Friday, August 15, 2008

Creamy Mushrooms, Ham & Italian Herbs Fusili plus Hong Kong CBD Lunch Tale

Everybody has their restaurant horror stories. Susan from Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy and Cathy from Noble Pig have shared theirs....and now I wanna bitch about my recent endeavour.

It was...
- not much of a horror (although if there were ghosts there, they probably had fun watching us)
- barely a drama (no one got reunited with their birth parents, cried or died)
- can't be considered a romantic comedy (unless I suddenly realised that my every day lunch pal is my soul mate and decided to seduce him LOL, only to find out that he is gay - I can assure you he is NOT LOL)
but it could be an action flick if I threw in some kung fu moves juggling my BBQ pork rice tray while shashaying to grab a seat at a lunch joint in Hong Kong's Central Business District hehe

Finding a seat at lunch time in Hong Kong CBD is a BITCHHHHH. I am impatient (yeah, tell me something I don't know). I hate hate hate waiting and queueing of any kind especially for food which are just so not worth waiting for (Hollywood could probably make a whole drama series based on waiting and queueing in restaurants hehe). But, you don't have a choice. If you wanna dine at any eateries in Hong Kong CBD at lunch time, be prepared to wait and fight for a seat. Good food, bad food, cheap, doesn't matter. Fight your battle, and wait.

Certain places have hostesses who will organize the queue, but not fast food and self service joints. Thanks to Hong Kong's higher than high rent costs and population density, there is NO SEAT and OH SO MANY PEOPLE!

I went out with my lunch buddy and we crave BBQ pork rice from a fast food joint. He said he will order and I was in charge of looking for a seat (cue music: mission impossible theme song). So I roamed around and tried to find an empty seat, which of course was NOT available :) (the chance of finding a miraculously available seat is almost as slim as winning mark 6 hehe). The normal practice wait for the earlier lunchtime people to clear off by standing near their table. I know it is annoying and obnoxious, but when you are here, be prepare to finish your last spoonful of food under a pair of hopeful eyes, waiting eagerly to take your seat as soon as you lift up your butt off your chair, don't expect to have a nice and lengthly conversation after your meal, of the hopeful eyes will turn dagger sharp hehe.

So, I stood and waited by a table with two uncles, one reading his newspaper and another picking his teeth (they weren't together), with my BBQ pork rice tray with hot tea on hand. I expected the newspaper reading uncle to stay put (he did not seem like a considerate person), but if he has any considerate bone at all in his body, he will probably leave after the tooth picking uncle's the illustration

Apparently, I expected too much from newspaper reading uncle. He did not leave even after tooth picking uncle has left. I was not going to start from scratch and wait by another table. So, after apologizing profusely to the guy at the next table (bless him for his kindness), I took another chair and squeezed into the one person space (this is Hong Kong, so I can assure you the one person space is NOT big), while of course shooting numerous bitchy stares at newspaper uncle. Even after seeing this, he still stayed...and only left when we almost finish our meals.

I know, I know...he bought his space at that table by drinking that cup of hot tea (duh!). There are plenty of seats outside the restaurant in this air conditioned building where he could sit and read his newspaper comfortably. This is why I prefer to pack my lunch from home, and for today...I'll have...

Creamy Mixed Mushrooms, Ham and Italian Herbs Fusili

- 1 pack of fresh shiitake mushrooms, each sliced into a few pieces
- 1 pack of oyster mushrooms, slice big ones into a few pieces
- 4 slices of ham, cut into strips
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- dried Italian mixed herbs
- black pepper
- half cup of cream
- 3 handfuls of fusili
- water for boiling, olive oil, butter
- salt, sugar

Boil pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Brown the hams, set aside. Saute garlic, add mushrooms until slightly browned, add ham strips, add herbs, black pepper, season with salt. Drain pasta, add into the mushroom and ham mix, add cream, adjust seasoning with salt and sugar if necessary.

Sharing this recipe with Presto Pasta Night's Gang! Enjoy!

Every time, I'd say I'll never have lunch at that fastfood joint ever again. But, hey!...Never say never, right? They do a really bitchin' BBQ pork rice there :)


Ning said...

I had the same experience when I went to HK and wanted to try their "popular" fast-food place! ha ha ha... and I thought I had to wait a long time because I am not a "professional" seat-grabber ;)

_ts of [eatingclub] vancouver said...

I love the illustration! You should do illustrations for all your posts. Teehee.

daphne said...

u hv a talent in drawing girl! That totally gave me the visual illustration of what happened. Well done..

And the pasta will probably beat the fast food bbq dish anyday!!!

A.G said...

jamur ditumis kiy wenak wæ.. dikasi krim lg hmmm sedep.. tp abot :p

Cakelaw said...

He, he - I'm not surprised by your story - happens everywhere, I think. Love your fusili - I'll have that for lunch any day.

Ruth Daniels said...

I too hate crowds and line ups...I guess we can't really eat lunch at 4am can we?

I too, like the look of your noodles better anyway. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

noobcook said...

hahaha ... very nice illustration!! U really have a great talent in drawing ... draw more draw more! XD

Little Corner of Mine said...

Don't we hate those kind of inconsiderate people? Anyway, packing your own lunch box is cheaper and healthier! ;)

Pam said...

Great story and illistration! The pasta sounds so good... I love mushrooms with pasta - they just go together perfectly.

Lina said...

I was in Hong Kong in January, and its crazzzy full of people over there! I thought TOkyo was bad! Love the drawing! hehe

Beachlover said...

you out so much effort in your post especially drawing!!..salut salut!!..maybe I should make some creamy pasta tomorrow with bacon!!

Dwiana P said...

yaw. I see your drawing talent girl! gw mah coret core iya deh kekeke. btw invite gw Rit ke HK, gw pengen banget nih hehehe lah kok gk nyambung seh

SIG said...

Gosh, it sure sounds like Singapore too! That's why whenever possible, mums with kids usually dine before the lunch hour or dinner hour for the matter. Love your drawing too. :)

sandra said...

i had the same experience when i went to HK for a holiday..

in singapore, during lunch time, u see many queues at the food stalls and many packets of pocket tissue papers on the table.... thats how singaporeans annoyingly reserve tables...

SteamyKitchen said...

Oh I would have kicked his ass outta his chair for you!!!

Elsye said...

dikau selalu banyak ide masak Rit, saluuuuttttt....ada aja idenya :D

Simplicity said...

mang pasta paling mantap ya bu..dicemplungin apa juga jadi..
i lovee pasta