If you don't follow my flickr account, you'll miss a lot of stuff. I've somehow managed to procrastinate not only in school work but also in blogging, which makes you wonder what I do with the rest of my time...
EATING, READING FOOD BLOGS, AND EDITING FOOD PHOTOS, perhaps. My life officially has no meaning. Yet here I am, to recap a few weeks of things I failed to mention. Be afraid. Very. Afraid.
BUT FIRST, there's still my questions about blogging. They're not super-important, as I think my paper is screwed anyway and it's unlikely that I'll let any of you read it even though I quoted some of you because it's kind of horrible, but if I get a good grade I'll change my mind. One problem is that I realized I "needed" scholarly sources. I gotta say, the scholarly world ain't that interested in food blogs. I have found information about blogging in general that I suppose I'll shove in for the sake of having something that looks valid, but that information is about more professional-level blogging. There are innumerable (well, I could count them...but no) newspaper/magazine articles about food blogging but that's not the same as a journal of some sort.
But back to food! It's time to go back. Waaaay back...[cue wobbly filter that makes you feel like you're going back in time because for some reason going back in time involves making the scene look like the top of a lake disturbed by flying rocks. Also, cue the dinkly chime-y music.]
Before my food production final, I went to Men Kui Tei with my classmate/friend Nancy. I'm not a big ramen fan, but I do love curry and I had yet to eat a combination of the two. Curry ramen is basically ramen in soup...with lots of curry plopped on top. Mysterious dish, this is not. Tasty? Yeah. I can't think of anything that was wrong with it besides that it was GINORMOUS, HOLY CRAP, IT'S A SATELLITE DISH FILLED WITH NOODLES. (Okay, I'm exaggerating...but it's kinda huge.) The noodle texture didn't taste too soft or hard to me and the soup was full of curry, aka tasty delicious. I guess I still prefer rice with curry, but of course, you can't go wrong with noodles and curry or any carb and curry combination (I haven't had something like "curry on toast" yet, but I don't know why that wouldn't work). I also got a small grilled eel donburi, meaning that as usual, I ate enough for two normal people, or 10 babies. The restaurant is clean and bright and much larger than it looks from the outside. Lots of ramen, lots of rice dishes, lots of small plates, and not enough room in my stomach to hold it all in. God dammit.
Wouldn't you want to wake up to that bowl of congee every morning? Eeeeevery moooorning? Don't you like glistening oil and unidentifiable rice mash? I went to Congee Village with "congee is my comfort food, gimme now" Mary. The restaurant doesn't say this up front, but part of their policy is to rape your eyes with shiny bamboo. It's everywhere. It's not awful looking--it gives the place a warm, "I'm stuck in southeast Asia" feel. You could say the MoMA rapes your eyes with stark white walls. Why am I using "rape" so much? It's not funny! (But you know...it kind of is. Unless you have experience with it. In which case, it's not. Sorry.)
Bottom line with Congee Village: congee good, dumplings bad. I don't know about you, but the congee I ate growing up was watery rice crap where you could see all the rice grains swimming in flavorless, opaque water. The only way to make this stuff taste good (and I love rice!) was to eat it with condiments, like pork floss and sweet pickles (of course, the congee wasn't meant to taste good...but still). The congee at Congee Village is like a blended rice porridge with much more flavor than any other congee I had (because they had none). However, I still needed to add chili sauce to make it more to my liking: BURNING HOT. Okay, not that hot. Kinda hot. I got the preserved egg and pork congee since I figured I never eat preserved egg and I rarely eat pork. Preserved egg? Not my thing. This kind of pork? Not my thing. It was still good though and easily the best congee I've ever had.
