothness of the taste and the richness of the milk will give your tongue a feast.
Shunde’s chefs are experts in dealing with fish. There is one specialty that certainly will satisfy any fish lover who enjoys four styles of fish cuisine all at once. The main body of the fish is skillfully sliced (in a manner that resembles Japanese sashimi). To savour the sliced raw fish, dip it in a bowl that contains several kinds of spices and sauces. The fish bone, head, and tail are coated with flour and fried until they become a golden colour. Fish skin is preserved and served as a cold dish, which brings out its chewiness. Finally, the remnants of the fish are fashioned into a fish congee that is rich with the original fish umami.
The above-mentioned restaurants and delicacies are just a glimpse into the food paradise of Shunde. Deep-fried wonton, roasted goose, sour pig’s knuckles, beef offal, duck intestines, and Lunjiao cake are also on top of the must-try list. Hungry yet? Go and give yourself a treat!
Contributions to this column are from the Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Humanities