If you are craving authentic Cantonese food–from roasted duck to a whole suckling pig–or if you miss the yam cha Hong Kong is known for, then you can get a slice of this Chinese cuisine on the Catonsville side of Route 40 (Baltimore National Pike).
Steaming Hot Dimsum
Dim sum carts are pushed around just like a typical tea house in Hong Kong. Each cart keeps the steamed delicacies warm as they wait for hungry takers. Choices include shumai, hakaw, beef balls, steamed buns with pork in barbecue sauce, and for the more adventurous, chicken feet. Want something hot? You can try the congee (rice porridge) which is comfort food for many Chinese. And for something sweet, the egg tarts are a must-try. Macau’s specialty treat has found its way to Hong Kong dim sum carts and has now found its way to Maryland.
Off the Carts
Certain Hong Kong teahouse fare may not be in the carts but is a staple regardless. One of them is the radish cake (sometimes called turnip cake). This savory specialty comes in two forms: a square-shaped patty that is pan-fried evenly with a crisp on the outside but soft inside, and the other form is in the shape of small cubes stir-fried with XO sauce. Before you pop one into your mouth, be warned that they do come out VERY hot!
A La Carte
Dim sum is only served during certain times during the day, but that should not deter you from visiting during off-dim sum hours. You can’t go wrong with their salt and pepper fried fish. it’s just the right amount of salt that tickles your taste buds as you pop one of these… and another… and another…. oh, just one more… into your salivating mouth. Willing to try something other than General Tso’s chicken? Try the duck. The Peking-style duck meat wraps neatly and nicely in a mini pancake complete with a stalk of spring onion and hoisin sauce. You will find said fowl hanging on a window display right up front as soon as you walk in. Don’t be turned off as they do taste good.
If you are a big party coming to dine, they have the big traditional round tables with a glass lazy Susan used in many lauriat meals found in typical Hong Kong establishments. Don’t be surprised to walk in on a birthday party or a graduation celebration in progress as there aren’t many Chinese restaurants that have these tables specific for big occasions. You may also do a double-take if you see a whole baby pig in the middle of the lazy Susan. Its crispy skin and succulent meat combine to make a savory bite. So if you have a big party planned and out-of-town guests that you’d like to impress, don’t forget to order a few days ahead.
With its popularity, watch out for longer wait times for weekend lunch. This hidden gem is no longer hidden as a more diverse clientele have been slowly making its way to its doors, discovering the wonders of authentic Cantonese cooking.