Upon returning from our Lamma Island excursion, we randomly found a CitiSuper supermarket at Central Pier. The reason I decided to write about it is because the previous few days I had been knocking around Mongkok streets and markets, absorbing how a lot of the locals lived. There are CitiSupers all around the city, but it seemed fitting to bump into this store in Central, the financial district. Its customers and in-store goods reflected a world far away from the steamy streets we had been wandering in. I took a few pictures of goods that screamed luxury, and it struck me that I live in world where the focus is trying to be on sustainability, a short food chain, and using local produce. That dream is quite impossible for HK, there are simply too many people and too much demand.
As for low food miles and a short food chain, those that can afford it, want more luxury in better packaging every time, there clearly doesn’t seems to be a need to care. And luxury often equates the exotic, which made the following items even more ludicrous:
The Wagyu beef above (about Aus$35) for hotpot, has a marble score which is off the scale. This overly fatty meat is something so luxurious most will never taste it, never mind dip it in their steaming soup. The fanned presentation is quite something too.
Just to be clear that exoticism reigns above anything resembling local provenance, these oysters (their are about 9 different varieties of oysters from all over the world) hail from Namibia, as in Namibia in South – West Africa, nowhere near the Pacific ocean. Aus$5 each.
This fish was puzzling as its sold as an Australian Rainbow trout, which it is not al all. It is some sort of other flat fish, with both its eyes on the other said of its head (the side somehow not displayed – possibly to perpetuate the trout idea, or the exotic idea, who knows. Aus$19 gets you 4 small fillets.
Prat ar Coum oysters are some of the most highly prized specimens in the world, and hail from the seas and estuaries off the coast of Brittany. Beige in colour and favourite of chefs, these are available for around Aus$5.50 each. I would probably be tempted. But then again, waiting until I could possible try them in Brittany and stick with local ones? Infinitely better.
Aus$35 buys you sea urchin gonads. Which is possibly worth it if you consider the alternative is hacking into one of the spiny little guys yourself, or paying about 5x this price in a uni – inspired dish. Interestingly these are from the US, where Japanese uni is some of the most sought after in the world.
Whelks. Aus$5 buys you a pack of the weird sea snails, which you may or may not want to cook again depending on how you want to serve them or how much chewing you want to do. I quite like them, but they’re not everybody’s idea of a snack. I’m not sure why they had to come all the way from Canada though – there a gazillion whelks much nearer I’m sure.
Dungeness crab from Canada again apparently. (Aus$55 each) Usually from the US West Coast, and rather well known for it too, these crab are a prize delicacy as well, and probably indicate the customer base and their tastes and demands.
Didn’t get to the cheese and caviar selections, but there’s always next time!