Thursday, August 14, 2008

早上好!zǎo shàng hǎo

早上好! zǎo shàng hǎo ...A Chinese Good Morning to you! With the Summer Olympics going strong it has got me thinking all things Chinese and my recent Flushing, N.Y. adventure. The other day I drove there with my knowlegeable friend Jane, who is from Taiwan. She promised to to take me to her favorite Chinese restaurant and show me how to eat authentically.

First though we had to stop at her acupuncturist for an errand. She told me of the benefits of acupuncture and herbal remedies. I was intrigued.I want to go and have the doctor take a look at me! We then soon arrived at our destination -Sweet N Tart- a bright and cheerful place which looks exactly like its name.It was fun and I was envious as she chatted up a storm in her beautiful dialect with the staff. I bought How to Speak Mandarin for my iTouch awhile back -and I still can't get past saying "Hi" ( nǐ hǎo ) so I am in awe of her being able to speak both languages so perfectly and know two completely different ways to write .

She ordered us (clockwise from bottom left on the pictures)Rice cakes with radishes- which were gooey and delightful with no taste of our American radish or rice at all. I could have eaten all of them and almost did;Beef brisket noodles, which Jane said was very good for you- for the bone marrow- there was lots of fatty marrow - I was not crazy about it, probably because it was so good for me;Dumpling trio and yam noodles -another addicting dish- the three different types of dumplings were full of an interesting mix of seafood and pork. I was not as crazy for the noodles but I fell in love with the name- they call them Dragon's Whiskers because they are tied up in a bow- I so wanted to love them, for their name ,but I guess the yam noodles weren't for me;And lastly Yonzi fried rice with chestnuts,pork belly and duck yolk- this was the piece de resistance. Jane questioned whether we should gt it- the pork belly made her nervous but I explained it was basically bacon( I couldn't believe I actually had some knowledge to contribute to the menu ordering!). This dish was crunchy on the outside and full of texture inside- I would drive back all the way to Flushing just to have that greasy explosion of Chinese heaven .

Besides going to Flushing for some Chinese spirit , I suggest reading "Bound Feet And Western Dress". Publishers Weekly calls it "an enthralling tale of a woman who achieved independence despite great odds." And "Empress Orchid" by Anchee Min. Then go and rent "Lust, Caution", "Raise The Red Lantern","The Last Emperor" and "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon".
hòu huì yǒu qī
Hope to see you again.

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