On an obstacle course to a great dinner


Weekend dinners can be exciting especially when you don’t know where you’re going and the anticipation is driving you crazy. Seems like we’ve been speeding along for miles before entering a dungeon of a parking lot in a not-so-happening part of the swanky part of town. Up and down elevators, escalators and flights of stairs. Traversing a mall indoors and out. What a way to work up an appetite!

Finally, we arrive at an unfamiliar but highly popular restaurant, by the looks of it. Don’t ask me where we are, I honestly haven’t the foggiest. But who cares? So long as there’s good food to be had at the end of the obstacle course. Because truly good food is so very hard to find these days.

Apparently the specialty here is their siu yoke (barbecued pork with crispy skin on) so we’ve come to judge for ourselves. We’re there so early, around 6pm, and already their siu yoke is sold out for the day. Bummer.

So we have to make do with their char siu (barbecued pork) and roast duck which come with the two customary sauces – plum and chili. What I like about their char siu is that it isn’t overly caramelized and every piece is entirely edible. The roast duck too is meaty without being tough. So far so good!

On an obstacle course to a great dinner

We also order what is Szechuan chicken to me (but they call it by a different name) which is chicken meat stir-fried with dried chilies, cashew nuts and onions. Oh man, the nostalgia! This is one of the first Chinese dishes I ever taught myself to cook back in college and I haven’t cooked or eaten this in ages.

On an obstacle course to a great dinner

We order the sweet and spicy Thai-style tofu because passion fruit sauce sounds too exotic to be ignored. And we’re spot on, this is indeed delicious.

On an obstacle course to a great dinner

And to round things up with a perennial favorite of ours, a simple kailan (Chinese kale) stir-fry topped with garlic oil.

On an obstacle course to a great dinner

So there you go, a delicious dinner for 5 with 4 bowls of rice to share and there’s always that last bit of rice left that gets passed round and round until one of us eventually settles so as not to waste food.

The most endearing thing about this restaurant is that each dish comes with a serving spoon. Which means if you’re eating with outsiders, you’re not inadvertently signing yourself up for one of those dreaded saliva swapping deals.

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