Bitter Sweet Trip to the East: Part One

After more than 12 years on hiatus, I finally built up the courage to book the ticket back to the land of the Sleeping Giant. Actually, being brave was not it, I have to go back to China for two sad reasons:

  1. Go to Hong Kong to attend the funeral of my youngest aunt, who was a great human being, but unfortunately had just lost her battle against Lung cancer.
  2. Got back to Tianjin, my hometown, to see my dear grandmother. She, at the age of 96, is the last remaining grandparents of mine.  Her health has been deteriorating quickly within that last year.

One may ask me why I have not been back sooner. Oh, there are many reasons – some are good reasons, but others are not. To not turning my blog of fun and enjoyment into a psychoanalysis one, I will only say one thing – my brilliant cowardness had play a big part in convincing myself that it is always easier to move forward if don’t ever look back.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

My aunt’s funeral turned out to be one of the most elegant that I have ever attended. It was fulfilled with fresh white roses, fresh flowers sympathy bouquets, a hall full of people who came to pay respect to her, and most importantly, the loves from her two sons and from all of us.

Because of this funeral, I also have the opportunity to reunite with many of my cousins from my father’s side, whom I haven’t seen for many years.  It was quite interesting to discover that all my cousins turned into foodies, just like me – What’s a surprise!  Every time we went out to eat, we would take turns at the banquet table to take food pictures (quite a funny scene to say the least).

Yummy Dim Sum

As one may already know, everything Chinese do revolving around food. Therefore during this stay in Hong Kong, me and my cousins found enough reasons to explore the famous Hong Kong culinary scenery for both commemoration and celebration. I am happy to report back that Hong Kong deserves her reputation as one of the Culinary Heaven on earth.

I was lucky enough (thanks to my Hong Kong Cousins) to have the opportunity of visiting one of the awesomeness-packed area called Tuen Mun Shing State (屯門三聖村). This area is famous for its Dai Pai Dong (大牌檔) style Cantonese seafood, and are mostly frequented only by the locals. The Tuen Mun Shing State Dai Pai Dong is not a place for up-scale fine-dining experience but a rather unique one, especially if you are into eating fresh and diverse selection of seafood at a more affordable price point.

Hong Kong

To complete this experience, first, you need to hand-pick the main ingredient by shopping among 15+ seafood market stalls that full of fresh and lively fishes, shrimps, lobsters, crabs, and many other type of not known to me crustacean.

Picking Seafood from the market
Live crab
Beautiful Scarlet Shrimp
Second, you will go across the street to have one of the food stalls (many of them are quite large) to have them preparing those goodies you have just picked up. It won’t hurt to add an order of those heavenly Cantonese-style roasted goose or duck (huh, actually, you may need to call ahead to get those ordered and prepared).

Roasted Goose

Finally, the best part of course, you will sit down with your family around the table at the Dai Pai Dong to share and enjoy each of the those freshly prepared dishes as they come. If you like, you can also continue to commemorate or celebrate whatever the reason you come here for.

Eating with family

 

More Pictures on Flickr!!!

 

Mardi Gras Salad

Magic of colors!

  • Blanched Purple Cabbage
  • Spinach
  • Orange
  • Toasted Pecan

Salad dressing of your liking, light color vinaigrette-based dressing would be better than creamy dressing for presentation purpose.

 

 

Austin Food Carts Trip One

This is my first Austin Food Carts crawling trip, and definitely will not be my last. Here is my google mapping for the trip

Tasty stuff all around the town, and so far no item i have ordered were over $8. Lee’s and mine belly were so happy, and they have decided there really is no reason (almost) to eat elsewhere other than the food carts when visiting Austin.  Salute to those Austin weirdos! What a genius concept! Now our foodies find one more way to satisfy the taste bud without paying for the high price tag of prime real estate, and, sometimes, pretentious services. Just about every food cart we visited, we saw happy cooks working diligently in those tiny carts, and delivering some fantastic menu items with, surprisingly, great quality.