Monday, September 17, 2007
Home Style in Hou Hai
Hou Hai has a number of restaurants and bars, from the rambling old decor of hutongs where customers can sit on old couches on the roof to modern glass places complete with funky artwork.
But at the entrance of Hou Hai, on the right, is an eatery known for its home-style food. Called Han Cang, it's a Hakka restaurant and locals have recommended it to me on many occasions so of course I had to try.
If the weather is nice, there are tables outside for dining al fresco. Inside the two-storey restaurant are dining areas that are a bit on the noisy side thanks to the cement floor and glass windows. The decor is rustic, but homey and so is the food.
We ordered several Hakka dishes, from salt baked chicken, tender and flavourful, not salty at all; fish marinated in a sweet soy sauce with peppers and sealed in aluminum foil and steamed that was absolutely delicious; slices of beef wrapped in lotus leaf; fatty pork braised with preserved vegetables that was quite authentic; prawns baked in rock salt and presented in a small wooden bucket, and gai lan, or Chinese broccoli.
These were washed down with two bottles of Qingdao beer and rice that had been steamed in round shallow bowls. Unfortunately we were too full to try the Hakka pancakes for dessert which would have taken 30 minutes to prepare. Oh well.
Another delicious feast recorded for others to salivate over....