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Your Top Chinese Food Experiences


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Back during the dot-com boom, I worked at a dot-com in Torrance, California that bordered an area that has the best Japanese food in the state. However, we had a handful of Chinese engineers and, confident they had to know the best Chinese food to be found, I convinced them to take me to lunch.

It was a grand affair and little did I know that we had to drive over an hour away, to Monrovia, to Tung Lai Shun - Islamic Chinese.

Four of the six engineers involved in this sojourn spoke little English so as we entered the restaurant, the owner immediately came out and a blur of Chinese began to be spoke. Little did I know that I would never see a menu, they had just begun to order us lunch. Within a few minutes, a waitress came out and presented us with an entire duck - for our approval. When the guys nodded their assent, she deftly started disassembling the bird for their version of MooShu - instead of the thin pancakes, the duck meat, hoisin sauce, and cucumber shreds were put into breaded sesame pockets. The remainder of the bird was hacked up and re-appeared in a large cauldron of soup.

I never did see a menu but recall a spicy dish of duck tongues, savory beef tendon, the most amazing garlic-sauteed spinach, yet a different soup (with noodles, this time), a scallion-filled round of bread, and five or six other dishes the contents of which I never learned. I just remember how amazed I was at the bounty and flavor of all this amazing food. The engineers who didn't speak to me because of the language barrier beemed at my gustatorial enjoyment of the adventure. I was doubly amazed that while we had enough food to feed a dozen people (and none of it was finished), all six engineers insisted I take home the leftovers to share with Shawn. He and I ate for days and no Chinese meal ever was able to compare with that afternoon. Part of it was also the fact that we were out of the office for hours, and I had a great boss who knew of the adventure and covered for my absence.

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my first trip to chung king in monterey park (in the san gabriel valley adjoining los angeles) would probably be my pick. there were 4 of us and we ordered enough food for 8. the best ma-po tofu i have ever eaten; the most amazing pork spare-ribs with medicinal ash; the hot-chopped chicken: little cubes of chicken barely visible in a sea of red chillies swimming in chilli oil; the most amazing whole pumpkin stuffed with spiced ground pork (this wasn't on the menu--we saw it on other people's tables and demanded it); not to mention the cold appetizer buffet bar. i could go on and on.

if you live in los angeles and you haven't been to chung king you owe it to yourself to go. take the 10 east, exit on garfield, turn right at the bottom of the ramp--keep on trucking till you pass garvey. chung king will be on the left side of the street opposite the designer shoe warehouse.

warning 1: this is the spiciest food i've ever eaten (and as a bengali i eat pretty spicy food)

warning 2: there is only one person there who speaks english so you have to be patient (since you'll likely be the only non-chinese speakers in the tiny space this probably won't be a problem). however, you'll need to stock up on the water early since the food is dangerously hot and you may not see the english speaker every time your tongue catches on fire. which leads me to:

tip: they don't serve alcohol but allow you to bring in your own beer (no charge); there's a liquor store right next door. nobody will look at you askance if you walk in with a couple of 4-packs of boddington's or some other crisp lager.

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HKDave, great post. I remember the Green Door in Van. Went there as a guset back in 1963-64 (?). Not fancy, not great (in hindsight) but to a young Chinese Canadian Army Officer just coming off the field where he spent 3 weeks eating army chow out of mess tins, it was enough to bring tears of joy to his eyes.

I've had many memorable and forgettable meals in Kwangchow, including wild game meals I would rather not remember. Always used to stay at the White Swan Hotel too.

Memorable meals include one at a Taiwan government office where I was a guest of a mid level minister of the gov't. He had the in-house retaurant bring up "lunch" to his private dining room for 4 of us. Three hours later I came to the conclusion that the powerful do live better than us plebes :wink: What those cooks can do with eel, shrimp, fish, etc.!!

Dave, you mentioned the term "trade mission", was that with the old "BC Trade" agency or was it DFAIT?

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  • 1 year later...

Best Chinese meal? Hong Kong "dai pai dong". Forget the fancy restaurants. This Toisanese loves some hawker stands. I remember in 1994, the 1st time I went to HK, I had the BEST "yao jah gway" (fried culler) ever. Oh, and the wonton noodle soups. To.Die.For.

I guess since I grew up in the DC area where there are no good Cantonese restaurants, HK glimmers like a pearl in my mind.

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last february i went to taiwan with my mom. my uncle took us to GiLong, a bit north of Taipei where my mom and her family grew up. we went to a restaurant (i'm sorry, i don't know the name of it) and had pig's feet. i know it sounds unappetizing, but it was probably the best meal of that whole trip and i still think about it to this day. apparently this place is famous for its pig's feet (my aunt said people drive to gilong just to get pig's feet to go). it's just boiled and served in its own tasty broth, with a big bowl of noodles and this unbelievable spicy sauce that goes over the noodles. it was so good. can't explain it.

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.....had pig's feet. i know it sounds unappetizing, but it was probably the best meal of that whole trip and i still think about it to this day. apparently this place is famous for its pig's feet (my aunt said people drive to gilong just to get pig's feet to go). it's just boiled and served in its own tasty broth, with a big bowl of noodles and this unbelievable spicy sauce that goes over the noodles. it was so good. can't explain it.

