Some readers believe that this blog is little more than long-winded ranting about pipe tobacco.
Not so! There are many other things that butter my loaf!
What is true however is that my own interests and pursuits will have a disproportionate number of mentions, whereas things that do not interest me in the slightest will not get nearly so much attention.
There's Jewish stuff, posts about the Netherlands, humour....
And how to cook a zebra
Over the past few years I've also detailed a few Chinese things.
For the benefit of the Sinitically curious, here's a list of links to some of those blogposts.
Small scrumptious snacks, what could be more delightful than that? Absolutely the best thing to eat while getting giddy on lots of tea early in the day. And doing so with other people is a wonderful thing.
DIM SUM! OR, NOTHING SAYS CHRISTMAS LIKE CHINESE FOOD!
The City View Restaurant (城景), which is located on Commercial Street at the edge of the Financial District. Some dim sum items are described.
DIM SUM: KINDS, NAMES, PRONUNCIATION, DESCRIPTION
More than one hundred and fifty dim sums. Short descriptions.
DIM SUM RESTAURANTS IN SAN FRANCISCO
Half a dozen restaurants are mentioned. Some more fondly than others.
FOOD IN CHINATOWN
Not just family dining. San Francisco Chinatown started off as a bachelor society, and given the number of places where a single person can grab a bite to eat, it still reflects that time. But you can also go there with someone else, and there is a wide variety of choices.
CHINATOWN BAKERIES: DOW SA BING AND OTHER BING THINGS
Several places: The AA Bakery (永興餅家茶餐廳), the Eastern Bakery (東亞餅家), Garden Bakery (嘉頓餠家), Golden Gate Bakery (金門餅家), Good Mong Kok (好旺角包餅店), Mee Mee (美美餅食公司), Napoleon (拿破崙餠屋), and Yong Kee (容記糕粉).
Note that the last named is beloved by generations of Chinatown people, and that their various bao are extremely popular.
My personal favourite among their offerings are 鹹蛋酥 (haahm dan so), which are pastries with a crumbly sweet crust, enclosing a salted egg yolk held in place by lotus seed paste.
PERAMBULATING CHINATOWN: SNACKY THINGS AND OTHER GOOD EATS
A dozen food places are described. With recommendations.
LITTLE PARIS COFFEE SHOP ON STOCKTON STREET - VIETNAMESE SANDWICHES & ICE COFFEE
It's no longer there, but it will soon re-open a block further down the Street.
By the time you read this that may have already happened.
STOCKTON STREET: EATING THE WOMBAT!
Snacks and ingredients. The Good Mongkok Bakery (好旺角包餅店), Napoleon Super Bakery (拿破崙餠屋), and The AA Bakery and Café (永興餅家茶餐廳).
Plus some of the finest roast duck you'll ever find, at Gourmet Delight Barbecue (新凱豐燒臘店).
IF YOU DON'T SHUT UP, I'LL KICK YOU IN THE NUTS!
The power of noodles. Good for the feminine psyche.
Yes, you could go shopping. For some people that's probably the only thing they can think of anyway. But Hong Kong is much more than just a giant emporium. You could, for instance, eat at places where English is not the first language people speak.
Or you could get a haircut.
IN MONG KOK, SNACK WITH YOUR FAT SISTER!
Offal on a stick at 肥姐小食店. The perfect bite on Dundas Street (登打士街).
FLOWER MARKET ROAD IN MONGKOK: 旺角花墟道
The Saint Honoré Cake Shop (聖安娜餅屋), Uncle Fong's, and The Supreme (貴族蛋糕), and 七喜粥麵小廚 a few streets away for fishballs.
Plus 四哥台式雪花冰專門店 for sweet desserts and snacks.
HONG KONG ROAST GOOSE IN SHAM TSENG
Where to get flying roast goose (飛天燒鵝).
WIFE CAKE - PILGRIMAGE TO YUEN LONG
Poon choi (basin dish: 盤菜 or 盆菜) and wife cake (lo poh beng: 老婆餅).
KWUN TONG - HONG KONG'S CHANGING ORIGINAL SUBURB, PLUS A RESTAURANT
Mention of the Silver City Movie Theatre (裕民坊與銀都戲院) and a restaurant well-worth visiting: The Shanghai Wing Wah Szechuan Restaurant (上海榮華川菜館), on Shung Yan Street (崇仁街). Tung-Po Pork (東坡肉), Tientsin Cabbage in Cream Sauce (奶油津白), and Drunken Chicken (花雕醉雞). Also cold poached pork with mashed garlic (蒜泥白肉), which is very delicious!
