Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Xiao Xiang

My first official Hamburg post. I'm so excited!! Let me start with some background info on Hamburg, it's the second largest city in Germany. And even though the distance from Hamburg to the sea is around 80 km, it's the third most important port in Europe. Here, you can see the people's love for sea food marked by the abundance of fish monger and supermarkets which offer tons of sea food - smoked eel, smoked salmon and my newly discovered favorite food, "nordseekrabben brot", which litterally means "nord sea brown shrimps on bread roll".  I ate one in our research center's cafeteria and I'm in love. I'll write about it in my next post. In the mean time let me start with this gem.

Xiao Xiang makes me feels back like I'm back in Asia and home. It's located on a quiet side road. I'm pretty sure no one even gave a second look at this unimpressive tiny restaurant. The only way you'll find this place is when you received a specific direction on how to get there, like I did (kinda reminds me of Pirates of Caribbean, a place that can only be found by those who know where it is lol). The restaurant is so simple with yellow paper napkins everywhere, hand written colorful menu pasted on walls. It only has two big tables for bigger parties and 5 smaller tables which can seat 4 people. I love that they don't have extravagant decorations, it makes the restaurant feels more homely. And with that, don't expect the service and cleanliness to be that  of a high end restaurant. Still I love this place. It felt like those restaurants in Hong Kong that forces you to share a table with strangers when they're full. Complete with oldies music from Teresa Teng blaring from the DVD Player. Yes I said DVD. Hey, if someone wants to jump in for a karaoke, they have the MV in full force.  

Anyway, we start with a pot of soup. The cook / owner came from Hong Kong where they have the custom of drinking double boiled soup. Trust me the Cantonese knows their double boiled soup. For those who are unfamiliar with this, check it in wikipedia. If you're lazy, it basically means that the soups are boiled until all the flavour and umami from the veggies are transferred to the soup. A perfectly tasty soup for a cold night out. Btw they also give the soup for free!! That's one ticket to win a place in my heart.

What is Cantonese food without tasty dim sum? Xiao Xiang's Dim Sum are probably one of the best I've had. My favorite is "har gao" with chinese chives. Look at that translucent Har Gao dough. That's exactly how a har gao should be