At the back of the hill

Warning: May contain traces of soy, wheat, lecithin and tree nuts. That you are here
strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton.
And that you might like cheese-doodles.
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Saturday, March 04, 2017


One of the frequently galling things is when you're eating lunch and people walk in, look around intently, and walk out. Without buying anything. None of the dimsum, none of the pastries, none of the food on the steam table.
This isn't just white folks either. Chinese do it also.

All of this is quite fresh, tasty, and excellent.
What do you mean it doesn't suit you?

There are window photos.
You saw them.


Rice, mui choi kau yiuk, curried potato, and mixed vegetable with pork bits and a little bit of salt fish. Plus a bowl of broth. A full meal, home style, and infinitely satisfying. Saam song yat tong: three dishes one soup!

Probably over a dozen choices for your three dishes -- all of which are very nice, by the way -- plus rice and a bowl of lo fo tong (老火湯).

They also have some very good dimsum items. Plus jook, yautiu, noodles, and pastries. They're clean, the quality is good, and it's all ridiculously inexpensive, so you snobs and trolls should not act so snooty.

Regular-ass white Americans do it because they are overly fastidious, don't know what anything is, and have a mental block about asking questions.
Europeans do ask questions, but do not understand answers, and don't have a clue what anything is anyhow, which disturbs them very much.
Chinese American young people somehow consider themselves lost, marooned in a throwback to the stone age, gawd!
And Mandarin speakers often quail at the concept of food that they think they know but don't.

The average Mexican American walks in, sees stuff they've never eaten before, and promptly points at something and says "uno, por favor".
Commendably open-minded, and keenly fascinated by los comestibles de las otras personas. The mouth is an investigative organ, and will carefully analyze whatever is put into it.

I actually have a confession: Unlike the white Americans, locally born Chinese Americans, Europeans, and Mainland immigrants, I can speak enough Cantonese to find out what that stuff is, read food related characters absolutely fluently (even the simplified script crap), have researched a lot of things extensively, and am more than average open minded about food.
Heck, I was eating eel, snails, and raw herring as a child.
And was fondly acquainted with chilies.
As well as shrimp paste.

So I really shouldn't sneer at the less fortunate. That being regular-ass white Americans, country side-Euries, and the blinkered second generation.
Mandarin-only northerners remain fair game, though.
They're often wrong about everything.

At least buy something!
Just gawking is rude.
I'm eating here.

And you know, it's rather insulting when you come in, don't say a word, stare carefully at everything, and then walk out. Not even a "howdy".
How do you know it's not up to your high standards?
Did you just guess that before you came in?
You were expecting lobster?


Mui choi kau yiuk is very easy to make, and totally worth it. Use a large whole chunk, OR thick slices of pork belly (五花肉,五花腩 'ng faa yiuk', 'ng faa naam'; five flower meat, five flower loin). Rinse, rub it dry with a little salt (optional), gild on one or two sides in a hot pan. Add a little soy sauce and some cooking sherry or rice wine, plus a handful or two of soaked and squeezed-out snow vegetable (梅菜 'mui choi') to the pan, as well as some water or stock, and simmer over low heat till the meat is fall-apart tender. This, as you can see, is simple. There are more complicated ways to make it, and other ingredients can be optionally added, but essentially it is just fatty meat and a little pickled vegetable.

If you add extra water you can also dump in sliced or whole champignons to stew along. Plus a peppercorn or two and a shot of hard liquor.

Non-rice eaters should have warm crusty sourdough or French bread to sop up the juices. Or a mantou. They also have that.

Don't forget the Sriracha sauce.

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