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In a state of hibernation. My backlog has long become unsustainable. Will probably tweet more and write less full-length stuff.

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Entries in Chinese (47)

Thursday
Mar092006

Most Refreshing Replacement for Water

2006-small.jpg

I'm now posting from Budapest, and taking a little break from Sydney here on Arthur Hungry. Those of you who follow the food blogosphere may have noticed that the 2006 TasteEverything Independent Food Festival & Awards have been taking place this week. Hillel over at tastingmenu.com has been awesome enough to organize this yearly event, which basically gets a bunch of us food blogs together to hand out some awards to recognize food items of our choosing. Basically, we get to think of an award of any kind, and give it out to someone we feel is deserving. The awards have been going out all week, so be sure to check out all the great stuff out there over at the TasteEverything site.

infusions.jpg

After much deliberation, I decided to make my award the "Most Refreshing Replacement for Water" and give it to the house jasmine green tea at Infusions Tea Spa, served cold. The truth is that with Infusions just a couple of blocks away from my apartment at school in Allston, the green tea really has replaced water for me... I drink one every day, and I certainly drink more of it than I do regular water. Those of you who know me probably know that I go through one of their frequent customer cards (get a free drink after every 10 you buy) in a week or less. I figure, what deserves an award more than something I have every day? I have it so frequently that it doesn't really get the Arthur Hungry recognition it deserves...



large house jasmine green tea, cold - $3.26 Here it is, in all its glory. Note the EasyWay packaging - EasyWay is a bubble tea chain based out of Taiwan. Funny enough, there are EasyWays all over Sydney, where it is sort of like a McDonald's of bubble tea. At Infusions though, they pretty much just use the cups and the little plastic sealing machine. The tea is certainly different than all of the EasyWays I tried in Sydney.

And boy is it good - there's nothing more refreshing when you're thirsty. It goes well with all kinds of food. Ask for it with just a bit of sugar, and it has a slight bit of sweetness with a nice jasmine flavor. Vincent, half of the husband-wife duo (they've just had a baby, who is often hanging out as well) that run this place will shake the tea with some ice and sugar, and pour it out like a cocktail. The drink becomes ice cold, with no ice to dilute everything. There's nothing better, and I'm seriously going to miss this stuff when I graduate and move away from Boston. I sometimes wish that I could have a faucet that poured Infusions green tea instead of water - it sure would make my life easier (and less expensive).

Infusions also has a huge variety of other teas... all good, but I really like the plain green tea the best. There are a few very good food items, most notably the minced pork on rice and the egg salad on toasted baguette, both of which cost less than $3. The place is a great place to study, or just hang out and have a drink. In short, if you're in Boston, try Infusions right away. You'll get hooked.

Tuesday
Mar072006

China Noodle King

Well, I'm on the road again. We're on spring break this week, and right now I'm typing this from a hotel in Prague. We got here on Saturday and are actually getting ready to board a train to Budapest for the second leg of our trip. Been having a lot of fun, and some suprisingly good eats. But anyway, onto work...

 

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Another cheap college-budget place we frequented a lot in Sydney was China Noodle King, on the main George Street strip at the edge of Chinatown. It turns out that it's pretty easy to find delicious, freshly-made Chinese noodles in Sydney, and the Noodle King as we called it was our favorite. The decor is sparse but the food is delicious (the noodles moreso than the dumplings), and the location is extremely convenient.

pork pancake - A$4 One of the best items on the menu (not to mention one of the best deals in Sydney) is this pork pancake. It's actually more like a pork sandwich, with fatty, oily pork in between two wonderful pancakes that are crispy on the outside and doughy on the inside. It's the perfect thing to split with a friend.

stretched fried noodles with pork and vegetables - A$7.8 The noodles, though, are the main event. They come prepared in a plethora of different ways, but I liked them best fried. This is pretty much as basic as it can get, but the noodles have a great slightly-chewy texture to them, and the portion is huge. We went to Noodle King all the time; the value there is pretty tough to beat. They also have bottled green tea and other Chinese drinks in their fridge - the perfect accompaniment. I recommend this place highly.

