Monday, November 16, 2009

Congee Village Part 2

To follow up on our previous post, more needs to be said about
Congee Village
(100 Allen Street). Congee Village is a goldmine for the culinary adventure seeker. Half of their menu consisting of 250 original Chinese Cantonese dishes should be listed on this blog. Duck Tongues and Congealed Duck Blood featured earlier are just scratching the surface of the ridiculously long list of bizarre items that they serve daily:

Sea Cucumber, Abalone (sea snails), Geoduck, Conch, Live Shrimp
Duck’s Blood, Pig’s Blood Porridge
Shark Fin Soup, Turtle Soup
Bird’s Nest
Roasted young pigeon
Goose Web (goose feet)
Jelly Fish
Duck Tongue
Goose Intestine, Baked Fish Intestine in Clay Pot (which must taste a lot like kani miso – crab intestines)
Pork Stomach, Pork Stomach Porridge

Duck Tongues
Our greatest surprise was that duck tongue had a little bone in it, and overall didn’t taste that great. While I am a huge fan of cow tongue, duck tongue tasted nothing like it. We preferred the taste of goose intestines to the duck tongue!
"Eating duck tongue feels like you're making out with a duck"

Alex of and veteran Weird Food Club member felt like she was “making out with a duck” and found it so freaky she couldn’t have more than one. I was able to swallow 5 tongues, and Arseny laid waste to about 10 tongues.

Pig’s Blood Porridge
This rice porridge with floating cubes of congealed blood tasted similar to the duck blood dish described earlier. The cubes had a defined iron taste to them, and were fairly inedible. If you like blood sausage, it doesn't mean you'll like this.

Kevin believes duck blood is almost as bad as kani miso, the worst thing he has ever tried. I would like to nominate natto to the “worst thing I’ve ever tried” contest. Eating natto feels like you’re chewing on excrement. Apparently, we’re not the first to nominate these two items as the worst food ever. This lively discussion is way ahead of us.

Shark Fin Soup
We intended to get the $13.95 bowl of shark fin soup, but we were accidentally given a $45 bowl of “supreme” shark fin soup. There may be a subtle difference between the supreme and the poor-man’s shark fin soup, but we certainly couldn’t tell them apart.

Shark fin soup is considered a luxury dish in Chinese culture and is served at special occasions like weddings. Like many unusual things I’ve tried (jellyfish, bull penis, sea cucumber), shark fin has very little flavor of its own and is used for its noodle-like texture and ability to absorb flavors from soup broth and sauces, as well as for its rarity.

The practice of shark finning is controversial due to its brutality and its contribution to global decline of many shark species. Shark fins are removed from the shark and the rest of the still living shark is thrown into the ocean. The finless sharks are unable to swim, sink to the ocean floor and die.

If ever faced with the choice to get shark fin soup, we do not recommend that you get it. The taste, texture and the entire experience do not justify supporting the shark finning industry. I truly regret that I tried it.
Additionally, shark fin contains high levels of mercury and is dangerous for young children, pregnant women and may cause male sterility… so that makes it really not worth it!

Congee Village is a place to check off a bunch of crazy food on your “to try” list, but none of it was a truly satisfying experience. Our best advice is don’t order just the weird stuff at Congee Village, unless you want to leave hungry.


  1. I love congee village. I go there with one of my hockey teams once a year. The karaoke helps. I had the duck tongue the last time i was there and was very surprised about the bone in it too. I thought it tasted pretty good though. The intestines were a bit better although pretty tasteless.

  2. i can't believe i'm saying this, but i actually liked the pig's blood in very small amounts with the rice porridge.

  3. i've been drinking bird nest soup every night (i only get the homemade kind back at home). the only reason why i drink it is because it's supposed to be good for complexion.

    i’ve been taking the store-bought kind online (e.g. of famous branded only of course) which is directly mailed from Hong Kong. this would be at a more affordable price.