I’ve experienced a few “firsts” the last few days in the culinary world. First it was Slurpees at 7-11. Maybe they’re not so “culinary” but hey, it’s food so to me it’s culinary.
Anders, Andrew, and I had the pleasure of sharing lunch today with Ben. That was a first as well. We have invited him several times to join us and he always politely declines. I think the drivers are coached to limit fraternization but he can’t help himself. He’s a people person. I too was coached to keep driver and household help lives separate but I too can’t help myself. There is no way that I could spend as much time in the car as I do and not talk. I’m just very blessed that Ben speaks English as well as he does or I’d be forced to sit in the middle seat and read. BORING!
So, we went to lunch at a restaurant in the P&G building. They serve traditional Guangzhou food, meaning anything and everything. This is a place that a lot of the drivers frequent during the week. They sit there and talk about all of us while they have their morning tea and dim sum. Good enough for them, good enough for us. Actually it was probably too good for us. Anders ordered what he liked with a local specialty thrown in for Andrew’s benefit. Ben only added one more choice but it’s his favorite.
Here’s what we had:
pork steamed buns, steamed shrimp and celery dumplings, some kind of chopped up pork, vegetable filled rice balls that were deep fried, scallion pancakes, 4 treasures dumplings which contained shark fin, abalone, shrimp and something else that I don’t remember because I couldn’t get past the fact that I ate shark fin and abalone, chicken feet marinated in soy bean curd juice, and Japanese pork crackling rolls. It was all washed down with chrysanthemum tea which was delicious.
I tried and liked everything. Gotta be honest, the chicken feet were tasty. You would have to eat about 50 of them to be full but they were way better than I thought they would be. Think about how much meat you find on a chicken foot. The soy bean curd juice was quite good. We mentioned to Ben that we don’t exactly eat chicken feet on a regular basis in the States. He laughed, said he knew that, and shrugged his shoulders while saying, “You are in Guangzhou where – you know – we eat everything.” If I had to choose between eating chicken feet and drinking a Slurpee I would definitely choose chicken feet. At least they are a naturally occurring food. 😉
The 4 treasures dim sum was good. I can now check the shark fin and abalone box. Sometimes that’s the only reason to eat something, to say you did. So, now I did.
The Japanese pork crackling rolls were the best. I could eat a whole plate of them. They were soft dumplings filled with veggies and chicken or duck crackling and topped with some kind of caviar. Ben explained that what makes them Japanese to the Chinese it that wasabi is added to the dipping sauce!
Andrew had been eager to eat at a traditional Chinese restaurant and the fact that his first experience was shared with Ben really made it special. Andrew is the best person in the world.