Thursday, April 13, 2023


All night long I wondered where I would go for eaties and milk tea today. So I slept late, and did not get up till after nine. It's a serious question, as there are only a few places with decent milk tea in Chinatown. Which this blogger defines as strong tea, condensed milk added to the cup (spoon for stirring), in a ceramic drinking vessel. So styrofoam will not do. And weird weak slop with or without tapioca balls and steamed milk won't either. The New Regent Cafe, and the New Hollywood Bakery on Pacific, as well as Cafe New Honolulu on Stockton and the G & Y Bakery and Cafe right around the corner on Clay just below Stockton. Plus the VIP Coffee & Cake Shop on Broadway. All of which are on the rotation.

[The VIP is operated by the same good people who run the AA Bakery on Stockton. While the VIP is a real deal HK style chachanteng, the AA is a deservedly thriving bakery with stellar egg tarts and everything else you would associate with an excellent HK style bakery, and hot food at lunchtime. But their milk tea, though good, is in a styrofoam cup.]

The Hon's wuntun location on Washington where the Washington Bakery and Restaurant used to be also does perfect HK style milk tea. But I do not want to snack on dumplings today. I did that earlier in the week.

There are as you see only half a dozen places with proper milk tea.
Four of them are chachantengs, two of them also bakeries.
And one of them serves damned fine dumplings.

What I want is baked Portuguese chicken rice.
Four of these places I've already visited this week. One of them is closed today anyway.
And I must stress the Portuguese Chicken Rice.
I'm obsessed.

"It's a sad day when a Cantonese woman can't get her house soup!"
------My apartment mate, anguished.

She's quite fixated on lo fo tong (old fire soup), which is nice to have, but the epitome of the chachanteng gestalt is Portuguese Chicken Rice. The ABC on Jackson closed a few years ago, the Washington stopped doing it two years before they sold the location to Hon's, and I've had one or two crappy versions since then. But it's a desert out there.

Cooked chicken chunks, mild coconut curry sauce, shredded cheese strewn on top to melt under the broiler. On a bed of egg and scallion fried rice. Perhaps also a few potato chunks, creatively maybe green bell pepper or mushrooms, and preferably NO recognizable pieces of onion (feh). Ideally there should also be a piece or two of good spicy sausage in it. And while the standard versions use curry powder plus garlic and ginger, there really should be some yello curry paste in there. It's a very Hong Kong dish.

For real overkill, add one or two barely crisp rashers of bacon on top. And some sliced Jalapeño. Especially if there is potato in it. No reason not to fully Americanize it.

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