Islamic Centre Canteen
Unfortunately I miscalculated the date of Eid al’Adha (the latter of the two Eids that Muslims celebrate annually) and managed to end up in Hong Kong on Eid day without my family and my mum’s biriyani. However, I had resilience and Spoon and no other choice but to celebrate Eid in HK with HALAL DIM SUM for breakfast! The Islamic Centre Canteen in Wan Chai is certified halal by the Islamic Community Fund of HK and offers a range of Cantonese dishes for resident Muslims and the hungry traveller. Thus, with nary a hesitation in our steps, to the ICC we went.
As Spoon is the more experienced when it comes to dim sum I was quite happy to let her take the reins of selection whilst I popped over to the kitchen to take a few photos of towering baskets and frenzied chopping…
GLUTINOUS RICE IN LOTUS LEAF
The glutinous rice was nice, it had a great texture and looked ever so pretty but overall it was slightly too sweet for me. I’m not the biggest fan of sweetness with my savoury foodstuffs. (shout out to my travel buddy for some excellent food styling).
STEAMED BEEF BALLS + SHU MAI
The steamed beef balls didn’t taste of much but texture-wise they were great. Soft, with crunchy pieces of water chestnut and beancurd skin pooled at the bottom of the plate. The shu mai, which are normally made with pork, were my favourite dish. I could’ve poked Spoon in the eye with my chopsticks in order to eat all four. But I didn’t. Cuz we friends like that.
FRIED GLUTINOUS DUMPLINGS
Too sweet for me. I couldn’t really taste anything other than the glutinous rice and sugar.
STEAMED BUNS WITH CHICKEN + BLACK MUSHROOM
The dough was sweet but it was soft and so obviously freshly made that I was cool with it. The stuffing I had no problem with whatsoever. Our whole meal came to approximately £5!! Unfortunately we could not go to the Eid party save for a few minutes of extremely enjoyable small talk, as Spoon and I had a date with some cable cars and and Lantau Island.
I don’t travel enough by cable car.
This will change.
And so, after an afternoon of seemingly endless stairs, excellent scenery and one massive Buddha, we returned for our evening meal. The lack of chicken rice had been hurtin’ me on the inside so I decided to get half a poached chicken, which seems like a lot but the only other option was a whole chicken.
POACHED CHICKEN WITH GINGER SAUCE
I tried the sauce on its own and it seemed a bit too much, I was expecting only chicken, ginger and soy sauce so the spices threw me. Until the rice. The sauce, chicken and rice all came together in the most amazing moist, soft, fragrant, chickeny way. And the skin was perfect.
I felt comforted, taken care of. Loved.
I even missed my family a little less.
And last, but never least, Hong Kong style iced tea. Not a bad Eid after all.
(I still dream about the chicken).
Islamic Centre Canteen
5/F, Osman Ramju Sadick Islamic Centre, 40 Oi Kwan Rd, Wanchai, Hong Kong