Modern China Restaurant is a Chinese restaurant chain (with 6 branches in Hong Kong) that specializes in the regional Chinese cooking styles of Beijing, Sichuan and Shanghai. But don’t let the English name fool you, the food is anything but modern.
Our first full day back from Taiwan, we strayed from the usual Cantonese/Teochew fare, a nice change of pace, quite honestly. We paid a visit to the Olympian City branch, a stone throw’s away from Alvin’s home (I just love how accessible food in Hong Kong is.) Our party of four was seated within minutes, before the lunch crowds arrived.
Modern China had a nice feel to it. As loud as any other Chinese restaurant in town, but absolutely spotless and spacious, with plenty of elbow room for diners.
While perusing through the menus, another family was seated in our table of 8. My second experience table sharing! Unfortunately, the kids on the other side of the table bickered endlessly throughout the meal.
One of Modern China’s specialties is its Shanghai-style soup dumplings called xiaolongbao (小籠包). The dumplings were delicately crafted but otherwise unmemorable, aside from the fact that they were on the larger side.
We also ordered Shanghai-style fried noodles (上海粗炒, Shanghai cu chao), large cuchao noodles stir-fried with sesame oil and soy sauce, Shanghai’s take on chow mein. Light on protein, heavy on veggies, with several large pieces of bok choy, thrown into the pan fried dish.
We also ordered a dish from another region of China, Shandong, hand-torn chicken (山東手撕雞, Shandong shousiji), a pile of hand-shredded chicken pieces, skin intact, and marinaded with a spice mixture including ginger, star anise, and Sichuan peppercorns.
My favorite of the meal was Modern China’s take on the green onion pancake (蔥油大餅, congyou da bing), which looked a lot like one of my favorite Chinese pastries, a fried sesame donut called zhima da bing (芝麻大餅) or bánh tiêu in Vietnamese.
The so-called pancake’s hollow interior was crammed with seasoned diced green onions. Yummy.
Our culinary journey throughout China’s regional foods culminated with Tianjin-style Chinese cabbage (奶油津白, naiyou Jin bai), served in a light cream sauce, the requisite vegetable dish. The dish is unusual in that it features a dairy product (we Chinese tend to be lactose intolerant, so our dishes don’t typically use milk products as ingredients), but it’s a popular way to serve Chinese cabbage.
Modern China Restaurant 金滿庭京川滬菜館