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Ready or not, here comes contemporary Chinese cuisine

Innovative twists on tradition take center stage in Hong Kong and Macau

VEA Chef Vicky Cheng's "Silver Pomfret with Sichuan Chili Oil and Fermented Cabbage." (Photo by John Krich)

HONG KONG/MACAU -- The hot-and-sour soup comes with concentrated droplets of balsamic vinegar and scallion oil. The single crab leg, crusted with bean paste, is dipped in a concentrate of smoked basil and tuna belly. The staple ma po tofu features four colors of bean curd topped with chopped wagyu beef, served in a bowl lined with 1,000 dried bay leaves.

French foie gras appears in the midst of this 23-course Chinese banquet, accompanied by morel mushrooms and shreds of gold leaf. And the final dessert is a gummy jelly that melts on the tongue in staggered blasts of sour, sweet, bitter and spicy flavors.

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