What they really are - chicken feet boiled in vinegar
Location - Sichuan restaurant, Zhuhai, China
Phoenix claws are not a delicacy because Chinese people eat them all the time. They eat so many that shiploads are imported from Canada to meet the demand.
As a start they seemed fairly unthreatening. It was mid-day, and I had just woken up with a particularly bad hangover after a few hours sleep. Probably not the best time.
Getting a hold of the things with my chopsticks proved a little hard. The water and the vinegar had given them a slippery, almost slimy texture. Using my fingers seemed to be easier.
The main edible portion was the pad at the base of the foot. Biting that off seemed to be the way to go. Once it was in my mouth things didn't improve. It was just a very thick bit of lightly boiled chicken skin, but very rubbery indeed and in no way interesting to eat. The flavour, if there was one, was diluted vinegar.
Once I'd finished the pad I started on the toes, which were almost entirely bone and gristle, with a thin coating of very marginally better boiled skin. It took me a few minutes to finish that off.
All in all a bit boring and not particularly nice. There were a few more left in the bowl but I didn't really feel like finishing them.
Candy and Amanda stuck to noodles, I don't blame them-