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Duvel

Tales from the Fragrant Harbour

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That market. I could spend hours....and hours....

 

Lovely scenery as well. Not to mention the food.

 

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Just now, kayb said:

That market. I could spend hours....and hours....

 

Lovely scenery as well. Not to mention the food.

 

 

I know ... I do spend far to much time there as well. Money too :$

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On ‎7‎/‎26‎/‎2017 at 7:13 AM, Duvel said:

And as promised: the spoils of war from my shopping trip last Sunday at Kappabashi in Tokyo, where all the restaurant suppliers are located. Took me 45 min to gather :$ ...

 

 

 

You certainly have a well-stocked kitchen.

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I could spend days (slight exaggeration, but only slight) in that store.  

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1 hour ago, KennethT said:

I loved the octopus card... so convenient.  I wish we had something like that in NYC.

 

Yes!  Made it so easy to use public transportation .....and pick up a snack at 7-Eleven :P

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1 hour ago, Shelby said:

I echo Rotuts.  SO interesting.  The store is so pretty and clean.  Interesting that the rice is kept in the refrigerated section.  

My Japanese friend keeps all her rice in the fridge. I guess having a warm and moist environment is not the best for keeping rice in perfect condition (though I do keep in at rt in our - dry - apartment and could not detect any off taste ...

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Can you comment on the language? Working in HK, do you conduct most of your business in Cantonese and/or Mandarin? Did you have to take language classes? From your photos, it looks like English is still very prevalent, as far as signage, transportation is concerned.  Do you find it fairly easy to navigate through daily life if you are not fluent in Cantonese/Mandarin?

 

That supermarket - I bet I can spend an entire paycheque there!

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I imagine that that supermarket is a very upscale version catering to expats, no?  I'd be curious as to what supermarkets in more local areas might look like...

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8 hours ago, Beebs said:

Can you comment on the language? Working in HK, do you conduct most of your business in Cantonese and/or Mandarin? Did you have to take language classes? From your photos, it looks like English is still very prevalent, as far as signage, transportation is concerned.  Do you find it fairly easy to navigate through daily life if you are not fluent in Cantonese/Mandarin?

 

That supermarket - I bet I can spend an entire paycheque there!

Most everything that I encounter is in English. That being said, going out to the more "native" areas of Hong Kong - starting with Kowloon and then up to the New Territories - you will find a lot of shops & establishments that cater for the local clientele only. Those are run in Cantonese. And yes, a significant part of the (older) population speak little English at best. Mandarin does not help you with that particular group of people either, unless you are able to write (traditional characters). Then you can communicate in written statements ... In Central, on Hong Kong island in general as well as the parts of the peninsula that's geared towards shopping and amusement navigating with English only works pretty well.

 

In my job, English in the lingua franca. I do deal with many different production environment in several countries and doing that in English is the only way. Even with our head office in Germany communication run mostly in English.

 

During my studies I spend one semester in Taiwan and learned some Mandarin beforehand. I thought to reactivate that knowledge and signed up for Mandarin classes, but had to find out that my ability and willingness to study hard in between classes at home was rather limited. I like to tell people that it's hard because I am a scientist and my brain is just wired the other way around, making it sooo difficult to pick up languages; the truth is I am just lazy (or - put in a more euphemestic context - prioritize other activities in my spare time). Instead of doing the conversational routine as per the textbook, we are now translating recipes and I am getting both some practical value as well as an intrinsic motivation to continue ...

 

 

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32 minutes ago, KennethT said:

I imagine that that supermarket is a very upscale version catering to expats, no?  I'd be curious as to what supermarkets in more local areas might look like...

 

Yes, it is upcale - by the location alone. Though I find that due to the high prices for "western" food items in general, the difference between upscale and regular is not that high. We can have a look into a more "local" supermarket, but I believe you get a much better view on local food acquisitions tomorrow, when I take you to the wet market (Shek Tong Tsui market) ...

 

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14 minutes ago, Duvel said:

we are now translating recipes and I am getting both some practical value as well as an intrinsic motivation to continue ...

 

That is almost how I started learning putonghua (Mandarin).

 

I arrived in China 21 years ago unable to speak a word.of any Chinese language or dialect. I was also the only foreigner in the city, so it was an "in at the deep end" experience. After learning numbers and a few choice cuss words (as you do), I decided that my priority was eating. So, instead of pointing hopefully at other people's meals and demanding the same, I decided to learn food language (menus, ingredients, common dishes etc), both spoken and written. Progress was slow and I remember the utter joy the day I finally looked at a menu and realised I could read it! I was sitting at a table alone giggling with delight, much to the confusion of other customers and staff.

 

Later, in Liuzhou, a city with more foreigners,  I was commissioned by some restaurants to translate their menus (usually paid in meals) which hoped to attract foreign customers with their loaded wallets (all foreigners are impossibly rich in most Chinese minds). Translating recipes came later.

