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Gary Soup

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  1. Socratic dialogue? Although we have an abundance of hemlock up here, could you really endorse a guy who ordered it for his last meal? Sorry Gary, but in these parts, when a big Pacific storm rolls over the coast we're much more favourably disposed to Nietzsche--someone we can really sink our teeth into when it's dark outside too. Besides, shouldn't we cast the net wider and ask the question as to precisely when Greater Vancouver displaced the Bay Area as the west coast's pre-eminent culinary destination? I'd warrant that it was about three years ago, six months after the tech-wreck but while w
  2. Let's not forget here that crabs and lobsters are essentially giant primeval insects, related to cockroaches.
  3. Joan, you give up too easily . Just trying to start a little Socratic dialogue, and hopefully draw out the Vancouver folks to defend/discuss the gems of Chinese cuisine in Vancouver/Richmond. There doesn't seem to be much of a knowledge base on this or the other message board about it.
  4. The Fruit Chan movie "Dumplings" had a great scene where the protagonist's wayward husband peeled and ate a third trimester balut as he fondled the leg of a young housemaid at poolside. That was one of the less provocative food-related images from the film.
  5. Boy, you're definitely going to have to go back to Vancouver, because I think it's safe to say that the SF Bay Area canNOT hold a candle to Vancouver in this area. ← I'll put that down to your LA snobbery (inferiority complex?) vis-a-vis the Bay Area coming through again. I'm guessing that Vancouver's Chinese food is Hong Kong-based, which makes it already Cantonese once removed. I avoided the pricey places in HK (and boy were they pricey!) in the three months I was there, but the affordable food in HK was nothing to write home about.
  6. I agree that the soy sauce and five spice overshadow the taste of tea leaves. However, I believe green tea is too "weak" to be used in making tea eggs. You need to use a strong flavor tea leave, such as Pu Er, to obtain the tea flavor. ← Maybe I'm being parochial here. My wife hails from green tea country, where people seldom even have black or red tea in the house. Also, I recall reading somewhere that tea eggs originated in Suzhou, and were originally made with biluochun tea.
  7. It sounds like you went to the left-most (non-halal) Xinjiang place. We had the same dish, only with beef instead of lamb. Oddly, our noodles seemed to have been cooked a bit too long. [Edited to say: Oops, I overlooked the fact that you said Xian, not Xinjiang. The soup we had at the Xinjiang place also came in a ceramic bowl and had lots of cilantro in it; it also came with a lamb option.]
  8. What do you mean by this? What are typical Shanghainese flavours? ← Sorry for being cryptically terse (I found my post already rambling more than I intended). I was referring to the Shanghainese tendency to prefer strong individual flavors rather than subtle melded ones. Along the same lines, Shanghainese chefs adhere religiously to the northern tenet of only two ingredients in a stir fry, and tend to extend it further by having one clearly primary and the other secondary. "Happy family" type dishes are generally eschewed, especially ones in a medium which allows flavors to mingle. T
  9. A couple of comments: It's probably dawned on you that tea is one of the ingredients for "tea eggs" that you forgot to list. It doesn't matter a lot, since the tea flavor is overpowered by the soy sauce and spicing, but I believe green tea is traditional rather than black tea. Also, 5-spice is often used instead of just star anise. There's nothing more satisfying than grabbing a couple of hot tea eggs from a street vendor at the train station when you're rushing for a train at dawn on a chilly day!
  10. We haven't seen Shanghai or our apartment in two years (not to worry, it's busy collecting rent for our retirement nest egg). My view, though, reinforced by a weekend trip to Vancouver (see my report on the Canada board), is that if you know the culinary landscape you don't HAVE to go to China to get good restaurant food (localized street food is another matter). Ever since the Cultural Revolution trashed high cuisine, China has been playing catchup with Chinese food in the diaspora. Over the weekend, there was a story in the Globe and Mail's excellent series on "China Rising" about the cu
  11. I've just returned from a long weekend in Vancouver with my wife, S-I-L and S-I-L's husband in tow. I'm embarrased to admit that it was my first visit there after 42 years of living in California, but I shall return! If you read the Chinese food forum, you may know that I get a steady diet of home-cooked Shanghainese food, and am the self-appointed snapping turtle of xiaolong bao orthodoxy (I even registered to domain name xiaolongbao.com). Our whole party was jonesing for Shanghainese food and I in particular for xiaolong bao (sometimes referred to as "soup dumplings"). We were surprised at
  12. I hear you on that. The beauty of the crab feasts is that they do all the work for you on most preparations. Of course, they also include one whole crab dish. A true Shanghainese wouldn't be denied the labor of love involved in cleaning the tiny creature of every edible morsel.
  13. You'll be in Shanghai at the height of the Shanghai "Hairy Crab" season. An absolute must, IMHO, is to partake of this noted freshwater delicacy, particularly at one of the major crab fests. Here's a descripton of four of them, culled from the listings at That's Shanghai, a good resource in itself. I couldn't find the current pricing, but they are typically quite reasonable by Western dining standards (and compared to what you may encounter in HK). Hairy Crab Menu The "Full Crab Menu" features from steamed hairy crab, chin chow cold crab to fried crab with pepper & salt, and special cre
  14. Amoy is also manufactured in Hong Kong. Does the GM prohibition extend to HK?
  15. PBR=Pabst Blue Ribbon (gosh, where've you been?) PRB=Pearl River Bridge (established up-thread.)
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