Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Eating out and eating in

Chan dan mien
Dong naaih chah
Temple street cafe

We eat dinner out at least once a week; because we also love to buy food and cook, this is less that most of our friends, some of whom eat out five or six times a week. On Thursdays, we eat somewhere "local" which means a pavement place with plastic stools, a roll of toilet paper in lieu of napkins and excellent food. Our favourites are clams in black bean sauce , spicy prawns, green veg with chilli or with garlic and spicy noodles. The custom here is to share all the dishes and eat them as they arrive. They usually bring the clams first, then the prawns and veg tend to arrive together, then the noodles last of all.This is washed down with a big bottle of beer. There is no lingering; eat and go is the rule. If it is a Friday or Saturday, we often look for somewhere serving lamb or fish, because we eat a lot of chicken and pork in the house.Squid is a popular starter and something I wouldn't attempt yet at home, because I'm not sure how to remove the clear "plastic" bone in the middle. I once watched fishermen doing it in Africa but haven't done it myself yet. Anyway, these tend to be Westernised places and we usually order a dinner each, as is the Western custom. However, we need to get in the habit of sharing as we always have way too much food and last time brought enough lamb home to serve next day! Desserts, we don't do other than ice cream at home. As for home cooking, I like to use my traditional wok and bamboo steamer most nights. However, Les eats rice every day in the canteen, so I only serve it once a week. I like to try buying things from the street markets as they are so cheap and fresh compared to supermarkets. On Saturday, we bought 50p worth of lettuce....she shoved 4 enormous heads into a bag. What to do with 4 lettuces? Make lettuce soup, of course. It was green. Very green. But tasty!
Ice cream flavours have included the usual vanilla, almond fudge and also the more exotic purple yam or tropical fruit with mango, guava and watermelon.
On Tuesday, my Cantonese tutor took me out for a typical Hong Kong Breakfast which I had to order in cantonese. I practised the menu all morning then we got there and he said, "Oh, no, I don't want pork today, get me beef instead, you do remember the word for beef, don't you?" Uh oh. So I gamely ordered " yat won chan dan mien, yat won dan nghou mien, yat bui dong naaih cha, yat bui dong gafee syu tim" She read it back to him....AND IT WAS RIGHT!!! Yesss. If you are interested, I had a bowl of noodle soup with a fried egg and some kind of pork luncheon meat floating in it. He had the same kind of thing, only with beef. He had iced sweet milk tea and I had iced coffee with a little sugar. At 10.00. am. Yes, for breakfast. Hmm. But I tell you what, I only ate a banana for the rest of the day. Until the lettuce soup at dinner, of course.


  1. Hello Hello? I think i'm now a follower of your blog. I'm still working at adding a photy!!

  2. Well your comment has appeared but no notification that you are a follower :(

  3. Well am are! Is that tope picture tripe soup?

  4. Read the blog! Its Chan dan mien. I already told you there in 2 languages that its noodles, tinned pork meat and a fried eeg!