This post is part of a series of posts from my Netherland’s trip, where I was in Apeldoorn for a performance of my work. On that trip, I also visited Amsterdam (for the third time!), stayed with my friend Patrick in The Hague for a few days, visited Utrecht with YCM14 friends and all-round merry-making in the Netherlands.
When I was in Den Hague, my aunt (yes, I have an aunt in the Netherlands – my father’s first cousin or my first cousin once-removed) visited me in Den Hague because she loves having Dim Sum at Full Moon in Den Hague. She says it’s the best dim sum place in all of the Netherlands, and I believe her, because she’s been living in the Netherlands for more than 30 years. Also, when we were there, she bumped into two other people she knows in Den Hague, even though she says she visits Den Hague very infrequently.
Anyway, our lunch at Full Moon was really special. Not only because I’m with my aunt in Den Hague (we usually meet in Singapore when she visits, but haven’t recently because I am now stationed in Boston) but because the dim sum at Full Moon was not the traditional Cantonese style dim sum! It was definitely dim sum with pleasant twists!
Crispy Pig Skin and Jellyfish: This was awesome. Having lived away from home and in a Western city, I have not had really good roasted pig in ages. This pig skin was so crispy, it was like having a fire cracker in your mouth! Under the layer of crispy skin, there was carefully deboned meat. This did not come with the traditional steamed buns, but I did not miss them at all. Unlike the usual pig skin outfits, this dish came with jellyfish on the bottom of all the meat and skin, and was another interesting textural contrast that I felt worked out well. The chewiness of the jellyfish definitely highlighted how crisp and delicate the pig skin was. Delicious!
Almond-coated Shrimp Fritters: These were so special and delicious! The shrimp paste was mostly shrimp, unlike some other places that would incorporate a lot of fish paste or worse, corn starch in their mix. This was fresh and light, and the almond slivers on the outside gave the fritters a slight nutty flavor, which is something I would not have expected in dim sum or Chinese food. Thumbs up!
Rice Rolls with Bean Curd Sheets: I love rice rolls (called cheong fun in Cantonese) because they are so delicate – they are rolled up sheets of steamed rice flour cake, and are a distant relative to rice noodles (hor fun in Cantonese), my favorite type of noodle. My favorite rice rolls are either stuffed with shrimp, char siew (honey BBQed pork) or you zhar guay (deep fried dough fritters.) I’ve never had rice rolls with crispy bean curd sheets before, and it blew my mind. Crispy bean curd sheets are usually used for wrapping five spice meat rolls. (You can check out my recipe for chicken five spice meat rolls here.) They are deep fried, and taste like beancurd phyllo sheets. Wrapping these in rice rolls are just plain genius because rice rolls are squishy and mushy things that really do not have much texture to them. Needless to say, these blew my mind!
Fried Turnip Cake (square things in the upper right corner of the above picture): Very light, very crispy and very flavorful with chunks of mushroom, turnips and Chinese sausage. BUT, falls short of my grand aunt’s (this aunt’s mom, actually) turnip cake. Above average, but not the best!
Crispy Yam Rolls (birds nest looking thing on the right middle corner of the above picture): Again, very crispy and not at all oily! I have no idea how they do it, but it was delicious. It was filled with meat and some veggies. Good texture and taste, though I have no idea what it is because I don’t typically see it at dim sum restaurants.
Pork Dumplings with Corn (center, slightly to the left in the above picture): After eating here, I texted my mom because I wanted to show her pictures of our meal, and tell her that I met up with my aunt. In addition, I told her that I had the strangest most interesting dumpling I’ve ever had in my life – pork dumplings with corn! I don’t know why, but I am always very surprised with how well corn pairs with many foods. The little pockets of sweetness that burst when bitten into have got to be the inspiration for molecular gastronomy (especially reverse spherification.) The addition of corn kernels in this dumpling really elevated it into something really special. I just have no idea how to describe it other than I was pleasantly shocked and wanted more of it at the end.
Mango Pudding: I haven’t seen mango pudding in a mold in years. This has got to be a throwback to the good old days where mango pudding was served in beautiful shapes like this fish. These days, they just come in plastic containers or margarita glasses. Decent mango pudding – has some mango in it and was creamy. Nothing much special about it other than appearing in fish form, though I much appreciate the old-school ways.
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