Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hunan Deliciousness!

Are you ready for some Heat?! Let's talk Hunan style!
Our friend Max speaks highly of this Restaurant "Hunan House" and his favorite dish, the Braised Fish Head.
Right away I was intrigued. His good friend Roger and family also joined us, which was perfect as he knew exactly what to ordered. And here is his order:

Started with the cold appetizers
Pickle Cabbage with chopped chili

Chilled Marinated Beef Tendon with Tripe.
The tripe was thinly sliced giving it a smooth light texture.
Chilled Conch in chili oil
Deep Fried Little Fish, stir fry with fresh chili and scallion.
( with tail and head crunchy yet tender inside and very tasty)

White Pepper with Chunks of Beef which I believe was preserved.
Thinly Sliced Lamb stir fried with watercress,onion,chili and cumin
lamb and cumin ...yes .. i know....

Little Wok with Pork Intestine simmering away in Chili oil.

Grilled Whole Peppers and Stir Fried Water Spinach Stems
Fried Pumpkin Cakes

And star of the night is the Braised Fish Head. I believe it a Asian Carp
Which I found perfect with freshly chopped chilies, tomatoes and green onion bathing in a tangy broth with a hint of heat.
Quite amazing right? Oh boy one taste and believe me you will be HOOKED!

I was surprised that I was able to handle this amount of heat! The chilled pickled cabbage and a bowl of rice helped.

Leaving with the numbing sensation from the spices was a really nice way to end a cold snowy night.
We'll be back!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Living on the edge

I love chinese fermented bean products, most of all fu yu! For as long as I can remember, fu yu has been an essential condiment in my pantry. Like oyster sauce, it makes most everything better and a little goes a long way. The bottle in the picture is the favorite brand of the family and the name always escapes me, even now with the picture in front of me. I never remember because we always refer to the brand as "you know the one with the two dudes on the label." Every time I open a new jar, the same thoughts always goes through my head:
What is this weird piece of styrofoam sitting on top that doesn't seem to have a purpose? When does fermented border on rotten? Does the FDA know about fu yu??
At the end, I really don't want to know because I love fu yu.

I love it so much that I wrote a haiku:
oh so savory
so yummy in my tummy
little cubes of love

Some favorite ways to use fu yu:
  • sauté with chinese greens (ong choy or long beans)
  • use in casseroles and stews to deepen flavor
  • stir into congee
  • sprinkle a little sugar and serve as condiment

something in the food...?

So I've seen many couples who come to eat at my restaurant and just start making out right at the table - and I mean many! Must be the pork belly.
But then I also see many couples break up too. I don't get it. I was discussing this with my fellow waitstaff and I'm like "why would you pick a restaurant to do this?" It is the most awkward place to do this! The entire staff is watching and afraid to walk up to the table. A few times I walked up to the table, drop off the check, and mumble something about thanking them and quickly walk So I'm going on and on about how it's just wrong to do this at a restaurant - and then I realize that I just went through the same situation myself - at a restuarant - and I quickly shut my mouth.... hahahaha


So the other day I was in the bathroom of the restaurant I work at and I noticed that our automatic air freshener was missing. I asked around and no one took it down - someone STOLE it!!! Really? Who steals air freshener? That thing was attached to the wall above the door... someone climbed up and stole it?! The base and all! And it was a girl too! The men's bathroom one was still there... My boss just shook his head and said "women".. hahhahaah