Friday, December 3, 2010

Hong Kong photos #2 - Food

One of the parts I most enjoy about Chinese culture is the way they view food. Chinese seem to see eating as an activity unto itself, deserving of hours of enjoyment, and the traditional Chinese meal involves lots of sharing food among those at the table. Jerry's mom made this feast of all Jerry's favorite foods--we really appreciate her work cooking. A lot of the dishes are difficult to find here in the midwest where we live, so Jerry was really happy about getting to eat such a meal. I know he especially loves his mom's steamed fish. Lo, on the other hand, seemed to think eating noodles was the best part of Hong Kong food. Often we'd wipe down the table with a sanitary wipe and just let the baby feed himself:

This noodle meal is at HK Pizza Hut, which btw shares no similarities with US Pizza Hut. For instance, here is the pizza we ordered to go with our noodles: It has tons of seafood on it and cheese ball crust. Yummy, but not Brandon's cup of tea since he was still sick from eating a bad raw oyster the day before.

And here is my brother Brandon standing in front of a typical open air food vendor. Note the thick foot traffic passing by the food and on a side note, I'm amused by how his red hair stands out in the Asian crowd.

Now then, about this open air food vending. From what I've observed, Chinese don't generally follow the food safety guidelines given by WHO. Most native Hong Kongers can eat the street vended/open air market food without getting sick, I'm guessing because their bodies have adapted to accept "normal" levels of harmful bacteria. So probably Jerry's family thought I was either crazy or lying when I kept telling them, "No, I can't eat that because it will make me sick." (It just wouldn't make them sick). I had food poisoning more than half the time we ate in Hong Kong. It sucked. Lo also got sick from the food, having diarhea for a day or two, but he mostly breastfed, so fared better than me. And my little brother Brandon got violently ill for a whole day, during which time he vomited and had stomach cramps that reportedly made him think he was dying. Jerry didn't seem to be bothered by the food (iron stomach from growing up in HK??) but was plagued by respiratory illness the entire trip and still has lingering effects from that, so we will still give him our greatest sympathy. Anyway, I in Hong Kong is different and extra fun compared to American cuisine, so we'll just share some of the good times now: Here are a few photos from my favorite lunch of the whole trip. Awesome buffet. This hotel served delicacies of all genres, and the presentation was beautiful. For example, the dessert line had jello (normal fare for a buffet, you might be thinking) but this jello was clear colored with actual gold foil flecks sprinkled within. Ah, a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Oh, and I enjoyed this meal because Lo was relatively happy throughout. As evidenced by the photos.

Jerry read to him for awhile to entertain while I ate. We took care of Lo in shifts.

The Aussie bib, in honor of Brandon.

One nice thing about Hong Kong is that since it is such an international hub, there are many genres of food available besides just Chinese. We ate at the famous Spaghetti House restaurant, where I had my first cheese fondue. Actually, I had a "home-made" version once a couple years ago that doesn't do real fondue justice, so I'm counting this dinner as my first time. Note the cleared out section of table in front of Lo--he has grabby hands of course. And spaghetti all over his face.

Jerry's aunt and uncle are renowned seafood chefs. They made us crab once for lunch. Hong Kong has the freshest seafood.

"Dired" Strawberry treat. Chinglish makes me giggle. Jerry's mom gave us a few containers of these and I loved snacking on them during the flight home--thanks!

We ate dim sum a few times. This photo is a classic "cleared" table shot--the servers kept trying to put food right in front of Lo because it was the only space available, but his hands would shoot out quickly to inspect whatever they put in front of him. So we tried to be quick about moving all the food to the other half of the table. This is a dim sum meal that we ended up departing from early since Lo started having a tired-y meltdown. Again, sorry to Jerry's family that I was a crazy woman sometimes on this trip...but I still don't regret this meal's hasty exit since Lo really did need some good sleep. And okay, I needed a nap too.

My brother Brandon trying chicken feet at another dim sum meal. He was pretty game about eating everything. I, on the other hand, graciously declinced anything that seemed remotely apt to make me ill. But I really do have an adventurous spirit with food generally--I've tried all that interesting food before. I just started to get hesitant after being sick so much on this trip. I don't need to eat snails a second time to know they will still make me gag, and don't need to try chicken feet a third time to know they are more unhealthy than their yumminess justifies, etc. Rant finished. =)

This post is getting too long, so I'll finish talking about food another time.

1 comment:

Valerie said...

Love the other photos of the little world traveler, too!