Chinese Food
digg del.icio.us TOP
  Posted March 28th, 2015 by Zdenko  in Travel | One comment

World travel – Food

By: Dumneazu

Signs of Spring: Chinese Food!
Obviously, March is not a month that inspires an awful lot of comment. Now, February… that’s what I call a month! Stepping out of our building we saw the first of spring’s kolbasz buds on a tree in the back yard. Really…

 

I am not sure whether my neighbor was saving this for an outdoor snack or whether there is some folky reason to stick sausage on a tree branch, but it stayed there for several weeks.

My birthday was adequately celebrated by a trip to the new Chinese restaurant in my neigborhood, Master Wang’s. Chef Wang was the original chef at the Lanzhou Restaurant on Luther Utca, and this is his fourth Budapest locale.

Why get excited about a Chinese restaurant? Well, Budapest has a lot of them, but by and large they are mediocre, overpriced, or unspeakably bad. That last category is aimed at the numerous “Chinese Buffet” joints polluting our gastronomic scene, offering up cheap plates of faux-sinitic stew on rice. Due to a quirk in Hungarian immigration law, any ethnic restaurant has the right to sponsor a residence permit for its cooking staff. So the Chinese folks cooking your fried rice and aromatic duck at the corner take out in Budapest, are far more likely to have graduated from business or even medical school than culinary school. And they are far more likely to come from Northern China than from better known culinary regions like Szechuan or Canton.

There are some Chinese banquet restaurants dotting the back neighborhoods of the city, places where the local Chinese go to celebrate a business deal or a family holiday with an off the menu hot-pot party or dim sum blast, but these are constantly changing and none has ever stayed in one locality for very long. Chef Wang Qiang comes from Lanzhou, a region west of Beijing with a significant Hui muslim population. The Lanzhou always had a special Chinese language only menu offering various mutton dishes for errant Hui in Budapest, but at the new Master Wang on they go all out with a great spicy cumin lamb dish.

Since I had recently stretched my boundaries of icky food by eating sea cucumber and sea squirts at the a Korean Restaurant in the States, I also went for the Hundred Day Eggs. I had heard they were good, I had watched Chinese diners at the Lanzhou order them, but… black eggs? Eggs pickled in clay and salt for a few months until they turn black and gelatinous? And surprise! They were delicious. Run, don’t walk, to your local Chinese banquet hall and order these today. Wang’s were served with chopped tofu and peppers. Not smelly, not slimy, not really anything I had ever related to eggs before. I want more.

Fumie was laughing at me for never having tried them before, but then, I had never seen Fumie order them either. And yes, I have already looked at the wikipedia entry on Century Eggs with a perverse mind to making them myself at home, and just as quickly discarded the idea. Chef Wangs is only a few blocks away (off the 7 bus along Thőkőly út at Gizella út 46) so why bother? And they serve one of my favorite Chinese beer snack plates: spicy mixed offal salad.

Who says a salad need to be wholesome to be good? Sliced tripe, tongue, heart, and kidney in a fiery red pepper oil sauce topped with chopped garlic and Chile pepper. It is almost enough to make me like beer.

Have a good and healthy season.

Follow Zdenko’s Corner on Facebook !

Share



Tags:



Gotta Comment?
If you've got a comment or opinion you'd like to share, send me an email or fill the comment fields bellow, with only requirements your name and email address. I might just publish you in glorious pixilated black & white! Comments may be edited for grammar, spelling and length, or just to make them better.

Submit your own stories for the Zdenko’s Corner about rides, Gran Fondo’s, having a good time traveling and/or cycling, Croatian cycling history, etc. All stories are very welcome. There are more than 400 stories already in this blog. The search feature at the top right, works best for finding subjects in the blog. There is also translating button at the top of every story so you can translate each page to language of your choice.

Send your comments to: zdenko@zkahlina.ca

One comment to “Chinese Food”

  1. Comment by Mark Pabilona:

    Hmm, it looks like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely long), so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and said before. I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well, am an aspiring blogger, but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any tips for rookie blog writers? I’d genuinely appreciate it. Keep the good work and can’t wait to see more of your blogs…

Leave a Reply