Thursday
Nov032005

Fortune Garden

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Seems like it's been a while since I've posted about any Chinese food. One of my regular Vancouver stops is Fortune Garden. It's one of our go-to spots for a big family dinner, and apparently the family likes to go when I'm around because people know I love Peking duck. I must admit that this is true, and Fortune Garden does a pretty mean Peking duck. I only took a few pictures, but here you go. Sorry for the lack of description and prices - I never have any idea what stuff is called in English...

fresh prawns Nothing like some big, Chinese-style prawns. There is a lot of effort involved with the shell removal, but the meat inside is sooo worth it. The sauce, drenched in prawn flavor, is delicious... I'd happily soak it up with baguette if I had some!

Peking duck
pancakes The reason for our visit: crispy, tasty, duck skin. Fortune Garden's version is for the most part skin-only, which makes it oily and fatty to some, but delicious to me. The chewy, starchy pancakes help to balance it out. I love the pancakes here - they have a nice, almost doughy texture to them that pairs perfectly with the duck.

beef with sweet sauce Another dish we've been getting a lot is this stir-fried beef with a slightly sweet sauce. The beef is tender, and the sauce is again very dippable. Again I apologize for not photographing everything. I always feel bad taking pictures when we're out with the whole family... I have to make a hungry table of 12 wait for me. Anyway, I've got another 5 or so Vancouver posts, including a usual onslaught of Japanese. Stay tuned!

Thursday
Feb242005

Silver Palace

silverpalace.jpg My final Vancouver post is from Silver Palace, a Chinese place I hadn't tried before. The Chows were kind enough to bring me along with them for dinner here. I'm usually able to eat with them for a meal or two when I go up. Silver Palace has a pretty good reputation. The place is surprisingly small, consisting of about 10 (maybe less?) round tables, though each table was fairly big. Enough for the typical Chinese family dinner out, at least. We had quite a lot of food, so here are some of the highlights.

free peanuts!

shark's fin soup

fried tofu It must seem a little weird that I took pictures of the peanuts, which you get for free at many Chinese restaurants. Let me tell you - these peanuts were good. Apparently they're homemade (not sure what that means - they roast them there maybe?). All I know is that they're addictive, and I could easily have eaten a few dishfuls of them had I not controlled myself. I ate a lot of them anyway. The shark's fin soup was very good, and notably generous on the actual shark's fin. There was a small debate at the table over the best way to eat the soup - some like it plain, others like it with vinegar, and others still like to use a sort of Chinese mustard. I'm a vinegar man myself, but to each his/her own. The fried tofu was delicious! The crust was perfectly fried and crisp, while the inside remained soft, delicate, and steaming hot. And wonderfull salty.

crispy roasted chicken

chicken with taro in cream sauce

eggplant with xo sauce The crispy chicken was a pretty nice rendition - crisp skin and tender meat. I only wish there were more skin (then again, I seem to wish that every time I have a roasted chicken). The chicken with taro was far superior to the duck version we had at Ming Yuen. This one was boiling hot (you can see the bubbles in the photo) and much tastier. The eggplant with XO sauce was a wonderful demonstration of the beauty of XO. Their version was quite delicious indeed, and lended a nice bit of flavor to the soft, steamed eggplant. Silver Palace is yet another solid Chinese option in Vancouver, a city already flooded with good Chinese restaurants. A real luxury to be envied, indeed...
Tuesday
Feb082005

Golden Ocean

Here is another family meal at Golden Ocean (thanks for the link SaabKen!). The "kids table" this meal was remarkably small. Then again, there aren't many actual kids left so it's more like a "younger generation" table. So we actually ordered stuff ourselves, which is pretty unusual. On to the food:

beef with chinese broccoli

tofu with scallops and black bean sauce Beef with broccoli was alright. The beef was tender and the broccoli was crisp. We pretty much got what we expected. The scallop tofu dish was surprisingly nice. The texture of the scallops complemented the lightness of the tofu well. The black bean sauce added just the right deep flavor.

honey-garlic spare ribs with fried shrimp balls

fried sole fillets with broccoli

baked tapioca pudding with red bean (underneath) The spare ribs were really good! We had this dish the only other time I came here, and it's a winner. The ribs are hot and sweet, with a perfect slight crisp on the outside. The shrimp balls are searing hot in the middle - be careful not to burn your tongue! The sole fillets were good, with a slightly hot peppery flavor. Tapioca pudding was pretty good. Dessert is hardly the forte of Chinese cuisine - in fact, there are very few that I like. Mango pudding is the obvious one. Tapioca pudding with red bean is good when done right. The key, I think, is the level of browning on the top, which affects the texture of the whole thing when you eat it. The version here is not bad at all.