Food again

Beautiful weather today. Strong wind cut the slight heat in the air, and it was clear all day.
I've been dying to cook, and have gotten some ideas together for when I finally have a kitchen of my own (assuming it'll be functional), and running around HK training for work or meeting for service or whatever has kept me busy, but I've tried to find good food. And I have succeeded.
Last night's dinner was a success. There was a suggestion on Wikitravel HK about a place in Wan Chai that's always packed and has cheap delicious food. They said the beef brisket rice noodle dish was only HKD$13 (USD$1.68, but the price has since gone up to HKD$16. Travesty) and is the big crowd pleaser. After walking around the same block three times, I finally spotted it. It was physically and mentally satisfying. A success. No one spoke English, and I managed to find the dish I wanted on the all-Chinese menu. Wonderful.
That was shortly before the meeting. A few more stops over on the island line on the MTR, and I was at the meeting about 45 minutes early, so I decided to walk around a bit. Found a bakery, and grabbed one of these little guys. Sweet, rich, but crumbly. I don't know pastries, but it was delicious. After the meeting I went back and bought four more, a muffin, some soymilk, some chocolate soymilk, canned coffee, bottle of water, some chocolate and a coke and paid HKD$60 (USD$7.75) and it will be my breakfast for the rest of the week.

Today was busy. Simple errands became far more complicated and I had to sort a few things out at the bank, but all in all it ended up okay. I was down in HK and didn't have anything else to do. I live so far away that if I go into HK, I'm going to spend some time there, and if I'm going back in the afternoon, I won't be dropping in again for dinner. (That'll be changing soon since I'll be moving into my new congregation's territory). So I headed back home today around 4 and had such a late lunch that I wasn't hungry until a little later. Really wanted to cook, but ended up being too lazy. Didn't want to go get something and bring it back here and sit around some more, so I decided to find a place to eat nearby. There's a mall-ish type thing about a five minute bus ride away, but I opted for real Chinese food. Found myself walking into a very small, somewhat scary restaurant just down the road, like one of those places in America that's always got a few people hanging around at all hours of the day smoking cigarettes and stuff. Yeah. I wondered after I got my soup what I was doing. The tea tasted like the water here, which tastes like dirt, and the soup wasn't much better. I had ordered from a woman who spoke nothing but Cantonese and a patron who could barely speak Mandarin. I told him I wanted some genuine Chinese food: a dish with pork, and a dish with chicken. The soup made me nervous, but I heard all sorts of things going on in the kitchen: the roaring of a wok on a burner, smelled oil and scallions and onions and general deliciousness. When I saw a clay pot coming my way, I knew I had made a good decision. Pictures didn't turn out, but it was a large clay pot with huge chunks of chicken on the bone, slices of chicken breast, huge slices of ginger, scallions, roasted onions (the outer layers were carmelized and crunchy and they were sweet) in this smokey sweet sauce. It was amazing. The second one came on a plate and was a pork pancake that was some kind of cross between a flattened meatloaf and homemade sausage. It had a great texture to it and had scallions and veggies and all sorts of porkbits in it and it was very good despite it's malformed pinkish appearance. I asked the lady to write down what it was I had. That pic will come later perhaps... I did take a picture of it.
I think the visa process will finally start tomorrow or early next week. That's the biggest thing right now; after that's confirmed I can sign a lease on a flat, move my publisher card and really get settled in.
Oh, this is the place I ate tonight: besides my table, there's only one more (left of the frame) that's not visible, with some picnic tables outside. She was helping her son with his homework and he'd take a break every once in a while to clean up a bit or do something in the kitchen.


Disney said...

Hey! I was reading this and then was like - I thought you were a vegetarian! What happened? I guess it just feels like you're missing something of the whole Asian experience if you don't eat meat...

John said...

D has been in Deutschland for about a week now, so I understand the fascination with food. Your experience in the "somewhat scary" restaurant brought back a lot of memories. Everywhere I've been in the world, with a few notable exceptions (I'm looking at you, Togo), if you can get the authentic local food, prepared and served as the locals eat it, it will be good. If nothing else, you have succeeded in making me hungry.