Didn't feel like sitting in traffic for an hour to get to the original branch of Laurel Restaurant (丹桂軒) at Luohu (罗湖). The ride usually takes 30 minutes, but this evening was bad. The restaurant serves Cantonese cuisine and has branches in Macau, Shenzhen and Shanghai. There're seven branches of Laurel in Shenzhen, so we went to a nearer-to-us branch 15 minutes away at 香榭裏.
We left J to order the food since he's a huge fan of 丹桂軒. I really enjoyed the dish of stuffed bittergourd simmered with slices of pork belly in superior stock. Not so much of the pork, but it lent a sweetness to the bittergourd. Easily palmed off the meats to the friends and I ate the beautiful slices of bittergourd. The fish soup was gorgeous! But full of herbs. Took an antihistamine after dinner to prevent the eyes and lips from swelling in the morning.
The grilled squid was delicious! It was just that bit crispy yet tender all at the same time. Happy that the kitchen went superbly low on the usage of salt and MSG. Dessert was a papaya and almond milk thing served hot. I skipped it. Totally not into Hong Kong desserts at all. Not into desserts, period. Apparently the salted egg yolk custard buns (流沙包) are great but they weren't available at dinner. Only at lunch and tea. Awww. It gives us a reason to return to try it at one of its branches then.
It was a good meal, and J thought it was pretty all right compared to the original Luohu branch, which is crazy noisy and could take up to two hours of waiting after getting a queue number. This branch we went to was bigger, spacious and quieter. Didn't even need reservations during a week when people dine out more because of Mid-Autumn festivities. Whewww. Nice.