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Monday, November 19, 2012

Mo Soaked in Lamb Soup (羊肉泡饃)

Thanksgiving is coming up, so thought I'd share more of my food adventures in the ancient city of Xian with you... Here is Xian's most famous dish -- Mo Soaked in Lamb Soup or 羊肉泡饃 in Chinese. Usually this is how the dish is served: you are given a pancake or mo (饃), then you rip it into little pieces with your bare hands. You then hand the broke mo to the server, they pour hot lamb and soup base over it, and you let it soak up all the lamb-y goodness, then voila, 羊肉泡饃 is ready. Perfect for a winter cold day.

The dish is usually accomplished by sweet and sour preserved garlic and cold appetizer dishes.

The kitchen staff waiting for the next order.

They make it clear that it is a halal restaurant. The green sign to the left says: this is a halal restaurant, Miss Piggy ist vorboten!

Sunday, November 11, 2012


I am home now, Manhattan Beach home, that is. But I thought I'd share a few pics of my trip to my maternal aunt's home in Xian, China. When I arrived, she was preparing for dinner...

Dried pancake, a common zhushi (or main meal which refers to rice, noodles, buns type of foods)

Stove, in case you don't know what this is :-)

Aerial shot...very homey meal, and incredibly delicious.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Muslim Quarters, Xian, China

China is a much more culturally and religiously diverse country than many people realize... here are a few pictures of the Muslim Quarter in Xian, China. Xian used to be the end point of the Silk Road and the Muslim influence is evident in its food culture. The Drum Tower at the entrance to the Muslim Quarter.

The sign at the entrance to the tower means heavenly sound.

The main thoroughfare in the Muslim Quarter.

Lamb feet, you'll never find any pig's feet here.

Notice the pancakes to the right in the previous pic? Here is a close up and it is called -- Nang! Yes same as the Indian word for pancake.

Muslims selling spicy snacks

Cold skin noodles -- native Shaanxi people do not use the thick sesame sauce, but other parts of China use lots of sesame sauce for cold noodles.

Dried Jujubes, like the vibrant color

Muslims making pancakes...

Small stir fried dishes (small stir fry usually connotes casual family style foods)...If you see a person wearing this type of hat in China, it means they are Muslim.

This is my favorite! It's called persimmon pancake. They mix persimmon with flour then make it into a persimmon shaped pancake. You have all sorts of choices for fillings -- sesame paste, bean paste, walnut paste, etc. etc... so so good.

Here is mine. Oh got a manicure earlier in the day. Persimmon pancake is so so good, got a second one on the way back.

Xi'an's official soft drink, a type of orangy soda.

This is a typical Shaanxi hot pot -- non-pork meatballs, vermicilli, veggies, seaweed, tofu noodles, tofu, very very good for a cold day. My tummy felt so happy afterwards, giggles :)

This is a famous Xian dessert place, it is called East Ocean Jing Pancake, long long line.

They make a huge pot of Jing Pancake then sell it by the piece.

Side street in Muslim Quarter

Lamb and beef kabob place!

Lao Mi Jia (or Old Rice Family) is a famous Lamb Soaked in Mo place. Mo means flour bun in Shaanxi dialect. What they do is they give you a huge bowl of mutton soup, then you shred the Mos and let the pieces soak up the soup, then eat it as a noodle soup kind of dish.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pirates of Victoria Harbour

The Bounty in its full glory...

Blocks and blocks of apartments... millions of people live in there.

Rear of the Bounty... it was a little chilly so we hid out there.

Little ship in the harbor, hm, maybe we should ship-jack it! Time to put on my pirate's eye patch.

Back in Central...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I love "愛LOVE."

On my looooong flight from LA to Beijing, I saw a Taiwanese movie called "愛LOVE" starring Vicki Zhao, Ethan Ruan, Mark Chao... I am usually not a super chickie flickie kinda person, but this movie was a lot of fun to watch and really heart warming. Check it out when you get a chance :) Below is the Chinese character for love, I like that the character for heart (心) is in the middle. Aw.

