Don’t you love immigrants who share their country’s culinary prowess? Deep within the winding roads of Guadalupe viejo, lies an unnamed “eatery” by immigrants who specialize in Yunan cuisine. So what is Yunan cuisine exactly? Most foodies know Yunan ham, of course, the prized canned salty ham. I haven’t got much of a clue to be honest, since I’ve never been to mainland China.
This place is so secret, they don’t have a sign. Instead they have a midea air conditioner condenser outside their place and frosted glass and a “wanted waitress” at the door. The place itself was hard to find, but it was easy to find the street. From Rockwell, go into Hidalgo drive and go straight into Guadalupe viejo and turn left at Camia street, right after the Barangay Hall.
Inside was pretty spartan, but there were lots of people eating. Oh yeah, they don’t have ice in this place so we had to take a short trip to Rockwell to grab a bag. I don’t want to sound like a jerk here but ice is a must for even the smallest decent eating place here in the Philippines. Their drinks weren’t cold either. But anyway, I wasn’t here to drink. I’m hoping they could add that to their repertoire.
Without further ado, Camia Street Hunan Cuisine:
Hot pot duck with bay leaf and chili:
The duck has been slowly deep fried, like a confit. I’ve never seen so much bay leaves in one dish in my life. This was my intro to Yunan cuisine. It was very smokey aside from spicy, and the bay leaf gave such an aromatic finish to the crispy fried duck. It seems that they have roasted the herbs before putting the oil and the duck. Mmmm, as the oils came out of the herbs while roasting, the oil absorbed it all when it was time to add the duck. It was quite salty, but the good kind of salty. The kind that makes you want to eat lots of rice.
Ziran beef with cumin and sesame seed:
I’ve seen this done in Dong Bei, one time great, and the other time, a total let down. But this was also good. The cumin was very prominent and the addition of sesame seeds gave it a beautiful nutty flavor.
String beans with chili: The beans were again, very smokey. Like it was cooked in some sort of herb mix, with lots of roasted chilies. It gave the beans a rather “soft with a big flavor punch” appeal.
We ordered this fish, it was deep fried and topped with a sweet chili sauce. It looked like a tilapia. It was like eating a massive mouthful of soil and chili. I’m not sure if the chef ran out of the correct fish but this was just like licking your garden soil…
Ox tail was tasty. Chilies were roasted before cooking.
The dumplings were cooked gyoza style, steamed and then allowed to crust on one side. The wrapper was most likely handmade, since it was soft and firm at the same time. The filling was especially good with the salty and slightly sour sauce.
When I think about it, all have almost the same smoked herb mix taste, and was very spicy. Overall, this was something very different for me. I’ve eaten in a lot of Chinese restaurants, but this was a first if it was really Hunan cuisine. Another hole-in-the-wall to add to my foodie list. 🙂