Thursday, September 28, 2006

Happy Thursday

Oh joy and bliss...


This is my friend Sass, she is Cactus Flower's mum, and is every bit as cheeky as she looks.

Tonight, to start my long {four day} weekend, the three of us went out to dinner. I showed up on their doorstep about an hour-and-a-half late, but I did warn them that this could happen, and they are familiar with my working conditions. Like all last days before a long weekend, work was hectic and once more gave me the feeling that I really don't understand the mentality here sometimes. In normal countries common courtesy for business meetings is arriving on time. Ok, traffic jams cause lateness, but being 5 minutes late is one thing, 45 minutes is something completely different and shows, in my opinion, a real lack of respect. Fortunately, it is my boss being dissed, not me. I can only complain of having to stay late.

All of us being rather tired - Sass from travelling, CF from working out, me from not being a lady of leisure, we opted to go to the Chinese restaurant across the road from them.

When was the last time you went out for Chinese and got the fancy napkin treatment? Unlike back in T'rana, the big smoke, aka Toronto, where Chinese food is part of the indigenous culture and the best places have piles of white plastic table cloths that are then stripped back for every customer, and where getting a fork is a struggle, let alone 2 forks and 2 knives, Chinese is considered extremely fancy here. I am spoiled, and so for me it has not really progressed to the level of sophistication that I am used to. Israeli Chinese is like what you used to get in the 70's before the advent of Szechuan Orange Beef. But, and there is a but, if you ask them for the non-Israeli menu, you can find things that are a bit more authentic. I have even seen Chinese embassy staff and visiting military staff quaffing and noshing their way down the menu.

We started with soup - summer squash with glass noodles, and pork with Szechuan pickled cabbage. They weren't very photogenic, but the cabbage was nicely pickled and with a splash of chili paste, hit the spot.

A fair rendition of Singapore noodles

- but they cut the noodles - sacrilege
- slurping noodles is good luck -

We also had sweet and spicy beef {a bit like the orange beef of old, but geared towards the Israeli palate, sweeter and less spicy and missing the depth of the Szechuan pepper} that had the smokey flavour of a really hot wok - wok hai or breath of the wok;

a steamed tilapia with garlic black bean sauce, which I find overwhelms the fish - I prefer ginger, garlic and green onions, it has as much punch but lets the fish taste like fish;

and for greenery there was baby bok choy with garlic sauce - processed garlic and a bland cornstarch sauce - no sesame oil, and again, missing the mark, but miles ahead compared to other places here.

Dessert was fried icecream with imitation chocolate and maple syrups. Straight from the 70's and a really excellent rendition - fried in very hot oil, with a crispy batter and a still frozen center.


burekaboy said...

your friend sass looks like she is a blast. i love to be around people like that.

fried icecream balls? wow, never tried those. are they any good? they do sound terrific. ok, i gotta stop reading ur blog ... i'm gaining weight as i peruse post by post.

aja said...

Hey BB,
Sass is amazing - which is why I call her Sass - full of backtalk and stories, a real london accent (street, not posh) and full of vim and vigour, love her to death.

Personally, I can leave the icecream balls - especially when they have been sauced. The idea is cool, but they are just a bit heavy for my taste - give me warm lokma on a bowl of icecream anyday.

Hey, don't blame my blog for your lack of self control... you should know when to stop 8^P

burekaboy — said...

nothing better than a cockneyed-mouth, sassy girl. gotta love it.

i do blame u. i've gained enormous weight already. ice cream balls & krembo!! c'mon. stop already, ur killing me.