To inform entertain and excite my kids, Jamie, Patrick, Aaron & Sarah Middleburgh, our family and friends.

about me
photo of Dave Middleburgh
Hong Kong

blogspot visit counter
  powered by BLOGGER

Middleburgh & Fish

Mum kept a kosher kitchen. This meant by definition that we never had shellfish and she didn't cook saturday lunch ie we had salad with salt beef or cold fish,(ie fried and/or boiled gefilte fish, or salmon fish cakes and sometimes even cold fied fish cutlets.) To this day I detest cold fried fish whereas on the other hand I have been known to make special tips into town to buy "pickled herrings".

At some point I was introduced to the height of sophistication - prawn cocktails(in thousand island dressing with iceberg lettuce) As I grew older I was exposed to an even wider selection of fish dishes - Crab Claws and Baked Lobster in Garlic butter in west cork; Oysters and Guinness in Dublin (not Galway) and non fried fish stews, kedgere, paellas and the like from somewhere. Put simply my tastes simply matured by my mid 20's.

I was also fortunate to be exposed to more than just fish and chips: When I returned to London from Ireland I lived for couple of months in Camden where I discovered fishmongers selling "exotica" like tuna and swordfish to the Afro-Carribean community. I even tired my hand at cooking tuna steaks and damned good they were too !!

Fish however was never a significant part of my diet, even though I am quite partial to sardines. I wasn't big into fish even when I went to Australia where I discovered "flake" and "garoupa" although it was there, that I tried my first "raw" fish - sushi (california rolls and salmon roses) - as a regular Saturday breakfast treat - well why not. I eat white pudding and I don't turn my nose up at black pudding either.

Here in Hong Kong I eat more fresh fish because is a significant part of cantonese cooking. When I say "fresh" I mean realy FRESH as in still alive. You can choose you fish from the tank at both the wet market or supermarket and in some places you can even ask for it to be taken to the restaurant that you are about to dine in where it will be cooked for you.

When my son and his girlfriend were here last year I warned them but we still had one screaming incident as a waiter brushed past with a flapping fish on his way to the kitchens. I was reminded of the bit in Jurassic Park 2 where jeff goldblaum said "it always start with oohs and aahs and then comes the screams" (or similar). Well..there were oohs and aahs when we watched the noodles being made by hand ...and then came the screams.... It should be noted by any potential visitor to Hong Kong with an aversion to fish that they are both meat eaters... and they didn't starve whilst they were here, although it will be a challenge if you want Kosher.

Although most restaurants have tanks of fish many of the larger fish are only for show. Some are impressive enough to be in Ocean Park; This was a hit with my son and his girlfriend and the only screams were on the rides !!

Indeed the fish in the reaturants are universally more impressive that the five specimens swimming in the aquarium at the entrance of the Fisheries Education Centre in Aberdeen, This is where a significant amount of the Hong Kong's fresh fish is landed. The dock has a wholesale fish market and Fisheries department appears to be based there. The education centre in the Fisheries building is a resource for schools but is open to the general public on a Saturday morning and makes for a pleasant and slightly tacky little visit on a rainy day. It's web site is less impressive than it's parent

When I visted the other week the staff were very pleasant and asked when we wanted to watch the videos (before or after looking at the exhibits) It was like going to a football match and being asked when we would like the game to start ..and they very kindly played the English language version of the video - just for me. Mind you that happens to me a lot .. Went to the Hong Kong Jockey Club Racing Museum the following week to see the exhibition on the equestrian Olympics and just caught the last minute of the the video. 15 minutes later a member of staff come up to us and told us the video was about to restart. It was in English with chinese subtitles. (It had been in chinese without subtitles!)

So which was more imressive - the racing museum or Aberdeen. Well the olympic torches from 1936 were impressive (more so than the 2008 ones) but I would still go for the fish nets at the fish palace. !!! - Ok fish thing done - butterflies next !!

| More