Archive for the 'Food' Category

Chengdu vs. HK/Shenzhen

A few ways that Chengdu is more “civilized” than our neighbors in modern HK/Shenzhen: All our eating places supply napkins; people readily give up their bus/subway seats to anyone with more than a few grey hairs; and we don’t eat Fido :-).



Chinese Mixup

Goofed up my Chinese, ordering dim sum in Hong Kong. The character for melon is 瓜, and the one for claw is 爪. Pretty similar, you gotta admit. Close enough that I thought I was ordering some kind of gourd, but ended up with a bunch of chicken fingers, and not the kind you order for the kid at your table at a family restaurant.

No Meatballs For Me

After over two months in Chengdu, I had my first Western meal…at IKEA: pumpkin soup, salmon plate, mashed potatoes & gravy, tiramisu. Also my most expensive meal, at US$7.50. Tomorrow it’s back to rice.

China As Seen By The Sichuanese

China As Seen By Sichuanese

China As Seen By Sichuanese

No Tea in China

There’s this strange belief here in Sichuan that drinking tea with a meal is bad for your stomach. So even most restaurants here serve only hot water (開水) and not tea. This is so weird since every Chinese restaurant everywhere else in the world serves tea. My host father, for example, insists that I wait at least 30 minutes after eating before I can have my tea.

I recently splurged on a Japanese lunch, and getting to enjoy a cup (many cups, actually) of nice, hot tea while I ate, and immediately afterward, was really a treat.

Xmas Lights & Ochazuke Dinner

I headed over to Tokyo Midtown the other day to check out their Christmas light display, consisting of over 40,000 LEDs.

Tokyo Midtown Christmas Lights

Tokyo Midtown Christmas Lights and Tokyo Tower

After looking at the lights from every conceivable angle, I went to take in their free Christmas concert by Meg, and after that I went hunting for dinner. I ended up lining up to get in to Kyo Hayashiya, a shop that specializes in tea-based sweets. I wasn’t interested in their tea cakes, but in a special offering of ochazuke, with a choice of salmon or tarako. I ordered the tarako.



You pour the tea from the pot over the rice and add the various toppings from the small dishes. It was all quite delicious!

Japanese Bakeries

When I first started coming to Japan, I was underwhelmed by the offerings on hand in the country’s bread and pastry shops. Since that time, things have greatly improved (or was it just my mind that expanded?).

The other day, I knew I’d be having a big dinner so I just wanted a simple small lunch that would leave me hungry for my first taste of ふぐ. I decided to head to my local outlet of the Vie de France chain, as I had a hankering for their black sesame & banana drink.

Vie de France lunch

Vie de France lunch

In addition to the aforementioned drink, I had a maple scone (made with real maple syrup) and a bread roll stuffed with edamame and ham.

It was all so good and so filling, I started to worry that I wouldn’t have room for that big dinner.

The Perfect Lunch

It’s for meals like this that I come to Japan.

A piece of “red fish” cooked in mirin, with all the fixin’s. This can be yours too, if you’re in Ikebukuro, for only 680 yen (lunch time only), tax included.

Korean Food – cheap and tasty!

My three weeks in Korea were great. Perfect weather the whole time didn’t hurt, and neither did the meals. I thought I might get tired of eating Korean food two or three times a day but I never did. There was always plenty of food (although the banchan (side dishes) are all-you-can-eat, I never needed to ask for more), and the prices were always more than reasonable.

Pictured below was one of my favorite meals.

Albap lunch in Busan

Albap lunch in Busan

It’s called albap and consists of fish eggs (とびこ) and other ingredients on rice.
The soup was some kind of fish soup. One of the banchan was more little fishies. This whole meal, in a casual sit-down restaurant in Busan, was only $3. No tax or tip in Korea.

Fun Taiwanese Restaurant: Class 302 (Grade 3, Class 2) (三年2班)

The other night I was coming back from installing new phones at KSPC in Claremont, so on my way home I stopped in Rowland Heights, a very Chinese neighborhood, and ended up eating at this cute Taiwanese place set up like a primary school classroom.

And the food was quite good too!

Check out the Class 302 Yelp page for more info and pictures of the cute interior.