Ten of us had a fine time lunching Friday at Parc Hong Kong. We only ended up making one big round of orders, since fewer people showed up than we thought would attend, and we got too full. In retrospect I wish we'd had two smaller rounds, so we could have learned the kitchen's strengths and weaknesses. For instance, it seems that they are truly great at frying. To my taste the very best thing we had were the dry-fried garlic ribs, which were the usual tiny chunks, only coated with an addictive, super-crunchy coating of what might have been dehydrated garlic. I wish we could have sampled more fried items... next time. And we ended up with two orders each of two different dishes with mushrooms, none of which were very interesting.
Also very delicious was the braised beef shank with scallion sauce and jellyfish--it tasted like great pot roast. Excellent har gau, and the beef forcemeat in the rice noodle rolls was very nicely seasoned. I will let the others at the table describe the rest, except to say that there were many, many items on other people's tables that looked unusual and yummy.
Here's what we ate:
pan fried stuffed scallops
dry fried garlic pork ribs
salt and pepper cod
vegetable tofu skin roll
marinated chicken feet
pan fried shrimp and chive dumpling
sticky rice in lotus leaf
beef rice noodle roll
pig shank with jellyfish
scallion sauced with beef shank
coconut red bean cake
steamed chicken feet
3 kinds mushroom noodle roll
pan fried turnip cake
and the total was $14 for each of us, including a $1 charge apiece for lousy tea.
I had spent much of the lunch in a state of extreme mortification, as I had invited my Hong Kong-born dental hygienist to this lunch but had forgotten to tell him where it was. Turns out he was looking for us at Mayflower Restaurant. But when we paid the bill, we were given a coupon good for a free crab if we came back for dinner--which I was able to bring back to the dental office for him. (Never mess with someone who sticks pointy things into your mouth!)
Six of us then repaired to Creations Dessert House, an international chain of bird's nest enthusiasts, where we slouched on ultra-mod leather seats, were warned of the cancer-causing properties of tapioca, watched hipster videos and enjoyed obscure fruity sweets. We almost morphed into sullen teenagers, the lot of us, in the best possible way.
This lunch was particularly convivial, for which I thank my co-conspirators.