All Posts Filed in ‘Eat eat eat

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We went to The Fat Duck.

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I know there could have been a better title, but I feel like “The Fat Duck” in itself is attention-grabbing enough. It could be “WE WENT TO THE FAT DUCK!!!” or “We went to The Fat Duck.” depending on how much you know and care about, well, The Fat Duck.

Warning: a lot of the pleasure of eating at The Fat Duck is the surprise, which actually does not come when the food comes to your table, but when it comes to the table of those mofos who got an earlier reservation than you. It was still fun, for us, when the food came to our table, because while visual surprise was ruined, the tasting surprise was still there. If you read this post, you will surely be spoiled about both the look and the taste of all the dishes, so if you plan to go to The Fat Duck in the future, stop reading right now! Or, read and wait 10 years, I think they should change the menu then 🙂 That said, I will *only* post about the food. If a dish involves other (gimmicky!) devices or apparatus, I will not provide the pictures here, so as to save some surprise, if you decide to read the post and then go to the restaurant anyway. All photos were taken by me, please take out with credit!

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When you wish hard enough, tteokbokki will come

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I feel hateful towards everyone who’s healthy right now.
I have been battling a nasty cold since…NEW YEAR’S EVE! That’s right, on my way to a new year eve’s party, I started coughing, and by the time the new year came, was completely bed-ridden. I was on what was supposed to be my dream vacation, in which I stay inside an apartment in NYC to work (don’t judge; it’s very nice to write and think when you’re away) and only occasionally come out to try the best food NYC has to offer. I stayed inside alright, but couldn’t even muster any energy to work. So much for a happy new year! (my mouth started twitching from smirking too much at all the “happy new year”s people were posting on fb. Guys, wish harder. It’s not working!)

We just got back to Boston today, and the first thing I did was order soondubu jigae (Korean spicy tofu soup) from our favorite Korean restaurant. I was hoping the spiciness would help clear out the evil mucus, and it did. In fact, normally I wouldn’t order anything spicy from this restaurant, except bibimbap since the sauce is separated. I really thought I’d starve when we went to Korea last summer, if everything there was really as spicy, or spicier!, than Korean food in the US. Surprisingly, there were still a lot of non-spicy options, although the spicy options are as spicy as you’d fear them to be. The spiciness is strangely refreshing when paired with hwe, the Korean-style raw fish. Hwe most often includes different types of fish than Japanese sashimi, and is cut in such a way that the texture is more on the chewy side, with all the sinew of the fish still intact.
hwe korean raw fish sashimi

For other dishes, the spiciness really impaired my ability to enjoy the food. I ordered hwe nangmyun (cold noodle with raw fish), hoping they’d be nice like Korean restaurants in the States and put the sauce aside, but no:

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I left my heart, but not in San Francisco

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I left my heart in a city that has the absolute best food, an amazing cultural diversity within the constraints of its own homogeneity, a rich and fascinating history, a lively art (esp. cinematic) culture, great weather, and is extremely convenient to get to and around.

I’m talking, of course, about Hong Kong.

hong kong at night light show tsim sha tsui

across the river in tsim sha tsui

I grew up watching and adoring Hong Kong cinema and dramas, eating Cantonese-influenced Chinese food (my high school was in Chinatown, and most of the Chinese food in Vietnam is Cantonese), and speaking, well, Vietnamese, which shares a lot of vocabulary as well as phonetic similarities with Cantonese. A Hong Kong friend of mine and I used to have this little game where we said random words in our own language and the other person had to guess what it meant, and most of the time, we could. My mom would buy fashionable clothes from Hong Kong for me whenever she went there for a business trip. Aside from Japan, it’s a place that I had been dying to visit since I was young, and finally got to last year.

It was a very short 2-day trip, but D and I ate and ate and ate, thanks to our walking non-stop from 9am to 11pm every day while we were there. My only regret was not being able to have an authentic, traditional, pushing cart dim sum, since when we got to one of the only two or three places left that still do this traditional cart style, no one spoke English and it was really crowded. We panicked, and, uh, ran away.

Equipped with a cheap rented smartphone that has every information about where to go and what to eat, and guided by a local friend, we tried as much as we could. There is no good way to describe it, except that everything we had, even the random restaurants that we walked in, was amazing.

beef tendon noodle in Hong Kongfish congee Hong Kong

This was the first meal we had, beef tendon noodle soup and fish congee. I tear up just looking at these pictures. Hands down best beef tendon noodle I’ve had anywhere, and this is just a random restaurant that we walked in. The congee is true Cantonese style, smooth without visible rice grain. Perfect food for a winter day (“winter” in Hong Kong is around 50F, but the restaurant was running air conditioner on high, probably to compensate for the amount of people cramped into the small space. Crazy people!)

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The Cannabis Cookbook or What I did for friendship

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I was sitting idly half paying attention to a cooking demo at Trident Bookseller when I saw this colorful cover:

Being the naive foreigner that I am, I asked my friend, “What’s cannabis?”, DESPITE THE IMAGES.

She said, sort of surprised, “oh, it’s the stuff they make weed from.”

OMGHAHAHAHAHAHAHA <- my reaction.

I’ve always thought it surprising and funny that I did not try to smoke any pot at all, being effing SURROUNDED by the stuff and the people doing it at Oberlin. Ugh, the horror of Dascomb, walking around the hallway and coming back smelling like weed only because you fucking WALKED around the hallway. I don’t have anything against weed, I really don’t. It’s apparently non-addictive, although I have heard stories of people who are mentally dependent on it. And as far as I know, it’s not terribly expensive either, unless you want high class stuff that smells better. To me it seems to be the same as drinking, and I drink, so there was really no reason for me to oppose or not try it, other than the fact that it fucking stinks.

I guess I just never felt like it o_O.

Eating, though, presents the perfect medium to try weed without putting up with the smell.