 

I think that experience gave me the confidence to expand my Chinese in other fields later (to the point I now speak three forms although Mandarin is the strongest). Funny how your dinner can make you learn all sorts of apparently unrelated stuff.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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1 hour ago, liuzhou said:

I think that experience gave me the confidence to expand my Chinese in other fields later (to the point I now speak three forms although Mandarin is the strongest). Funny how your dinner can make you learn all sorts of apparently unrelated stuff.

 

What I realized it that if you have a profound interest and appreciation of food and cooking, it is very easy to connect to people from other cultures. The moment your counterpart realizes that you are interested and even have some knowledge on details of "their" food they take it as a genuine interest in their culture and somewhat also in themselves (which is true in way). I like interacting with business partner from many countries over dinner, simply by selecting dishes together, discussing details of preparation and finally enjoying the food together. I opens doors ...

 

(and amongst all our production sites and business colleagues I am known as "the guy who takes pictures of every dish he eats" - literally)

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3 minutes ago, Duvel said:

What I realized it that if you have a profound interest and appreciation of food and cooking, it is very easy to connect to people from other cultures.

 

Indeed

 

3 minutes ago, Duvel said:

I am known as "the guy who takes pictures of every dish he eats" - literally)

 

That's me, too.

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Good morning from Central!

 

It’s a beautiful day again. To give you an idea how housing looks like in Discovery Bay, I took a picture of our house. We occupy the ground floor and have a little terrace in the back. Unfortunately, we don’t own a little golf cart, but busses run frequently between the two “centers” of the town.

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Next to the ferry pier lies the “South Plaza”. It consists of a supermarket, plenty of restaurants, shops for daily necessities and public services (such as doctors etc.). Restaurants include Japanese, Korean, Thai, Cantonese, Soup&Dumpling, Italian, Mexican, French, Spanish, Turkish, Subway, McDonalds, an English pub and some "mixed" style comfort food places (Pizza, Burger, Steak ...).

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There are public sitting installments, so at night you can grab a beer at the local convenience store of have some take-out food and enjoy it there. It’s very pleasant, as cyou can have watch your kid playing on the plaza with others while mingling with their parents.

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View from the ferry ...

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This morning the usual green tea with a croissant. Might be the blogging, but I do feel more hungry theses days :$

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Today I went to nearby Causeway Bay for lunch. The original idea was to get a hair cut in my lunch break, but it turns out the place I used to frequent does not longer exist. This happens quite frequently: a job is doing well, so landlord decides to double or triple the rent. A lot of restaurants - even very successful ones - drop out of business this way.

 

Anyway, since I was in Causeway Bay anyway I decided to drop in my favorite Sichuan place called "Yu".

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I opted for the tasting menu, augmented by a bowl of spicy pork dumplings. I do tolerate spicy food, but I prefer to have a glass of cold soy milk with this type of meal.

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Cold chicken in spicy sauce (super ma la) ...

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From left to right: smacked cucumber, beef tripe (very garlicky) and tree fungus with corinander.

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Sour soup with potato noodles. Nice !

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Pork dumplings in spicy oil. These are very good. Small portion though ...

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The whole ensemble ...

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It was very good. I enjoy the "Ma La" effect and having your tongue and lips still tingling on the way back to the office ...

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The meal looks delicious, and I'd be interested to taste tripe done that way.  My tripe experience is limited to menudo.   What's the deal with smacked cucumber?  liuzhou referred to it recently. Is it just that the cucumbers have been softened to take on more sauce?

 

Discovery Bay looks very clean and orderly!  It looks very inviting, from the housing to the South Plaza with its food choices.

 

Going back a couple of posts: It's good that you and liuzhou live far apart.  It would be confusing for the locals to have two men known as "the guy who takes pictures of every dish he eats".  xD

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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36 minutes ago, Smithy said:

The meal looks delicious, and I'd be interested to taste tripe done that way.  My tripe experience is limited to menudo.   What's the deal with smacked cucumber?  liuzhou referred to it recently.

 

Indeed I did. Yes, the cucumbers are bashed to loosen their fibres and allow them to take on more of the dressing.

 

Here is one Fuchsia Dunlop recipe with garlic. I usually have it with more chilli oil.

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Enjoying this thread immensely. Thank you. It has been a few years since when I was in HK. Lots of changes have taken place.

 

Weekend is coming.

 

The last time I was there I saw these unique HK scenes. Every weekend, you see these happening in many places. 

Is this still going on?

 

dcarch

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Edited by dcarch (log)
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3 hours ago, Smithy said:

The meal looks delicious, and I'd be interested to taste tripe done that way.  My tripe experience is limited to menudo.   What's the deal with smacked cucumber?  liuzhou referred to it recently. Is it just that the cucumbers have been softened to take on more sauce?

 

Discovery Bay looks very clean and orderly!  It looks very inviting, from the housing to the South Plaza with its food choices.

