Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What a Typical Holiday Should Be.

Went hiking on Sunday.

Monday, August 13.

Dim sum in Ma On Shan, at a place famous for its "one-dollar chicken" (一蚊雞), a pun on the Cantonese expression used to put emphasis on the low value of a dollar - "一蚊雞啫! It was only a dollar!", which makes use of the word chicken (雞) at the end of it.

Some stranger dim sum for which I have no Chinese names:

Cuttlefish cakes with corn in them (oh yeah, forgot to mention.  They love sweet corn here almost as much as the Japanese.  Put it in everything.  Substitute fries with it at McDonald's.):

A rip-off of Tim Ho Wan's pineapple BBQ pork buns:
...yeah, not nearly as good.

Deep fried tofu skin rolls.  Like spring rolls, but with tofu sheets instead of wheat.

Turnip cake stir-fried in XO sauce, a local invention.
No, there's no brandy in XO sauce, but it was named after that particular grade of cognac, the highest among the normal varieties.  It has the same kind of connotations around it - the most expensive, the most high value ingredients, etc.  XO sauce is made from dried scallops (larger and older ones can get really expensive, like other dried seafood goods), dried shrimp, and other ingredients.

Deep-fried, chewy skin dumplings called "saltwater corners" (鹹水角):

Steamed rolls with some kind of custard wrapped into them, sort of like swiss rolls:

Glutinous rice wrapped in wheat dough (the same used for BBQ pork buns) and then steamed.
Carbs on carbs.  Yay.

Siu Mai:
Presented quite well.  Taste was meh.

Mini glutinous rice dumplings.
I have no idea why some places wrap this in paper... stops the natural aroma of the lotus leaf from getting out...

Beef balls:

Some sort of pastry, wrapped around shredded daikon radish.

Really, they weren't all that worse than Din Tai Fung.  I mean, the wrapper was a bit soggy, but tastewise, they're pretty much the same.

BBQ pork buns:

And for dessert, deep fried sesame balls:

and some cake made with red rice.
Tastes like whole wheat bread.  If it were mushy and had a weird sweet aftertaste.

We went to a relative's house.  And started this.
Mahjong (麻雀, also 麻將 in the mainland) is a popular traditional gambling game, the basis of the western card game Rummy.
And it bears no resemblance to that childish matching game on your computer...

Break for dinner.
Imitation shark's fin (tastes better than the real thing, and no sharks dying slow painful deaths!), "Singaporean" fried rice vermicelli (apparently, stick some curry powder onto any fried noodle and you can call it Singaporean around these parts), and spaghetti with bolognese sauce.

Yeah.  My relatives apparently wanted to know what al dente pasta was like.  Too bad they didn't get any.  That bowl was massive (there were two packs of spaghetti in it!)  I would be amazed if it didn't get as soggy as it did.

Continuing the game:
and yes, KZ, that's an Angry Birds T-shirt.
Speaking of KZ, ...MONEY!

And we headed home.
Yellow (technically "amber") and red together here (and in Britain) means "prepare for green".

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