FISHY INTERLUDE - TUNG CHOI STREET, HONG KONG
Where to shop for aquarium supplies.
SHANGHAI BARBERS IN HONG KONG
The Ambassador's Parlour (國賓理髮公司), one of the last of the old-fashioned Shanghainese barber shops.
It's at 23 Lan Fong Road (蘭芳道), Causeway Bay (銅鑼灣).
RED MINNOW ISLAND
This is what happens when someone needs to build a bigger and better airport than Kai Tak (啟德機場).
If you live in Iowa you may not be able to relate to any of these things.
Let us assume that you do not live in Iowa.
SEA CUCUMBER - SOAKING AND BRAISING A DELICIOUS SLUG
Nutritious, and very good at absorbing the flavours of a fine sauce.
CHINESE SLIMY THINGS
Birds nest (燕窩), sea cucumber (海參), shark fin (魚翅). Descriptions, and how-tos.
DRIED SHRIMP, CHINESE COOKING, FAT, GIRLS, AND RICE
Dried shrimp and black mushrooms, gonpui, salt vegetables, dried lilies, chinkang ham, lapcheung, soysauce cured porkbelly, lard, chicken fat, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice wine.
That which is nice to eat.
WONTON, WONTON SOUP, WONTON SOUP WITH NOODLES, WONTON NOODLE SOUP
Recipe for both the dumplings and the soup to serve them in. Even more about wonton can be found by clicking this link: 雲吞
CHINESE STEAMED EGGS: 蒸水蛋
A Cantonese home-cooked dish which is easy to make. Smoother and more delicious than omelettes.
CHINESE RECIPES - EIGHT EASY DISHES
Hot and sour soup (酸辣湯), steeped bitter melon (鹹苦瓜), stirfried choisum (炒菜心), mushroom casserole (油燜雙菇), braised chicken wings (紅燒雞翅), clams with peanut sauce (沙爹酱蛤), twice-cooked pork (回鍋肉), stir-fried meat shreds (炒肉絲).
JING GWAT KAI - STEAMED CHICKEN
A version of 蒸滑雞 with dried oysters and black mushroom.
STEAMED MEAT PATTY: 咸魚肉餅 - HAAHM YU YIUK BENG
The name translates as 'salt fish meat cookie'. Which makes sense ONLY if you understand that the salt-fish is added on top to perfume the meat, which is patted flat to a pancake shape so that the finished dish can be easily broken with chopsticks. Very home cooking!
LEFT-OVER TURKEY: CHEUNG FAN, RICE FLOUR NOODLES IN SOUP, AND JOOK
Cheung fan batter. Plus what you can do with leftover Thanksgiving turkey.
CRAB FOO YUNG
A dish (芙蓉蟹) beloved by generations of white people, with prolegomena and afterword.
SHARK FIN SOUP - A DELICIOUS AND REFINED DELICACY
Three recipes which are likely to irritate some folks: 魚翅湯 (my favourite shark fin dish), 錦繡海上鮮 ('brocade embroidery upon the ocean', a delightful shark fin dish), and 蟹肉把翅 ('crab meatclutched shark fin'), which is 'hearty'.
A short final section, all things considered. There are, in fact, very many other things. Somewhere I've also got posts about loquats, the regenerative organs of tigers, pickled vegetable and pork shreds noodle soup, and Chinatown movie theatres.
CHINESE NEW YEAR
Lucky foods, lucky wishes. Traditions, dried oysters and black moss, tossing fish into the air, and related matters.
GARLIC CHIVE DUMPLINGS
The Wai Tsan Seunghoi Mien Kaa (唯珍上海麵家) on Parkes Street (白加士街) in Kowloon, and the Bund Shanghai Restaurant (上海飯店) on Jackson Street (昃臣街) in San Francisco.
WE WANT CHARSIU!
Little girls and anteaters.
Underneath many of these posts you will notice 'labels'. Clicking on a label will bring up all posts in that category, with the most recent one on top. Just scroll down till you are bored.
Any feedback (peculiarly appropriate term under the circumstances!) will be thoroughly appreciated.
If you have suggestions for restaurants, send them to me or put them in a comment underneath.
Also, if you spot an error, or what you consider an omission, please do not hesitate to let me know.
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All correspondence will be kept in confidence.