For pregnant women, fine dining can be a chore. The list of proscribed foods pãté, sashimi, soft cheese, raw shellfish, smoked seafood, prosciutto and other processed meats rules out several choices on a gourmet menu. The nausea and aversion to rich foods common during pregnancy can exclude many of the rest.
Expectant moms perusing the bill of fare at the sumptuous T'ang Court restaurant in the Langham Hotel, Hong Kong, can breathe a sigh of relief, however. Chef Siu Hin-chi has devised four six-course set dinners one for each trimester of pregnancy and one for new mothers. The menus are based on traditional Chinese theories of prenatal and postnatal nutrition, and incorporate several simple ingredients that should appeal to even the pickiest of pregnant eaters.
Dishes in the first-trimester menu are chosen for their folic acid, calcium and iron content, and include sautéed grouper with lily bulbs and sweet peas. In the second and third trimesters, a pregnant woman's requirement for extra protein and calcium is reflected in dishes like the soup of stewed diced cod, asparagus and tofu. For new mothers recuperating from pregnancy and labor, chef Siu recommends comforting and nutritious items like steamed pumpkin with dried shrimps.
The special menus are reasonably priced at around $65 a head, but must be ordered a day in advance by calling (852) 2375 1133. And for pregnant women harboring strange food cravings no, they will not make peanut-butter-and-pickle sandwiches to order.
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