In colloquial Cantonese, “working” equates to “finding food” based literally on the simple logic that we work to provide food for the family. Now with affluence, we go beyond basics in search of good eateries to bring family and friends. For our next culinary evening, we will venture to Kowloon City for a delectable dinner at Shantou Ting Hoi Lo Sze Restaurant(汕頭澄海老四)for a taste of authentic Chaosan(潮汕)cuisine.
Chaosan(潮汕)is a region in the northeastern area of Guangdong that stretches from Shanwei on the coast to the border of Fujian, and includes Chaozhou(潮州), Shantou (汕頭)and Jieyang(揭陽). Its rich culture includes colourful opera that dates back over 500 years, Gongfu tea(功夫茶), a strong and bittersweet Oolong brew served in tiny cups presented before and after dinner, and seafood that is light and fresh from the nearby coast.
Historically, Shantou has strong links to the outside world as it was opened up as a treaty port for foreign trade in 1869. During the Chinese Diaspora, many of its people migrated overseas to Southeast Asia and concentrated in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, thereby influencing the food of their new homeland.
Although Chaosan is situated in the Guangdong Province, its food bears much resemblance to the cuisine of its neighbor, Fujian. Seafood dishes such as steamed fish, cold crab, clam, prawn spring roll, oyster omelette and fishballs are well known. Equally popular are braised goose, rice noodle soup, Chaozhou congee, and taro and yam desserts.
Lee Ming(李明), the owner-cum-chef of Shantou Ting Hoi Lo Sze Restaurant and his wife originate from Chenghai(澄海), a district of Shantou. After leaving their hometown in the 1980s, they started anew in Hong Kong with $20. They have since built up a popular restaurant in Kowloon City famous for its braised goose and many Chaosan dishes that earned Lee Ming the nickname “King of Braised Goose”.
Do join us at Shantou Ting Hoi Lo Sze for authentic Chaoshan cuisine and meet the chef and his wife whose hard work and endurance exemplify the characteristics of Chaoshan people.