How could you pass this by? That’s advertising, all right!
Unlike I Dismember Mama, that old grindhouse yawner, this Guangzhou 海鲜 palace was as gory as promised. I only wish they’d handed out barf bags like the movie theaters did. This time, they would have actually been useful!
Like any number of fish joints, you pick your dinner, and choose how it’s cooked up.
But this is China. Eels slithered across the floor, bugs hopped out of baskets. One live gator was strapped up, testing its leash limits with a mouth restrained by duct tape. “Look at me,” said a little kid as he rubbed the animal’s back, his laughing parents unphased and snapping photo after photo.
“Back in Nashville, when I was a kid,” I remembered to Woo, “they kept a bear in a cage like this.” But then I realized this gator wasn’t just a photo op…
Yep — these crocs were for eating. Recommended braised, boiled, baked with abalone sauce, or steamed with lotus leaves. The chicken testicles, meanwhile, were supposed to be grilled on a hot plate, or fried up with ginger and shallots. Just like mom used to.
If these were a little too strange, you could always fry up a plate of beetles for $4. Dry cooked with chili and salt, alongside a pull of beer? Doesn’t sound too bad, really!
Speaking of beer, this restaurant also offered artisanal house-infused liquors. The favorite was snake head baijiu (white lightning).
As was this concoction.
“What is it?” asked WooLand.
I told her it was snake cock liquor. She didn’t believe me. I called over a waitress.
“Waitress, inside this, is this snake…” I realized I didn’t know the word, so I used a childish euphamism. “Is this snake wee-wee?”
The waitress giggled, and nodded. “It is.” Yep. Snake penis booze. Real classy.
So we ate green beans with pork.
Hong Xing Haixian Jiujia 鸿星海鲜酒家
2 Qiaoguang Road, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province