After bonding over congee like all slightly Chinese girls do, we headed to my favorite bakery, Sugar Sweet Sunshine, where my eyes caught sight of seasonal pumpkin trifle. "Pumpkin cake, eggnog puddin' and whipped cream": lordy. Why don't more bakeries make trifle? Pudding? Cake? TOGETHER? Hell, there should be a place that ONLY makes trifle. I'd live there...and die there from obesity. Do you really need me to tell you what the trifle tasted like? Channeling the spirits of Teen Girl Squad: SOOOO GOOD.
I got the chocolate bomb trifle so Mary and I could try two things. It wasn't as good as the pumpkin, not because it was bad by itself but because pumpkin pwnz most other things. Despite that it wasn't as swoon-worthy as the pumpkin trifle, I ate the whole thing. Horrified, I was. Mary didn't finish hers and, in a moment of intelligence, bought the leftovers home. Maybe I should do that someday, if I don't eat everything in my path beforehand.
Since I've never had hand-pulled noodles before, I thought I may as well try them. Yes, I live life to its fullest: "I'M GONNA EAT ALL THESE NOODS BEFORE I DIE." From reading Plate of the Day, I found out that I lived about 10 minutes away from Foo Shing Hand Fresh Noodle Shop (hand fresh, people!) and after getting some things from Hong Kong Supermarket, I picked up a little bucket of beef noodle soup for $4 from the tiny shop where a dude in the back thwacks a dough log into long, thin strands of noodly goodness, hand fresh style!
They have other stuff, but you know me: not Chinese literate in any shape or form! Never will be! My brain has proven itself immune to Chinese; you can ask my parents. I asked the woman at the register what their menu was and she told me three or four things. I may not know Chinese but I can count (maybe), and it seems like there are more than four things. Translation, please.
So...noodles, fresh from the hand; how are they? Pretty good. They certainly taste fresh, unlike any other noodle I've had. However, I like noodles more al dente, so maybe I'm just not up for the fresh texture. Despite that they noodles tasted soft, they held up well to my chopstick jabbing, which I wasn't expecting. Soup was fine, beef was too tendon-y for my taste, but there are people who just like to eat PLAIN BEEF TENDON (them crazies) so I suppose they'd like this beef.
One morning before work I was walking around and thinking about food despite not being hungry, as usual, so I stopped (or walked a few blocks out of my way) into City Bakery to experience their flaky demigod: the pretzel croissant. The pretzel croissant is a $3 croissant with a salt-sprinkled shell that is harder than those of regular coissants but retains mega-layered squishy innards.
I'm glad to say it was worth $3, although I wasn't so enamoured by its buttery pastry-ness that I'd feel the need to eat it again. It's...well, you can see. This isn't one of those croissants that disappointingly resembles a hot air balloon in air-to-substance ratio. It's not especially pretzel-y but I guess that's a good name.
Despite not being much of a cream puff fan, I went to Choux Factory last week since I was curious to try it and figured I may as well continue my "eating crap" theme of the day and destroy my immune system. Their cream puffs are pretty small but tasted fine to me. The filling is heavier and more like pudding than Beard Papa's, which I think is more airy and whipped cream-esque. The puff is interesting looking, like a rock mid-explosion. Thankfully it doesn't taste like a rock: crispy outside, soft inside. I don't have cream puff standards so I'll just say...it was good. Not something I'd need to try again, but it was a nice snack.
On Monday I went to Cafe Zaiya with Diana for a quick bite before going to the ITP show. I couldn't decide on any of the rice-based dishes, so I got a sammich, which is more like a burger-sammich than a tea-sammich. They carry both kinds but you know me...I like my fried chicken cutlet. This sandwich is officially my new favorite thing at Cafe Zaiya, not that it's amazing but it's just good. It's spicy, has a lot of chicken, doesn't overdo the sauce, and the bun is substantial (as it should be, from a bakery). Also, it's cheaper ($3.75 or so) than any other sandwich I've seen that would be anywhere near as delicious (to me, at least). IT WINS! THE SAMMICH! OH GOD. Maybe I'll eat it for lunch today.
...I ate more, but I think that's enough.