SaiKung – Seafood!!!
Saikung Hoi Pong Square
If you have travelled through Hong Kong, I surely hope you have visited Saikung for its seafood – love that huge wall of glass displays of seafood. It is definitely not a novel scene for Asian countries, but the quality here is reassuringly high. Amongst the crystal clear water the fish swim vigorously when disturbed, the urchins are appetisingly deep coloured, the pippies are almost shiny looking and then there are those weird helmet-like creatures with tale on the end (wonder if they are related to shark & rays?).
Walking along the pier, you will be offered a number of choices, and by offered I mean you will likely be politely hassled by the “customer-dragger’s”. Well then again it was probably a quiet, gloomy day … but what does one expect you’re in Asia. There’s a “slightly” more famous seafood restaurant next door, offering similar varieties of seafood but at slightly higher prices.
Given the awesome display it is only right that you the hungry-salivating customer gets to select exactly what you want, and how much you want. So HOW TO EAT: 1) name or point at what strikes your appetite, 2) price enquire, 3) decide on how much of it you can eat, 4) decide how you want it cooked or alternatively ask for a recommendation. Note they will charge you a negligible “cooking/preparation” fee per table. Overall the prices are fairly standard, though you will likely get a better deal if you come with a local, or speak fluent Cantonese – since prices are all “verbal”, no written price tags.
I would’ve really liked to have been game and challenged my palate with some of that “weird looking helmet fish”, but it is on one of these “lone-food-travelling” days, that you wish you had brought along a couple of friends… Anyways, in all practicality I was only able to order 2 items from the whole selection…sigh.
What appears to be a lobster is in fact a relative of the Moreton bay bugs (a HUGE one at that). I had it deep fried and wok tossed with a feisty chilli-salt-pepper sauce – aka 椒盐赖脲虾. The dish came steaming-HOT with a mouth-watering salty aroma of the sea and a sharp chili bouquet. I almost burnt my fingers trying to pull the shell apart… where’s the patience? Clearly there isn’t room for any when one is presented with this. Inside the creamy-white meat was incredibly juicy and tender, with hints of spice and salt coming through. If I had not known better I would’ve thought this was perfectly cooked lobster!!! Mmmmmm. If my dad were there, he would’ve scoffed down all the salty crumbs scattered on the plate with a bowl of rice, but I had another course coming, and plus its slightly too salty for my liking.
Second item: Pippies wok-tossed in XO sauce. I couldn’t pass up extremely fresh pippies that were still happily eating (by eating I mean having their shells wide open with the tentacle sucking in & filtering for food in the water). The pippies were pretty decently sized too, each one having soaked up the mildly piquant XO, gave a spurt of scrumptious seafood juices. I scoffed the whole lot down with a bowl of rice. OMG, I was so full and content!!!
If this wasn’t such a travel to get to and plus there was so many things I wanted to try, I would definitely have come again during my stay! Tip: do come with a group of friends, so you can order lots and lots of seafood, and be a little more game =).
Rating: Yummy+1 – mouth-watering!!!