Tuesday, January 10, 2006

food on my mind

well, another interesting day of lying in bed, trying to sleep, sleeping in, reading, talking about my travels, hearing about other's travels, etc. yet again, big highlights of the past 24+ hours have been the food i have consumed.

1. overall, i don't know anything that's on the menus around here. i've been giving blank stares at the wait staff and said, "i just don't know!'. so, they're a helpful bunch. so i'm met with a set of questions that seems to satisfy them in deciding what i'll eat. sometimes it's just easy as "rice or noodles?", "spicy or not" and they walk away. the cool thing is that i never know what i'll be getting, and i haven't been disapointed yet. it even seemed the other night that the lady at the chinese restaurant created a special noodle soup just for me. maybe because i looked in such a state of despair (from the pain of my tonsillitis, not from my menu confusion). regardless, i know that there was no noodle soup on the menu she had given me minutes earlier. i guess they're just sweet like that around here!

2. lesser highlight: i've eaten the worst chicken rice on this trip last night. scary fact: the best chicken rice was consumed at the food court at the mall in the twin towers, KL. who would have thought?

3. biggest highlight: I'VE FOUND DUMPLINGS! i don't think i can stress the excitement in that discovery enouhg. i'd been craving dumplings (pronounced "bowtsey" in mandarin, but spelled differently i'm sure!) since i've left china. regardless, i figured with the huge chinese population around here they'd be everywhere but in fact they were nowhere, and if ever there was "any", it was either dim sum or a different take on the good ol' dumplings. anyhow, i hadn't found anything to really get excited about until last night. after my boring chicken rice diner i was walking home and came accross a chinese restaurant with a picture menu. and there it was: a picture of small, round dumplings in a wooden steam basket. i was already full, but in i went anyways. i pointed at the wall and he seemed confused, i insisted i wanted bowtsey and off to the kitchen he went.

while waiting, i met a chinese man named low and his business partner (whose name i've forgotten) who were quite keen on asking me every possible questions about my trip so far. we talked a lot about china, where i've been, traveling alone and somehow, high speed internet. they offered me tea and kept refilling my cup. and then the dumplings came.

they were a little undercooked but they were really juicy. the dipping sauce was not the one i was used to and wasn't the best, so i skipped it. the dumplings were filled with minced pork only(instead of blanded with leek as in the PDR) but they were quite tasty. overall, it was a great experience. the tastes took me back months back, miles back, to the country #2 of my trip. i will have to return again for more!

by the way, the chinese duo paid for my dumplings, which made them even sweeter.

4. tonight i was introduced to the art of boiling satay. basically it's the same old food on a stick routine except that in this case you cook your food youself in a boiling, slightly chunky satay mixture. it was quite tasty but i think that i prefer the good old grilled chicken satay off the street.

last night while i couldn't sleep i kept thinking about all the meals i can't wait to eat when i get back home. the meals i used to make, mostly. fantasized about ratatouille (on pizza or pasta, with loads of gaot cheese), pizza bianca, numerous pork roast (mom's version and my carribean version mostly), too many pasta dishes (ex: yellow pepper, lamb sausage and aragula; goatcheese and bacon; lasagna), salmon steak in my asian sauce, my jams (!!!), apple crumble, apple pie, my fruit cake... then moved on to dream about poutine, eating at bin 49, that buffallo steak at cin cin, a great margarita, cranberry juice, good icecream (mondo gelato!)... anything really! i think i might be at my limit of eastern food. damn, i miss vietnam! i miss home. i miss montreal.

i need to take more food pictures!

yes, i could eat you too right now! sweet memories of mexico... shripm and scallop cheviche in lime juice with vegetables and avocadoes on cantaloupe.


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