CADU-licious Ch.1 - 'Zhen' is Zhen-g
M23 In SuLin
‘To eat and where to eat—that is the question!’
For many years, students of the Medical Faculty in the Medical Campus have been subjected to the deprivation of good food. With only Subway, ‘Big Bay’ and vending machines within a 200-meter radius as our sources of sustenance, it is no wonder that we see a steady incline in number of vacant seats in lecture theatres and seminar rooms as the academic year progresses. Driven by hunger, we have no choice but to venture out of our safety zone and into the dark and dangerous world. The most popular feeding ground is, of course, HKU Main Campus.
One of the hidden gems that I’ve discovered recently is ‘Zhen Restaurant—Contemporary Dim Sum’, with a Chinese name that barely anyone can recognise first time round. As it is situated slightly away from the cluster of restaurants along the descending slope of Hill Road, it offers a calmer and less crowded atmosphere when compared to the others, which I believe many of us will appreciate.
As the name suggests, Zhen mainly serves dim sums with a ‘cute’, modern twist. The menu comes in the style that one would normally find in typical Chinese ‘tea restaurants’ (茶餐廳)—a leaflet stating all the dishes and their prices, each with a square box for customers to put down the quantity that they want to order. The photos included served their purpose in making my mouth water but they were no match for the actual delicacies served.
In stacks of heated bamboo steamers, our food arrived. Upon seeing the ‘Goldfish Dumplings’, we ‘dived’ straight for them. The filling burnt our tongues but did not deter us from going back immediately for the second bite. The black dumplings that followed were as intriguing to the eyes as they were to the taste buds, as they contained a unique pairing of shrimps and melted cheese. Next we ‘attacked’ what would have been traditional Chinese Pork Buns (叉燒包) and Custard Steamed Buns (流沙包), except for the fact that were made in the image of little round pigs and pandas. Definitely Instagram-worthy! #foodie With a wide range of unconventionally delicious dishes to choose from, it is best to relish the joys of sharing adorable dim sum as well as the ‘lump sum’ amongst friends.
Now here comes the food for thought: Why do we have the urge to bite and nibble cute things?
Whether or not this is their original intention, the restaurant has actually tapped into the psychology behind this bizarre and seemingly paradoxical propensity. The behavioural studies conducted by Yale graduate psychology students suggested that ‘cuteness’ is naturally responded with a lack of control, which leads to verbal and physical aggression, such as the urge to bite, pinch or squeeze cute things. These dimorphic expressions (when one expresses something different from what one is feeling) are believed to help regulate strong emotions and can be compared to the phenomenon of ‘happy tears’.
Therefore, the next time you are looking to fulfil those ‘animalistic’ needs of yours, give Zhen a shot! Trust me, the food there is really quite ‘Zhen-g’. And as the saying goes, ‘You win some, you dim sum!'