I love finding a city’s culinary insider secrets — a nightclub hidden powering a laundromat, a restaurant’s key menu or a speakeasy with a peephole and a customers-only password. But in a city as compact as Anchorage, discovering an real concealed gem in an unexplored community is a rarity. And that’s a disgrace mainly because who does not like to feel smugly in-the-know as soon as in a while? In this critique, I would adore to reveal a murky, magical “tell-them-I-despatched-you” variety of spot. But I can’t. Simply because I look to be the last person in Anchorage to have found Hong Kong Spirit Food items.
I just about didn’t rely on Siri when she instructed me to change down an unremarkable Midtown avenue towards an unremarkable Midtown workplace making. The place is industrial and, on a Sunday, was all but deserted. My daughter and reliable dining companion was shedding self confidence in my lunch prepare but was reassured when she noticed the parking good deal, which, for the time and spot, was hopping. Weekends at Hong Kong Spirit Food suggest dim sum in a town wherever dim sum is slim on the ground.
Strolling from the darkened shared workplace lobby into the vivid and cheerful eating space with its tempting bakery displays, boba bar, sparkly chandeliers and pleasant servers is a attractive shock. It helps make you feel nearly conspiratorial with the other visitors, as if you’re all component of the club.
The dim sum is first occur, 1st served and routinely sells out, so program accordingly if you have your coronary heart established on rice noodle shrimp rolls, sesame balls or egg tarts. We missed out on all a few and won’t make that oversight all over again. But we were content with our buy of steamed BBQ pork buns (2 pieces for $5.50), steamed Chinese sausage buns (2 pieces for $5.50) and xiu mai (4 parts for $6). In addition, we purchased two non-dim sum entrees — stir-fried rice noodles with beef and spicy shrimp with rice — from the lunch specials menu, which is offered during the 7 days.
It manufactured for a funny, meandering variety of food with the entrees coming out initially and the dim sum arriving in a bamboo tower as we ate. But then a 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon meal does not definitely appear with a roadmap. The haphazard and leisurely paced food included to our feeling of adventure. (Talking of dining adventures, Hong Kong Spirit Food’s Fb site documented the family’s latest travels all over Hong Kong — a chronicle that will give you a little bit of wanderlust and a bit of an urge for food.)
There is anything so gorgeous about a properly-executed pork bun sitting down in its bamboo steamer. And these are nicely-executed. The dough is pressured to rise rapidly so the major of the snowy white bun breaks open ever so a little bit to reveal the delicious filling inside of. On the other hand, inspite of their natural beauty, I uncovered the dough mixture a bit as well sweet. It confused the nicely well balanced pork with its sweet-salty marinade. Total disclosure: My daughter wholeheartedly disagreed.
But we both of those beloved the Chinese pork sausage bun, an elevated pig-in-a-blanket. A salty and savory backlink of spicy-sweet, fixed sausage is wrapped, mummy-like, in a fluffy jacket of steamed mantou. These disappeared rapidly and we designed a mental be aware to double up our purchase on our up coming visit.
We also liked the xiu mai — a classic pork, shrimp and mushroom dumpling wrapped in a wonton-form wrapper. These are lovely to glance at with their crimped edges and the minor orange dab of sweet puree — carrot probably? I was way too chaotic feeding on to request.
[Everest adds to the growing variety of Indian culinary options in Anchorage]
The entrees, from a spare and effectively-curated blackboard menu of Chinese classics, were both of those standouts. The spicy shrimp with rice ($19) is an case in point of that mysterious alchemy wherein some dishes can maintain crispness whilst blanketed in a sauce. These plump shrimp virtually crackled below a sweet and spicy glaze with just the right total of heat. But the stir-fried rice noodles with beef ($19), we agreed, was the MVP of the meal. Huge, silky noodles and completely cooked, tender bites of beef are sauteed with tender-crisp green onions and bean sprouts. The sauce is fantastically balanced with just the correct sum of salt, sweet and smoke. It is a basic, savory, homey dish — the sort of dish I could try to eat every working day.
There is a self-assurance to running your restaurant in a community that doesn’t count on travelers, window purchasers or generate-by targeted traffic. And although I appreciate to send out new customers to deserving companies, I’m not absolutely sure Hong Kong Spirit Foods wants my assistance. In between the buzzing eating place and the brisk takeout company that they appeared to be doing, I felt late to the social gathering.
So, if you’re not a member of the choir, make it possible for me to preach. Travel off the crushed keep track of, have faith in Siri and take care of yourself.
No password required.
If you go
Hong Kong Spirit Food
570 W. 53rd Ave., Anchorage, AK 99518
Thursday-Friday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 8 a.m.-7 p.m.