Although "愛LOVE" is pretty good, my all time favorite movie is still "Garfield: Tale of Two Kitties", an epic autographical account of the formative years of yours truly :P

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Crab-licious Singaporean Blowout

Thanks J for being the best party organizer. Dinner at Palm Beach Restaurant was so much fun. Where else can we wine and dine surrounded by the Merlion, the over the top Marina Sands Hotel and Singapore's beautiful skyline.
Thailand coconut juice to start the night... sip sip sip, mmmm.
Satay skewers, munch munch munch, mmmm.
Giant prawns topped with shredded almonds, I want them all. So yummy.
And then it was the crabs... Black pepper crab, a la Claude Monet Impressionist Style... fine fine, camera didn't focus well. I know it looks ugly, but it was so so delicious. Don't judge a crab by its cover, K? :P
Singapore Chilli Crab...
Da Claw, but it's no match for Cat's Paw. Hey, it rhymes :)
After crabs, Cat gingerly dabs the corners of her mouth... and orders a papaya dessert to cleanse her palette.
Roar Merlion Roar... though beware of the hordes of Japanese tourists, they may make you into sushi :P

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cat does the Gangnam Style (at a Hawker Centre)

Well, almost. You see, on my last day in Singy, F and I went to the Lau Pa Sat Hawker Centre which is btw, a must go place, not just for food but also the splendid architecture. Anyhoo, luckily for us, we scored a table in the center of the crowded food court. While I was munching on my roasted duck meat, and F savoring her fried kimchi rice, suddenly a group of youngsters started to do the Gangnam Style right in front of us. I was like, WTH, I wanna do the pony dance too! So I ran in front and the chick with her back to the camera is me. Ok ok, it's not me, I seriously thought about joining the flash mob, but couldn't part ways with my roasted duck, not even for thirty seconds :P Here is the video I put on Youtube, maybe I'll get gazillion views too. The Lau Pa Sat Centre is the oldest ironcast structure still standing in Southeast Asia. Really quite impressive.
F (in blue dress) fearlessly leading the way to food paradise :)
Stall after stall of yummy food vendors... decisions, decisions, why is life so hard? Sniff Sniff.
Detailed food pics for one of the maybe 50 vendors. Clams, crabs, shrimp, ahh faint. I want them all! Yep, I am a greedy eater, you got a problem? Hmph.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Singapore is a "Fine" City La :-)

As we all know, Singapore has a reputation of being an uber anal, gum hating, city state. Well, it could not be more untrue. I arrived here a few days ago and have been having the time of my life, or more accurately, my tummy has been having the time of its life :-) Heck, even if they throw me in a gulag or spank my tushy for chewing gum, I couldn't care less... I'd happily give up my freedom for the good food :-P Here is me and the Merlion, Singapore's mascot. Maybe I should convince them to install a Mercat?
Losing my Hainese chicken rice virginity at the Amoy Street Hawker Centre...
I love love hawker centers. The only drawback is I can't decide what to have, there's like literally dozens and dozens of stalls.
Gasp! Cat is jaywalking!
On the left is the Singapore flyer, and on the right is the tip of the Marina Sands casino, with its banana top. We went to Seafood Paradise at the bottom of the Singapore flyer. Thanks L for the treat!
This doesn't look like much, but it's so yummy. It's giant prawns coated with Chinese preserved egg yolk. Yeah, it sounds kinda funky, but it's really just yummy. Like the slightly mian mian texture of preserved egg yolk. Yum yum yum. Sorry, I know am repeating myself lots.
Mr. Chilli Crab, we are finally face to face. Upon my arrival in Singy, the first thing I asked J was, where can I have chilli crabs :-)
The rest of our meal, all very yummy.
The next day, we went to an open air restaurant for lunch. J was worried I might not be used to the cheesy sunbrellas and plastic chairs, but upon seeing the place, I exclaimed, I love al fresco dining!
It seems Malaysian dishes are all called "something" Goreng.
Here is my XXX Goreng.
K's XXX Goreng.
Group XXX Goreng. [Update: Goreng means fried in Malaysian. So of all the dishes, only the redish stir fried noodles below is a type of "Goreng" :)]
Boat Quay, pronounced Key, at dusk.
We went to Sichuan Dou Hua restaurant on the 60th floor of the UOB Building. Salivating chicken, or Ko Shui Ji in Chinese.
Sliced pork in garlic sauce...
This is actually a vegetarian dish, it's tofu with seaweed on top, one of the restaurant's signature dishes, very good.
Deep fried chicken nuggets with chillis... I feel I've gained 10 pounds just writing this blog post :-)
Boat Quay at night... Part II of my Singy adventure to follow soon :-)