Monday, 18 August 2014

Islam Food 清真牛肉館

Have you heard of Chinese Islam food before? I certainly hadn't before trying this place out! For some reason, my first thoughts of what to expect were along the lines of sweet and sour falafels, kebab meat wrapped in Peking duck pancakes, or maybe... Yeung Chow fried couscous?

The restaurant, simply called Islam Food (the Chinese name 清真牛肉館 is a lil more descriptive - Halal beef restaurant), has been around since 1950, and essentially sells Chinese food with Halal meat. So, no, none of my imaginative concoctions were cooked up.

A lot of the food is done in Northern Chinese style - think Shanghai food with their xiao long baos, noodles, rice cakes etc, but there are also Pakistani-style curries and sweet and sour dishes (Cantonese food). 

There's more on their story here at www.islamfood.com.hk.

Veal Goulash at Islam Food, Hong Kong | Svelte Salivations

Veal Goulash is probably their most famous dish. It's a juicy beef burger patty, enclosed by a layer of dough that is somewhere between naan bread or pitta bread, and dumpling wrapper pastry, which is then fried until crispy! 

As tempting as it looks, do not pick it up and take a massive bite as soon as the waiter sets it down on the table! The scalding hot beef juices WILL burn your tongue and your taste buds will no longer be in top form to taste the rest of the dishes to come. So be careful, and daintily bite into this beefy delicacy only when its cooled a little. You have been warned!

Veal Goulash at Islam Food, Hong Kong | Svelte Salivations

Here at Islam Food, they have a extra high ratio of beef and lamb foods. This may be to compensate for the lack of pork dishes? Whatever the reason, I'm not complaining! Lamb, and then beef are definitely my favourite types of meat, so the menu suits me well.

Lamb Jello at Islam Food, Hong Kong | Svelte Salivations

This cold dish is Lamb Jello. It is some lamb chunks sitting in 'jelly'. I'm not sure what exactly the jelly is, but probably consists of lamb juices and gelatine cooked from bones/cartilage that means that it sets when cool enough. As soon as it enters the warmth of your mouth though, it melts into a lovely aroma that is surprisingly not oily.

Beef dumplings at Islam Food, Hong Kong | Svelte Salivations

Beef dumplings in soup. I liked how these are round in shape, and they contain yummy juicy beef inside! Again, hot liquid is encased in these little bite-size parcels!

Lamb noodles at Islam Food, Hong Kong | Svelte Salivations

Lamb noodles! A lot of the food here can be done with different kinds of meat, so if lamb is not your thing, choose beef. Easy!

Lamb noodles at Islam Food, Hong Kong | Svelte Salivations

These noodles are delicious! Okay, so maybe the noodles themselves are a lil overcooked, but the lamb broth is sooooo good! It's rich and has that lovely lamby-ness that lamb lovers love.

Lamb jiazo at Islam Food, Hong Kong | Svelte Salivations

Okay, so maybe I should mention that this post centres heavily around lamb... If you haven't noticed =P

These are lamb jiaozi 餃子, which are dumplings that have been pan-fried. The filling is bursting with goodness, but the pastry is a little doughy... I prefer the lamb xiaolongbao 小籠包 which tastes amazing and is steamed instead (no photo unfortunately!)

Curry Mutton with vermicelli at Islam Food, Hong Kong | Svelte Salivations

Their curries are another thing to try! They are done in Pakistani style and are the soupy type (as opposed to thick saucy type). I found it to be hot and spicy, so it's definitely got a kick to it! 

Spring rolls at Islam Food, Hong Kong | Svelte Salivations

Spring rolls! These are crispy crispy crispy, and brilliantly light. 

Spring rolls at Islam Food, Hong Kong | Svelte Salivations

And a final lamb dish to rave about: Boneless lamb chops which have been deep fried. They are served with a bowl of rich and concentrated lamb soup for dipping. The meat is tender, though not for the faint-hearted, as its a fatty cut - that's probably why it tastes so good!

Boneless lamb chops at Islam Food, Hong Kong | Svelte Salivations

Final thing to mention about Islam Food is that there are two branches. Both are in Kowloon City, and the branch shop is just a street or two down from the main shop. A lot of people insist on going to the 'original' but really, its the branch shop you want to go to!

Not only is the branch shop bigger, more spacious and cleaner (at least it feels that way), but their menu is also more extensive! Some dishes are only available at this second store, oddly enough, not the other way around. And, less people know about this store (or choose not to go), so there's less chance you'll have to queue for ages. Win-win!

Islam Food // 清真牛肉館
總店: 九龍城龍崗道1號地下 // Main Branch: 1 Lung Kong Road, Kowloon City
分店: 九龍城打鼓嶺道33-35號地下 // Second Branch: 33-35 Tak Ku Ling Road, Kowloon City

More info on their website
About HK$50-$100 per person

1 comment:

  1. This is so cool - I knew nothing about Islam Food! I wish they had restaurants like this in Texas *sigh* guess I'll have to visit!

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