new Things I Ate in Cambodia: Hoicin Cantonese Restaurant: Pea Shoots and Crab! Oh boy!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hoicin Cantonese Restaurant: Pea Shoots and Crab! Oh boy!

Hoicin Cantonese Restaurant
9555 Folsom Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95827-1207
(916) 369-8915

Hoicin Cantonese Restaurant is an outpost of authentic Chinese food away from the usual Sacto strongholds of Broadway and Stockton boulevard. I'm glad its there: the menu is extremely interesting, the family who runs the place is friendly, and the space is unusually salubrious for a Cantonese joint. Prices are higher then bog standard for Cantonese food, but I think on the whole, its worth it.

On our recent visit, we decided to sample the steamed scallion chicken, a delightfully subtle Cantonese speciality. I've made it before, and it's not a tremendously difficult thing to prepare: the trick is boiling it with the right combination of spices, just long enough. I like the subtle anise-scallion-ginger-soy flavor infused into the chicken meat, and the yellow, unctuous fattiness of the skin - it's all gravy to me. In classic Chinese style, the chicken is whacked apart into about fifteen thousand pieces prior to serving. Don't bite down too fast.

This is the spicy eggplant seafood casserole ($12.49), your standard Cantonese style hot-pot in a claypot. This one was composed of prawns, scallops, squids, eggplant, ginger, and scallion in the restaurant's speciality sauce, and was about standard-issue for this dish. For me, I like this kind of dish but it gets a little greasy for my personal taste: in any case, Hoicin's version is high quality and full of a lot of different stuff.

Steamed pea-greens with crab meat egg white sauce ($14.49), one of my favorite vegetable dishes. Something about the combination of leafy greens and sweet crab meat with a bit of egg is delightfully comforting, possessing the particularly Cantonese combination of squashy and crunchy and oily in one dish. They give you a rather gigantic amount of vegetables and crab for your money, which is always nice (and reminiscent of mainland China, where ginormous portions are pretty much de-rigeur). It's a seasonal dish, so nab it quickly.

Keep Hoicin in mind if you find yourself seized for a desire for Chinese food away from the oases of Midtown and Stockton. I believe they do take-out as well, which means you've got no excuse for failing to upgrade from the usual chow mein and sweet n' sour emporiums that dominate the area.


undercover caterer said...

The crab and pea shoots sounds awesome but looks unfortunately like barf. Flavor-wise, it's right up my alley. I'll have to stop by next time I'm out in the hinterland.

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