May 2, 2010

Fuzhou : Ming Chiang Lunch at Cheng Zai Cheng

One of the best things to happen to us visiting Foochows from Sibu or the New Fuzhou as it is often called is the VIP treatment given by the various affiliated associations in Fuzhou and Ming Chiang and the other Prefectures. It was most delightful for me when we were brought around to see the newly opened Ming Chiang Prefecture restuarant - Cheng Zai Cheng. The bouquets sent by well wishers were still standing in discreet corners !!

The very modern and impressive top of the range kitchen was humongous and all the chefs were wearing their new and well starched uniforms and caps. It was a great experience for me to see how so many chefs and assistant chefs were preparing sea food and different kinds of meat in a huge kitchen. I think my late maternal grandmother's eyes would just have popped out!! And at any one time they were able to serve more than 150 tables!

 Razor Clams still with mud on the shells......Yummy.

My grandmother used to tell me how the Ming Chiang loved to eat sea eels(muang ngii) and lou chiang (a kind of small keli). Wong Ngak - another type of fish - is also very popular.  Bamboo or razor clams were common food for them. In the tanks I saw lots of razor clams  peeping out of their shells. It is advisable to eat these clams before August for best taste and texture. They get pregnant after that month.

Although I had a lot of opporutnities to take a lot of photos -  a few would suffice to help you remember the few dishes from my great grandfather's land. My Tiong family is Ming Chiang but our village is actually Ging Sha. Perhaps one day I would have the opportunity to visit it. However we might not have any more relations to claim over there nowadays as my closest relative  who was an immediate first cousin passed away not long ago.

River Turtle - ready for a herbal steaming.(I did not want to take a good frontal photo of the little creature in case some of you might be offended ...this little tyke is cleaned and ready for steaming...sob..)

Bright eyed fish ready for soy sauce Foochow style steaming. I suppose fish is universally ok for all diners.

Rainbow shellfish still swimming in the tank.

Special shellfish already cooked and garnished. I ate two servings. Shame on me some of you might say. But it is really good with lots of garlic and sesame oil.

Foochow Herbal Root Pork Leg Soup - Best in the world and good for me and my legs needed for walking.

Local vegetables ( broccoli spears) and mushrooms with pig blood cake and long yien.

fish already steamed

Lobsters ready for steaming

Duck or Goose Essence (Can't really remember as I lost my little note which went with this meal) but it was really good.

Entrance to the newly opened Restaurant . Note the floral arrangements for the opening ceremony.

The Head Office of the Ming Chiang Prefecture and People's Trade and Industry. It was good that all the officers spoke Mandarin as well as Ming Chiang to perfection. Ming Chiang is my dialect.


Anonymous said...

in general people prefer to speak Ming Chiang, especially the older generations. I found that the young one are mostly speaking the Mandarin. Who knows? Ming Chiang may disappear one day with time

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Anonymous
Yes we have concerns about the Ming Chiang finally disappearing...but then it might be two or three generations' time.....perhaps some books will survive in the future.

My ex-colleague Mr. Deng Wang Chew has written a book on how to teach Pang Wah or Foochow in class. It is like a handbook for teachers...One day I will write an article about it..the book is available in all Foochow Associations in Sarawak.

Stay tuned.

Ah Ngao said...

hai yo...feast like King & Queen lah

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Ah Ngao
It was a good reception here because our two leaders were very "well related" and have very "good connections" or "kuan xi". Thanks to them we were very fortunate and blessed.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Neat post. There is a problem with your website in web explorer, could check this?
IE nonetheless is the market chief and a big component to people will omit your magnificent writing
because of this problem.

my site ...

Sibu Tales : Making Bah Gui from Scratch

The pioneering families of Sibu Foochows continued to practise the  adoption of girls from poor families who become their maids (slaves). ...