I really enjoy going to cooked food centres, natural descendants of the Hong Kong dai pai dong. One of my favourite ones is on the 2/F of the Shek Tong Tsui market, in the west of Hong Kong Island, close to HKU. I’ve never known it by name and simply called it “the Sichuanese” (for the record, it’s called 良品 / leung ban) and used to go there with friends after work.
We returned to that market for the first time in maybe a year or two, and ate at the Sichuanese, where we hadn’t been back for even longer (last time, we had hot pot nearby). The bright yellow signs that served as menu were gone and replaced with something a lot more sober. I was initially afraid that the place closed down, but upon asking whether they had their trademark “saliva chicken” dish, to which they answered positively, I was at least sure that if it was new management (not sure if it was), they kept their old dishes.
I did the ordering: saliva chicken, green beans fried with ground meat, pork slices with garlic and shrimp with a salted egg “sandy/golden” sauce. And we shared two large bottles of cheap lager, which is what you definitely should have with a cooked food centre meal. Back in the days, they even kept Pabst Blue Ribbon in the freezer (or a very cold refrigerator), and the bottles would be covered in frost from summer’s humidity.
It’s too bad that I forgot to take photo _before_ eating. But it was just simply too delicious.
Saliva chicken is really more like a “mouthwatering chicken” than being made from any corporeal fluid. It’s a boiled chicken that’s then served with a mixture of chili oil, spices (including peppercorns) and maybe peanuts, garlic if you like that.
With bowls of rice and drinks, it was only HK$105 per person, and we were definitely full.