Sunday, March 18, 2018


One of my friends, a likable gentleman of the same generation as myself, who is a prosperous restaurateur, has a Chinese girlfriend half his age.
He's sold a few of his establishments, and currently is semi-retired.
His friends undoubtedly are worried. Has she got her greedy claws into him? Is she bleeding the poor old rich bugger dry? What on earth could those two have in common? They're so different!
She's only half his age!

I am not too worried. She's Cantonese, so they have food in common. And whatever concerns I might have are diminished considerably by my crazy faith in the suitability of a middle-aged man getting a second chance at romance with someone vibrant, sparky, and half his age.

No, I'm not jealous. Though I could well be. But the fact that she isn't white argues very much in her favour, because the chance of her being vegan, vegetarian, gluten-phobic, flavour-hating, organic, self-diagnosed allergic to good stuff, or similar white woman food nuts, is far less than otherwise.
If anything, I am curious about their meals together.
Fatty pork? Fresh seafood? Oyster sauce?
And what does he cook?

Surely they eat together.

I myself am rather fond of what are called tea restaurants (茶餐廳 'cha chan teng'), by which are meant the places that serve Hong Kong variations on Western Food and local convenience dishes, often including spaghetti and macaroni dolled up easy (fried egg and sandwich meat).
Quick stirfries and rice, fried noodles, soup.
Toast, club sandwiches, won ton.
And stuff with cheese.

Two popular items are "white sauce and cheese fresh seafood baked rice" (白汁芝士海鮮焗飯 'paak jap ji-si hoi sin guk faan') and "cheesy curry fresh seafood baked rice" (芝士咖喱海鮮焗飯 'ji-si kaa-lei hoi sin guk faan'), which are extremely similar, as the base of either is cooked rice lightly fried, with a bit of egg added, cooked seafood with gravy put on top in an oven-proof dish or casserole, the whole baked till hot, then a handful of grated cheese strewn over it all and the dish put under the broiler till bubbly.
Cantonese are inordinatily fond of fresh seafood.
And, as it turns out, cheese.
Cream sauce.

Hot bubbly goodness.

Both of these, plus baked Portuguese chicken rice (焗葡國雞飯'guk pou gwok gai faan') and baked tomato porkchop over rice (番茄豬扒飯 'fan ke chyu-baa faan') can be got at tea restaurants in American Chinatowns, but you may have to hunt a bit. Or you could make them at home. The recipes are not complicated. Just look them up on the internet, and wing it.

Egg-fried rice. Generously sauced main ingredient.
Plus mushrooms, bell pepper, etcetera.
Bake. Add cheese. Broil.

If you are me, you will probably include bacon.
As well as Sriracha.



The reason why they are called "tea restaurants" is because the beverage of choice is tea. Specifically, hot sweet milk tea (奶茶 'naai cha'), which will get you back on your feet again and fuel your active life-style, whether you are a sleep-deprived student, harried householder, or ambitious aspirant capitalist presently holding down three jobs.

I am none of those.

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

1 comment:

Baconator said...

Well goldarn! Heart-stopping goodness on a plate!

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