 

Going back a couple of posts: It's good that you and liuzhou live far apart.  It would be confusing for the locals to have two men known as "the guy who takes pictures of every dish he eats".  xD

The tripe was nice, though distinctively "untripy". I had Callos in Spain that had much more of a "taste". That being said, it tasted god with the garlic nicely complementing the mild taste, and it had a great texture ...

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2 hours ago, KennethT said:

Was that lunch for 1 person?  It's a feast!

 

Yeah, I might have overordered a bit. But Iam a German guy from a small village - leaving leftovers has never been an option for me. The server was a bit surprised as well :$

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1 hour ago, dcarch said:

Enjoying this thread immensely. Thank you. It has been a few years since when I was in HK. Lots of changes has taken place.

 

Weekend is coming.

 

The last time I was there I saw these unique HK scenes. Every weekend, you see these happening in many places. 

Is this still going on?

 

dcarch

 

Yup, that still is pretty much the norm on sundays, for all the domestic helpers gathering in public places and enjoying their only free day of the week. I'll post an updated picture ...

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5 minutes ago, Duvel said:

 

Yup, that still is pretty much the norm on sundays, for all the domestic helpers gathering in public places and enjoying their only free day of the week. I'll post an updated picture ...

 

World's largest picnic!

You can do a quick food survey of what they eat.

 

dcarch

 

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Tonight I was invited at a dear Japanese friends house. We share the same circle of friends - all local - and I did teach them how to bake bread at one point.

 

Today we took a lesson in making Gyoza and Takoyaki. The former was rather conventional (homemade filling and folding), the latter featured - amng other items - Mentaiko (spicy cod roe) and Nuernberger sausages. I contributed chicken wings (cooked sous vide at 70 oC for two hours, then pan- or deep fried, respectively, as requested by our HK friends). Korean style sauce or curry-salt to go with it ...

 

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Takoyaki.

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Chicken wings :D

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Gyoza...

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Bit of refreshment :shock:

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Itadakimasu !!!

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      Left to right, Xie Long Bao (Shanghainese pork soup dumplings), char siu bao (fluffy buns filled with BBQ pork - although this Taiwanese version was not nearly as sweet as the typical Hong Kong version), Taiwanese beef noodle soup, and a loose leaf oolong tea.  With the waters, cost about US$20!!!  It was quite the feast, especially after the constant EVA flight 'buffet', and the fact that they were going to feed us again on our next flight to Singapore!
    • By KennethT
      It's that time of year again, after just getting back from our summer vacation.  This year, we went to Yogyakarta which is a city in central Java, Indonesia.  The title of the topic comes from the fact that most people there call the city Jogjakarta (pronounced jōg-ja-karta), although some people (depending on background) do call it yōg-ya-karta.  This is a special place in Indonesia - Indonesia is a mostly Muslim country, however, the region around Jogjakarta was declared a special region as it is also a Sultanate.  It was the original home to the ruler of the island of Java, and once democracy came along, the Sultan still lives there and has some kind of power in the region, as well as with the government as a whole...  It's confusing - and I would say that I'm still a bit confused, but that's ok.  Anyway, all this leads this region to be called the cultural and culinary capital of the island of Java, the most populous island in the archipelago, some of the reason it is extremely popular with domestic tourists - I'd say the vast majority of the tourists there are from other parts of Indonesia, with the balance being mostly Australians, and some Europeans and very few North Americans.
       
      Food-wise, we found Jogja interesting because it is the first Muslim area we have seen in SE Asia, which means (with very few exceptions) no pork.  There are tons of chicken dishes - many using what is called kampung chickens, or extremely free range chickens which tend to be relatively scrawny, a little tough but with a lot of flavor.  There is also some beef, some mutton/goat and fish.  Like a lot of Indonesian food, the use of sambal(s) is key - many times you will have a selection of sambal that you would use to accent or add spiciness to a dish.  Some of these sambal are crazy hot...
       
      Another thing interesting thing about being a mostly Muslim area is the seemingly ever-present call to prayer.  In the city, typically 5 times a day, the Mosques will have their best singer sing the call to prayer (which lasts about 20 minutes) over the loudspeaker systems.  If you are in an area with a few mosques, you will hear 3 different versions all going at the same time.  Some of these calls are at inopportune times - like 1:30AM - so most hotels provide ear plugs so you won't be woken up in the middle of the night.  Like we do on all our trips, we take Benadryl as a sleep aid to help get us over the jetlag... so we never needed the earplugs as we were sleeping very soundly to say the least!
       
      I think I'll sum this up by talking about how relatively inexpensive this city is.  It is probably the cheapest area that we have seen on our travels so far - you can get a luxury hotel room for about $50 per night, and a 40 minute taxi ride across the city doesn't cost more than $3-4, at the current rate of exchange.  Local food is really cheap too.  I took some photos of menus to show pricing - keep in mind that the current rate of exchange is about IDR14,100 to US$1.  What can be much more expensive is some touristy things - foreign tourists are charged a different rate from domestic tourists, and in some cases will have a separate entrance (and usually a much shorter, or non-existent, line).
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