Pig feet can be tasty if done properly. In Hong Kong, typically pig feet are simmered in a broth made with dark soy, red vinegar, rock sugar and whole ginger for hours. Perhaps some five spice? I am not sure.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Pig feet in black vinegar, peanuts, ginger, lily buds...

New mother's soup...YUM! wub.gif

:laugh: Ohhhh, Sue---Oooonnnn, are you hiding something from us? :biggrin: Do you have an announcement to make???? :raz:

Did I look like I had something to hide when you were here in November? :angry::laugh:

Actually, I was just at a friend's grandson's month old party :smile: , and enjoyed this favourite soup. :raz:

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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.....had pig's feet. i know it sounds unappetizing, but it was probably the best meal of that whole trip and i still think about it to this day. apparently this place is famous for its pig's feet (my aunt said people drive to gilong just to get pig's feet to go). it's just boiled and served in its own tasty broth, with a big bowl of noodles and this unbelievable spicy sauce that goes over the noodles. it was so good. can't explain it.

Pig feet can be tasty if done properly. In Hong Kong, typically pig feet are simmered in a broth made with dark soy, red vinegar, rock sugar and whole ginger for hours. Perhaps some five spice? I am not sure.

oh i love pig's feet. that's how my mom prepares it ever since i was little! red-braised pig's feet! mmmm, i love mom!

the idea of the pig's feet just being boiled though, really sounded unappetizing at first. but then when i tasted it, it was delish.

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  • 4 months later...

Thanks for re-surfacing this thread o' Piper of Olde...

The last couple posts have got me thinking hard. It's almost winter down here in Oz, and my grandma gets off a plane Wednesday morning. I'll be going to the market on Saturday. By Sunday, there will be pig's feet in vinegar on the table. I assure you all. And I will report!!

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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jo-mel, was the sweet melon nan gua?

Unless it had a face carved into it and contained a candle within, I doubt it was a nan gua.

Huh?

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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There is a Chinese restaurant about two blocks uphill, west, I think, from the Hyatt Hotel in Seoul. Don't remember what I ate, but my God..... :wub:

Frau Farbissma: "It's a television commercial! With this cartoon leprechaun! And all of these children are trying to chase him...Hey leprechaun! Leprechaun! We want to get your lucky charms! Haha! Oh, and there's all these little tiny bits of marshmallow just stuck right in the cereal so that when the kids eat them, they think, 'Oh this is candy! I'm having fun!'"
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jo-mel, was the sweet melon nan gua?

Unless it had a face carved into it and contained a candle within, I doubt it was a nan gua.

Huh?

Nangua would be one of the pronounciations for "pumpkin".

Taiwanese, according to my father.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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jo-mel, was the sweet melon nan gua?

Unless it had a face carved into it and contained a candle within, I doubt it was a nan gua.

Huh?

Nangua would be one of the pronounciations for "pumpkin".

Taiwanese, according to my father.

In Beijing, it's much more similar to a canteloupe than a pumpkin.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Nangua would be one of the pronounciations for "pumpkin". 

Taiwanese, according to my father.

In Beijing, it's much more similar to a canteloupe than a pumpkin.

Huh? Nangua the pronounciation would be more similar to a cantaloupe than a pumpkin?

Edited by herbacidal (log)

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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The fruit I ate that people told me was nangua looked something like a honeydew and tasted pretty much like a cantaloupe, from what I remember or maybe it looked like a cantaluope and tasted like a honeydew. It was certainly nothing like a pumpkin. But this is a memory from 1987.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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  • 14 years later...
On 11/25/2003 at 5:45 PM, stellarWOK said:

Here is where the story transcends the culinary. I felt as though I was transported back to a time when I could remember another life when I was Chinese. The spiciness of the dish made me aware of so many things. This experience really stuck with me. As I explored the experience and the thoughts that followed, I felt I had met my death in that life outside the circle of a military camp by being trampeled to death by a horse. As I continued to watch the events, I could see the hoof of a horse crushing my chest on the left side and a rib punctured my heart.

Years later at a palm reading, the reader told me I died in my first life from an injury on my left side by a horse.

It was just some red peppers..I swear. Kung Pao Chicken nothing more.

At times when I walk into a Chinese restaurant, the management and staff seem to recognize me even though now...I am not Chinese.

:huh:

 

 

What an amazing story stellarWOK.

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5 hours ago, mudbug said:

 

What an amazing story stellarWOK.

It is indeed but you do realize that that poster has not visited this board in 15 years?

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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3 minutes ago, mudbug said:

 

Yes, I do. But these can be ongoing conversations...  ; )

They can, of course, but it’s much more difficult when the principal is no longer present. 

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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On 10/17/2019 at 10:55 AM, Anna N said:

it’s much more difficult when the principal is no longer present. 

 

I would say "challenging", but also not reason enough to end a great discussion. People go through phases, society and culture change, individuals come and go, and sometimes come back again (if they haven't passed away). But the discussion about food can, and should — last over lifetimes.

 

*wink*

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    • By liuzhou
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