Day 7 – food, food and food
Today was Saturday, and Nick and I went off in search of Chi Lin Nunnery up in Diamond Hill. Lovely place, oasis garden in the middle of a freeway and a bunch of high rises. First stop, vegetarian set lunch at a restaurant behind a waterfall in the garden.
Potentially something of a tourist feature, but a nice lunch all the same and a much needed respite from the heat! Being a vegetarian place, I do have to admit to being a little sick of bean curd by the end of it. They did try to make nice dishes out of it but it really doesn’t have a lot of flavour does it? Ah – the other notable thing here was congee, which came as an accompaniment. First time I’d had it, and good job really. I’m sure it would be better with “stuff” in it, but as it was it was like someone had forgotten to drain the rice after cooking so it was left swimming in starchy water. Grim.
Straight from lunch… to tea! A cup of tea. Which cost around £15. Each. You had to laugh, and we did – a lot! It was all some faffy tea ceremony thing, which of course is taken very seriously. Our main problem with it was the damn burnt fingers! Every time we poured tea at a million degrees from the leaf pot to the drinking cup, it was like some sort of hot water torture! Add that to a magic table with compartments only the waitress could work, a tap, a heat plate and some even more confused looking tourists at the next table, and the whole thing was a right laugh. We also squeezed in a couple of sweet dim sum bits here – steamed buns with red bean paste.
Later on, and after a cheeky satay in a bar in Stanley, we headed up to the Midlevels in search of a Sichuanese place that Nick liked. That turned out to be full, so we went across the road to this pretty looking Manchurian place.
The food was awesome, and yet another brand new experience. It’s sort of a cross between Chinese and Russian, so we had dumplings that were definitely as Russian (or Siberian) as they were Chinese, and then some delicious dishes – crispy pork, chicken with chilli and peanuts, and mixed mountain mushrooms. The most interesting thing was that they came not with rice, but with sesame pockets, which were like light pittas covered in sesame seeds and that you were supposed to fill with whatever you were eating. Spectacularly good idea – more please! Just had a disappointment as it turns out the only Manchurian restaurant I could find in London is actually in London, Ontario.
Check out the sesame pockets!