Monday, June 9, 2008

BNS Love of My Bay Area Life

Beef noodle soup (BNS) Taiwaense style has been something I've looked for in the Bay Area. Last week, Wil and I stumbled upon a version that I LOVE. It has a multi-dimensional, anisey, slightly spicey, but not oily broth. Noodles that were la-mien style (ramen) with a lot of bite and toothsome even at the end after sokaing in the soup for a long time.The beef was the proper cut/mixture of lean, tendon, and fat cooked to melting perfection with not all the flavour spent like I frequently find elsewhere. A bit of bok choy and plenty of pickled vegetables.
This wonerful creation was found at random Asian dessert and cafe place in Millbrae called TMM Desserts. It's in a strip mall with the In' N'Out Burger and a car wash. If we hadn't gone in this strip mall we would have never seen it. There is no English signage. Just in Chinese. But it's in the corner next to the L&L Haiwaiian place. I asked the owner's aunt (our server) and she said they have been open for 8 months starting off as a tea and dessert place. They've now added a great variety of TW, HK snack / small eats type dishes. I asked aboutthe noodles and she said that they tried several vendors and found this one who finally made the noodles Q enough. I want to back to check out the rest of their extensive menu. I'm not a dessert person but their desserts looked good too.
My only sadness was as I am Miss Anti Noodle right now, I only took a couple bites of the noodle itself before pushing to rest to Wil. Believe me, it took ALL of my will power to do so!

The Whipping @ Old Mandarin Islamic

David and I like to think we're eating pros. So when we had to share a big table with an elderly Chinese couple who also were having hot pot, we joked amongst ourselves that this was like a eat-off. Well, we were in for a schooling. As seen in the picture, we ordered orders of lamb, beef, spinach, and tofu as well as an appetizer of lamb dumplings not pictured. All the food was delicious, but this was not the problem.
We foudn ourselves being out eaten into embarassment by the two across the table who were each abotu a foot shorter and 25 years older. They older what we had plus, fish, shrimp, and another vegetable! And they cooked, ate, and drank two pots of tea all in the time that we only manage to eat half of our food. To add injury to insult, the elder man when asked if they would finish their appetizer or would liek to take it home by the waittres, grinned, nodded at us, and said, "Oh, we'll eat it!"
And man, did it take effort for us to finish our dinner. I gave up with a few pices of meat left and David had to soldier on himself. We then licked wounds of defeat with $2 cocktails at Jade. Nothing like cheap booze to console the trampled.

Just as Ghetto Fabulous

I am quite the admirer of the shrimp fried rice at Tu Lan. Before my anti-carb restriction for the Summer of 2008, I had tried to duplicate Tu Lan's version. It was quite a successful attempt due to two very key ghetto fabulous ingredients:
1) chicken bouillon powder
2) generic curry powder

Um, yeah... I'm keeping it real!

Carb Whore

These last few weeks have proven to me what I complete and utter carb whore I am. Take away the noodles, and you've basically taken the meaning out of my eating existence. I've been eating soon dubu jiage from home or out bascially five days out of the week with a few days of grilled fish and veggies in between. Needless to say... I'm bored. There's a reason why my blog is called Noodledoor for God's sake.

The other night I decided to make oden, 関東煮 in Mandarin, or "olen" in Taiwnaese. It's a Japanese dish that is very popular and traditonal in Taiwan. it's bascially a bunch of root vegetables with a variety of fishcakes boiled together in a light shoyu broth. This pot lasted me four meals.