Spectacular New Times Sea Hotel Dinner

Spectacular is really the only word that can describe our dinner last night. We were hosted by the Mrs. Zong, one of our host parents, at the New Times Sea Hotel, a seafood restaurant in the Hunaan District of Shenyang. As you enter the restaurant, live seafood of all types greet you in their underwater environment. In addition to fish, there were aquariums filled with sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and any number of other live creatures I couldn’t identify.

We were whisked away to a private room where our host welcomed us and asked us to feel comfortable and at home. Then our host and Wei Yang ordered the items from the menu.

First to arrive at the table was a delicious and beautifully presented fruit tray. Since we have had a bit of a fresh fruit deficit over the past nine days we were very happy.

Then a whole series of dishes from seafood, to meat, the vegetables arrived.

This vegetable dish had a light vinaigrette dressing with mushroom, bamboo shoots, and peas.

This dish was West Lake Dragon Tea Shrimp. The delicious shrimp was cooked in a sauce made with this special green tea. The sweet shrimp flavors combined well with the slightly bitter green tea. Notice the plate with the attached tea kettle. The look of the dish is a fundamental part of the presentation.

This vegetable dish combined various hearty greens with tomato, dried pork bits, and a tangy sauce.

Sashimi was next to arrive. This beautiful and incredibly fresh assortment included a mackerel that was to die for, a lovely tuna, and salmon as well. Somehow the chef managed to combine a fluke with roe that appeared as one piece. The combination of flavors was perfect.

This was a lamb dish that required some assembly similar to Moo Sho dishes. The very thin pancake was the base, followed by a leaf similar to mint, green onions, spicy chili sauce, and then the dried spiced lamb. Once wrapped you were required to eat it in one bite. The spice, fresh crispy veggies, and crunch made for a delicious taste sensation.

This was a braised beef dish with a deep meaty flavored brown sauce. It provided a nice contrast to some of the other lighter dishes.

These steamed buns are a traditional treat dating back to dynastic times. There are two kinds of buns, those made with corn (yellow ones) and those made with wheat. They are eaten with bit of green onion and a spicy paste.

This was a lightly breaded cod dish that was incredibly tender with lemon notes.

To complete the meal we enjoyed fried yams with a sticky honey glaze. When eating this dish you pull each piece off the pile very slowly to create “silk” threads. It is considered very lucky to have the threads.

All I can say is a sincere thank you to our host for such a delicious meal.

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