At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


They'll close for good at the end of the month, after twenty seven years. Like many businesses in the old neighborhood, it's the lease situation. Either the rent went up too much, or their customer base has moved away. Rich prosperous white cities cannot afford a Chinatown, and new arrivals in the neighborhood are programmers with beatnik hair and skateboards. Nearly every block has a pod of them.

The problem with such people is that despite their tattoos and artistic personalities, they are too good and too sniffy to eat like the locals, disdaining everything as either too Chinese, or not Chinese enough.
And Hong Kong soy sauce western cuisine is totally baffling.
French Toast? Baked Spaghetti Ham and Chicken?
The Club Sandwich. Iron Plank Steak?
It's not like New York!

['ji juk baan laam faan']

Late lunch: dried tofu stick and deep-fried fatty fish chunks briefly sauced together, served with two scoops of rice, and a bowl of simple garden soup with seaweed. Plus a cup of Hong Kong style milk-tea.
And of course the bottle of Sriracha hot sauce.

The three schoolgirls at the table one over first shared some fries while discussing homework. This necessitated the bottle of Sriracha, and after generously sploodging my plate I relinquished it. Then they had a club sandwich (which came with fries), which meant more Sriracha.

The old man and the young woman (his daughter?) across the aisle had dumplings. More Sriracha.

The young couple NOT sharing food also needed the Sriracha.

You know, if your tastes are that different that you don't want to even try each others choices, a shared love of Sriracha won't be enough to sustain a relationship. Please don't get married.

Three elderly dames having wonton soup ended up with the bottle.
But only one of them actually needed it.

The two people having French Toast didn't need it.
But may have regretted that situation.

My lunch was very enjoyable. The word 班腩 ('baan naam', more often written 斑腩) refers to the belly flesh of groupers (石斑 'sek baan' or 青斑 'jing baan'), though in Hong Kong it nowadays means dragon tongue (龍脷 'lung lei') or green robe (青衣 'jing yi'). Sole, flounder. Both of which are also excellent eating. Dried tofu is good for absorbing sauce flavours, and because it is by itself zero fat, it pairs very well with oily foods.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


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