Sunday, March 21, 2010

Delicious Inn: A Bug's Life

It’s not that I deliberately try to eat “gross” foods. It’s just that I don’t really mind them. In my mind, a heaping plate of Oaxacan style stir-fried crickets is far more appetizing than let’s say, a corndog. And it’s exactly because of this mentality, I’ve never turned down a chance to chow down a bug, or anything that’s still semi-moving, or anything that looks suspiciously like a booger… you get the idea.

So when I heard that the once-infamous, bug-serving restaurant – Delicious Inn – had recently reopened in Sham Shui Po, I was all geared up to pay it a visit. Aside from the dishes of creepy crawlies, Delicious Inn’s menu is rife with a good several other “unorthodox” items. Think donkey meat, duck chin, fish lips. Fun.


But I was only really there for the bugs that day. Owner, Yu, tells me though that bugs are a lot more difficult to source these days, which explains the scant selection of only three types of bugs. We started off with the caterpillars – these golden-brown thin strips looked and actually also smelt a lot like crunchy potato fries. Stir-fried in spicy salt, these tasted like… well, spicy salt. Literally. The cylindrical cocoons were prepared the same way, but were more “meaty” so the insect protein taste was slightly more prominent.


But the star of the night was the salt-baked whole water roaches. These shiny jet-black buggies need a three-step process to ingest, as the owner explained to me. First, take the bug between your thumb and index finger, squeeze a little so the hard back shell pops up. Tear these off, along with the soft, thin wings underneath it. Next, twist the head off, making sure you remove the intestine along with it. Now you’re ready. Move bug to lips and suck from where the head used to be. Voila – bug ingested.

(Water Roach)

Verdict? This was by far the strongest flavored of all the bugs. The protein flavor can be a little disconcerting at first and can taste a little soapy. The creamy texture of the protein doesn’t help either. But other than that, it’s nothing really special. It’s not disgusting, but it’s not something I’d be craving in the middle of the night, like I would a bag of crunchy potato fries.

29-33 Shun Ning Road
Sham Shui Po

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