Happy Year of the Rat to all of you. May it be good and not entirely full of misery and despair.
I spent yesterday in Chinatown getting sweaty and claustrophobic on the wonderfully crowded and bustling sois. My photographic endeavours produced some less than thrilling results so a write up complete with pretty pictures is not going to happen. Also, I had no appetite. Snacking did not occur. Strange.
Worry not. While thinking about how for the second year in a row I have not managed a quality post about Chinese New Year, I remembered how I never posted about my New Years Eve spent eating in Chinatown.
E's mother and father were here (all the way from Oregon) for a visit and they had not yet visited Chinatown. On our way back into town after spending a few days in Sangklahburi and then Saraburi to visit friends, we stopped in Chinatown along with friends F and Muk.
We started with a bowl of duck noodles. We went to a duck stand that I adore. Apparently I'm not the only one.
This photo doesn't really tell the whole story. This stand is often very busy, and this evening was no exception. We had to fight other patrons for a table. Luckily I am very strong.
The man behind the duck is really something else to watch. Very fast. I tried to listen to him and his wait staff and figure out how in the world they remembered all the orders. I casually walked up and ordered six bowls of dry duck noodles with dumplings. No problem.
I had forgotten how rich duck can be. This bowl packs a serious kick in terms of richness. To me, duck always tastes something like turkey, but only the dark meat, and richer. That's an endorsement for some, and maybe not for others. I like it. I can and will eat two bowls of this, but took a pass this particular evening.
Next we plopped down at a table near a dessert stand.
We were greatly looking forward to a very delicious bowl of bua loy nam king.
Denied. What were we to do? F made another order and we waited.
Muk appeared out of nowhere to place a large box of chestnuts in front of us. We would eat these for days to come.
We were given icy desserts of some kind, which were new to me. Stir and reveal the little surprises!
Hmm. Doesn't look like what most people would think of as dessert. Excellent. It had: white fungus, jujubes, gingko nuts, lotus root, and black jelly. A taste experience that is sweet, rich, nutty, and unique.
Lastly, Muk wanted to get us some kuay jap. Unfortunately, his favorite place was closed for the evening. Instead, he had already put in an order at an alternate and very busy establishment before we had even eaten noodles. It was time to go back and wait a little longer.
There was certainly a lot of crispy pork to be had, and lot of hungry diners.
I yelled something and luckily Muk was the only one to look at the camera. Smile! We got it to go as we were quite full.
Sometime after midnight I poured the almost room temperature noodles, broth, crispy pork, and kidney into a bowl and tried my very best to put a dent in this formidable meal.
I can't claim to be much of a fan, but this was not consumed under ideal circumstances. We've been promised another outing to visit Muk's favorite kuay jap place. I can't wait.