Saturday, September 01, 2012

Sang Kee, all things battered, fried and delicious

Deep-fried squid
When we think of Cantonese food, we often think about subtly-flavoured dishes like steamed fish, lotus leaf rice and the like, and for a split second it may seem like everything we eat is super mellow. But given our love for lard and pre-deep-frying things (走油) that wouldn't be further from the truth. And if you want to talk "dirty" Cantonese food, Sang Kee is the place. (By "dirty" I don't mean hygiene, I mean how guilty-good you feel after eating it.)

Pan-fried pork cakes
I hadn't been to Sang Kee for a long, long time - it's the type of place my parents took me to when I was a kid, after a day at Hong Kong Park or something. Casual, no-frills, inexpensive. (Not to be confused with Sang Kee Congee in Sheung Wan).

This time, we were here with our Twitter-foodie-bloggy gang including Jen who was back in town for work. We ended up getting three plates of the deep-fried squid in the opening pic. That gives you an idea of a) how hungry we were and b) how absolutely delicious it was. Never greasy, with a light, crisp batter coating fresh ingredients.

Deep-fried eggplant
Most of the unhealthy things were divine - the aforementioned squid, pan-fried minced pork cakes; the eggplant was not bad either, as was their signature sweet and sour pork (it's a myth that it's just for gwailos (foreigners) - real Cantonese people eat it too! But only good versions that aren't swimming in sauce).

Sweet and sour pork
That's a proper s&s pork (咕嚕肉), folks - the ribs are pre-fried, then cooked with sauce so that it coats the ribs, yet the batter doesn't go soggy and there's no excess sauce washing around.

Slow-cooked pork belly with preserved vegetables
The pork belly could have been cooked for longer, as it seems like the fat was only just starting to break down, but then again, the fact that it hard started to break down makes it very a very acceptable version anyway. The preserved vegetable typically used in this dish (梅菜扣肉) is mui choi (梅菜) a leafy veg, usually a mustard green, preserved in loads of salt.

Steamed minced beef
The steamed and stir-fried dishes were less successful, in my opinion. The minced beef was a bouncy but tasteless cake with a rubbery texture.

Scrambled eggs with bitter melon
The scrambled eggs weren't too bad, but were a bit stiff and overcooked. The bitter gourd was nicely done though - the sharp bitterness was gone, and it had just enough bite.

Congee with meatballs
A really satisfying Cantonese congee, where the grains of rice and the water in which it was cooked are no longer separable, and yet it wasn't too thick either. The meatballs were simply small, rough, clusters of mince that gave the congee flavour and a little juicy meatiness.

Sugar cake
The sugar cakes (白糖糕) were a free dessert (if I remember correctly). It's not for everyone - sometimes they remind me of white bread soaked in syrup and left to sit around for so long they turn sour...

You can think of Sang Kee as a good dai pai dong that's indoors and has air-conditioning - lots of fried food, beer, congee and good times.

Sang Kee Restaurant 生記飯店
2-3/F, 107-115 Hennessy Road
Hong Kong
+852 2575 2236

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  1. I've had a craving for salt & pepper squid for a long time now, and alas London doesn't appear to have a version as good as this looks!

  2. oh my god i LOVE sang kee. you must try their liver dish next time...SO GOOD!