Rear View. 7

Phil Kay

All exotica and no noodles on a gastronomic tour of China.

was a can of orange juice and a small black coffee with little squeeze-pots of UltraHT non-dairy etemity ‘milk‘.

In a tea house I drank ‘Jasmine Swan Lake Tea Tea beyond imagination‘. It was a little thumb-sized wee-wound bale of jasmine. With the boiling water. it opened up and bloomed. birthing a beautiful pink flower. I looked at it with my mouth open.

Rice comes last to clean the palate and we also ate prawns in an horrifyineg opaque Nicam stereo-sodium glutomate white sauce. like a roux glue. like stuff you might coat a house with to protect it in a forest fire.

My hand hurt eating New Fat Lamb. all shredded as the kebab can only dream of. And broccoli with butter-fried garlic all in it. like bonsai trees carrying an ivory crop. in a

little Parisian Chinese restaurant where the Italian wine rt“ cost more than the bicycle I bought at the supermarket.

I had not found an ultimate culinary experience until I was taken to a secret banqueting hall

on last and ate aubergine and caramelised

. onions in pancake. salmon sushi with a

I lightning hot drive-by wasabi that was gone in a minute if you breathed . through your mouth. They brought us a orderlflg huge sea bass. cooked by basting it in hot gingered soya oil and I did achieve and noodle closure with some delicately chickened goldens. There was still the

Of rice fried and some fish deep fried in a h 0 sweet and sour skinlike batter. And the

pe thin slices of cold duck and egg

nce for foreign food 1 ate two warm croissants at sun—up. cyling tip the wrong side of the wrong lane in the wrong direction: the my-left-your-right— I‘m-wrong hand side. bereft-hand side. the unright hand side of the lane on the left for cycles.

Nobody asked me if I wanted a fork with that at the fifteen meals I ate recently in China. real China. the people‘s apostrophe 's‘ republic of mainland of the largest nation in the universe where. even if you are one in a million. there are one thousand one hundred and sixty of you”:

I searched for noodles in vain. It took me all my five days to let go of searching to taste what I already knew in our (‘hino—Iicosse cousin cuisine. liven on the last night 1 was still ordering by photograph and the eyebrow of hope. My noodles never simply never came.

The first thing I ate was cold sliced goose in a faded denim maroon packet. mottled and rippled white. The

s cream—eddies of flavour between raw islands of goose were pasty-tasty: goose fat is a kind of ultimate fat. Once. on a first night in [long Kong. I ate duck‘s foot soup and the actual foot was there with tendons you could pull to operate it like a crane‘s claw and pick up the vegetables.

I saw people adding mono—sodium glutomate crystals onto their meals. I went up Asia's highest revolving

restaurant. It wasn'trevolving andlcould only get beer. I t. h . g h M H) t. 1 Breakfast in the hotel was a hilarious version of what the , _ ' _ . mkdt 0% I ‘1? “‘15 t “g ‘1 1 U f) “L hotel imagined western breakfast was. It had Chinese- led“! and “4“ the In.“ [hmg I We "l Chm“ “Pan lmm the 5‘9“ Cd Whispered [hc recipe mm m.“ C()_j()inw fried eggs‘ I‘lt‘ttlSClCPOI‘t‘ldgC‘l‘It‘lcd in my imagination at the airport. . untenderised with little bits of grilled ham. rectangle embossed 't""l"”"“.l.l." " _“.’"/"” (“.195 19‘1"] “1014.811 ’0 H't’m‘ 311(le for in the white. which handled well like a travel Frisbee. There "“ haw“? (3/"5“‘1”’7’1“"l’h1/1-"(’l’h’('“/(IS/M". when eating Out ,clovi’t be afraid to ask Quesmom about the food on the menu Restauv‘ant staff (oi/e customers who take a Keen mterast m what theg eat {5 the. Asparagus Hmm .But l5 it ' Maybe I Should have Oh I am but But galmon stocks (1;; 0h...l~cll, l dent Suitable ‘0'” vegetarians? pescicc‘de—free ?]f. . the smoked Salmon. l eat fish are endangered, e mink t agree Wm .. ' 7 ' 7 M cur aSQarag-as . gutgr dam of cowja 6'0” We‘d . E's“ farm‘M ' ‘5 WOW“ 0’9“"'?“’l.9) - 30“ 5&8 90“ The Smoked . It‘s farmed ‘5“ Should ‘08 WNW“ We“? 3 Salmon it salmon,madam. free'range. vegetarian? “5 mew . t’ll choose

Hmm..8ut it: high something else.

in fibre , isn't If '.’ \ don't want 10 get irritable

80w 1 Synd/OW..

No problem at all , madam.



Has the Tomato SJY' Ola Tomatoes are l’tt Just, Have the And could {483i leave lt contains cream? Yes... I think so. 5354 Tartiet got acid/C, aren’t theta? Ham 2; Muslm’OOWt we musl'n'ooms out That's dairy produce, Pasea's not made tomatoes m ti? ‘- l think I read Tagliatelle too .7... PM allergic {sn't it ? We got am from wheat, is it.) Q95 "Edam somewhere tl‘tdt wtchout the ham, to mushrooms. intolerance to dajv’B Wheat can Make L OthOMSl . I produce”, I’d better people asthmatic-~- Right ....50 L50“ have it without Wouldn't want me

to stop bfeathmgr

want Just plain the sauce. would we?

tagttatelle m the F. S - t a 7 (“e . OJMS '

Heaven Forbid

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