Yunyan Szechuan Restaurant
I had to keep postponing my desired Sichuan meal because I didn't think my stomach could handle it. By our last day in Hong Kong I just gave up and risked a lunch anyway.
Yunyan was a nearby backup plan (plan A, San Xi Lou, seemed like a pain to navigate at the last minute on public transportation) on the fourth floor in a mall that housed a disproportionate amount of Japanese retailers: Muji, Uniqlo and Sekiguchi (the Monchichi store that I bring up often as possible).
I had read in Time Out Hong Kong, I think, about a spicy intestine dish they served. What I didn't realize was that even though Chong Qing wasn't in the name or description, it's exactly the same preparation as Chong Qing chicken, which we also ordered. D'oh.
We ended up with two massive plates heaped with dried chiles, one with hidden bits of fried chicken cubes to sift through with chopsticks and the other studded curled with porky tubes.
I always enjoy a good intestine, but am better acquainted with Argentine grilled chinchulines. These must've been quite fatty because they crisped right up, the soft inner layer only making an appearance after an initial crackly bite. And yes, the heat level was high. In the US, the intimidating pile of chiles is often more decorative than fiery. The heat never seems to transfer from pod to protein. Not the case here.
The tongue-numbing properties were also amped up to that buzzy point where your mouth starts tasting metallic. You really need other flavors for balance and we didn't have those. The two closely related entrees were so strong that the dan dan (spelled tan tan here) noodles seemed sweet and soothing by comparison, probably from the sesame paste and maybe a touch of sugar.
A green vegetable, any vegetable is seriously lacking from this meal. But we were afraid of over ordering since leftovers are troublesome on vacation. What we ended up doing was adding the remaining intestines to the chicken pile, got it to go, wrapped the Styrofoam container in serious plastic and brought it back home with us on the plane. This was totally not my idea, though I'll admit that after 15 hours of flying with a head cold and coming home to an apartment with bare cupboards, a few nibbles of day-old mouth-burning Sichuan organs was kind of fortifying.
One of the more photographically comprehensive posts I found about this restaurant, resides on the blog of an eight-year-old. Yes, an eight-year-old.
Yunyan Szechuan Restaurant * Miramar Shopping Centre, 132 Nathan Rd. 4/F, Hong Kong