Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Chinese Food, Harbin

Recently, I've received an email from a reader, requesting for me to share some of the food I've tried in Harbin as he is planning to visit Harbin early next year. Since I did write about the Russian foodI've tried there, I guess it's only fair to share on some of the local food I've had too..
We managed to try a range of Chinese food in Harbin even though we were there in the middle of a very frosty winter.

Lao Chang Chun Bing (Laochang Spring Pancake)
This was our first meal in Harbin. We were freezing and was travelling out for the night Ice Sculpture Exhibition and our driver insisted that we must have a hearty meal, else we wont be able to withstand the night temperature outdoors (it was reaching -35 by night). We didn't know where to go and he dropped us at a large shopping arcade. Looked around and saw this place was packed- a good indication of decent food..

As the name suggest, the main meal here was the spring cake. Well, to me, it was somewhat like a cross between popiah skin and roti canai..
We'll just need to order the spring cake, get some dishes as our wrap's filling and wahlah, absolutely tasty meal. We were given a bowl of congee like stuff made of beans- which was absolutely bland. Locals seems to like it though. Just like popiah, we spreaded some bean sauce and onions before topping it with the dishes we like.
Clockwise frm top left- Smoked pork, scrambled eggs, stir fried pork strips with dried chili, stir fried potato strips.

We ordered a number of dishes as our spring cake 'filling'. The smoked pork was served warm and it was very tender. The pork had a light smokey flavour, luckily it was not salty at all. Nice. The scrambled eggs was normal to me, but Alfred said that we should be glad they served us real eggs. Apparently, some restaurants serves 'fake eggs'- don't ask me what it's made of. The stir fried potato strips were refreshing- it was slightly crunchy, unlike the potatoes I've taste. Great as a base compared to the ubiquitous sengkuang (jicama) in Msia. My fave was the pork strips with dried chili. The pork was extremely fragrant from the spices and the dried chili was deep fried to crunchy bits. So very good!

We snacked on stir fried small ribs with salt and pepper..
Good stuff to go with the local Harbin Beer. The beer? Quite light and crisp flavour. Excellent to warm up the body on a cold winter night I guess :p

Dong Fang Jiao Zhi Wang (Eastern Dumpling King)
The bad breakfast served in our hotel led us to venture out for our breakfast..
No, we're not having noodles/ congee/ rice- we decided to have plates and plates of dumplings. Boiled, steamed, pan fried ones- dumplings filled with mince pork, with mince pork&cabbage, preserve cabbage with shrimps, mutton etc. Don't think I've ever eaten so many dumplings at one go. Quite decent dumplings, the skin was smooth (though a tad thick) and the filling was freshly wrapped upon ordering . The dipping sauce of vinegar and hot sauce complemented the dumplings well.
I read something funny in the menu- Hand Pulled chicken.
Curious and wondered how it would be, we ordered a portion. Here's the dish...
And you know why it's called Hand Pulled Chicken? Literally, the chef used his bare had to break the chicken parts, instead of using a cleaver to chop the chicken to smaller pieces. Hahahaha. Taste wise, well, it's a cold dish- feels like eating smoked, salted chicken that was just removed from the fridge.

Xiang Chun Xiao Yuan
We decided to get the driver, a local of Harbin, to recommend us our last meal in Harbin before we left. He asked if we have any preference- we just wanted dishes, at a reasonable price.
He led us to a restaurant tucked at a more quiet end of the town, but when we entered, it was extremely noisy and crowded. We seemed to be the only foreigners, the locals very boisterous and yakking away in their dialect which I could not understand. We were led near the kitchen to order and we led upstairs for our meal. One stark contrast I noted here was that the waiters were wearing the communist uniform. Alfred explained that these were government owned restaurants- hence it'll be cheaper, but yes, you will see them in such uniforms.
When we got our first dish, we knew immediately we have over ordered. The portions here were humongous!
Our chicken stir fried with wood ear fungus. Although the ingredients were chopped into an unrefined portion, the flavour was still good. I really liked their fresh wood ear fungus, every bite had a little spring and gave great texture to the dish. The sauce was a tad salty though.

The Mah Lat Beef..

It looks like a portion for 10 pax. Crazy. And the amount of peppers in this dish? Irrational. Too spicy (even for a winter day), too numbing, we could only finish a quarter of this portion.

Their Savoury Homemade Taufoo was excellent though..
The steamed Taufoo was served in a cute bucket and you can mix your own condiments into the taufoo. Smooth and utterly belly warming dish.

Our Omelette seems to have more vegetables than eggs..
Yes, by now, I realise that eggs are quite scarce (and expensive) in China :p. Wonderful dish, the vegetables were fresh and sweet, again, I really like their wood ear fungus :).

One of the more common sweet dish here- Stir fried dates with yam, apple and sweet potato slices. Though it looks like a cooled dish, it actually retained very high temperature. I burnt my tongue eating this. The sugar coating had hardened and crystallised, hence we get a nice crunch while biting into the hot warm centre of the fruits. Delicious!
And while we're eating, the waiters were all gung ho and went up the stage to entertain us with their local songs and one even recited poem...

Lao Chang Chun Bing (Laochang Spring Pancake)
No.180, Zhong Yang Da Jie, Dao Li District, Harbin, China.

Dongfang Jiaozi Wang (Eastern Dumpling King)
No 39, Zhongyang Dajie, Harbin, China.

Xiang Chun Xiao Yuan
No 2, Da Shun Jie, Harbin, China.

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Anonymous istanbul referandum sonuçları said...

thank you

08 September, 2010  
Anonymous jason said...

Aww... Somehow, I miss China's food eventhough they're oily and extremely spicy. :'(

13 September, 2010  
Blogger sc said...

istanbul: welcome..

jason: there's something about china's food eh? i missed those yummy food in shanghai and hangzhou too!

20 September, 2010  

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