My chinese adventure...

no I didn't fly to china yesterday or anything. But my project manager and good friend Lili took me to the chinese "hot pot" restuarant Shabu Zen. I love me some chinese food but she keeps telling me that it's really americanized in most places so we headed out for the real deal last night. When she explained it to me that you cooked your own food of course I was like "oh like hibachi only I get to do it". She told me no it was like a pot of broth I cooked in. So here I was imagining myself making some chinese stew with wontons and bean sprouts and water chesenuts and all sorts of yumminess like that.

Well I certainly am clueless about some things as it was not really what I expected. The menu is really very simple you pick a "broth" and a meat(s) as well as noodles or rice - of course they have fabulous chinese names for all this but I'm so "indiana" I couldn't even attempt to prounce them or remember them. I ordered with the help of the server and Lili and a few minutes later the server brought us these pots of "broth" they set it right in front of you and it will start to boil.

And then a few minutes later they brought a plate of vegetables, rice, meat, and "kim chi" (sp?). So here I am with this giant spread all laid out and Lili is showing me how it works and telling the names of things in Chinese. You basically take the various items and cook them in your broth although not all at once as they cook very fast and you don't have a giant bowl to dump them in. So you cook a few things and then you eat them. You also can mix your own soy sauce or BBQ sauce to dip things in as well although warning the pepper that they bring is lethal I love me some spicy and just a smidge of it goes a long way. Well it was all sorts of fabulousness (although I am not a fan of the chewy mushrooms that look like bean sprouts) I got to try Lili's too since she got a different "broth" her's was just as yummy only not spicy but a little sweeter.

So after we ate our spread of hot pot goodness. I couldn't not have chinese dessert. Lili explained to me that they have something called "mochi" and it's ice cream, covered in sticky rice. So I'm like "chinese cannoli perhaps?" She of course laughed and said sort of. They had two flavors red bean and green tea. Well with a name like red bean I couldn't bring myself to order that as I kept invisioning eating kidney bean ice cream and the idea did not sound pleasant (more "indiananess" I guess) so I went with the green tea. They brought out my green tea mochi (how can you not want to order something that sounds that cute) and it did not look anything like a cannoli nor what I had invisioned as sticky rice, but rather it looked like a tiny cookie or cake you might find at a tea party. And sticky rice let me tell you is sticky but it doesn't look like rice at all. I think it's actually just a rice dough of some sort. Well it was delish.

After all this real chinese restaurant experience I got to go to Lili's house since it was right next door practically. I got to meet her sons who call each other "gloabal" which is brother in chinese of course I'm sure i spell it wrong, but now I can call on my brothers in chinese so how can you not like that. And her husband was home as well together we all watched some Chinese soap operas in their living room. You know how I so love foriegn soaps so of course I was sucked in even though I couldn't more than a lick of it . But with Lili and her sons translating I got along just fine. Who could not love it with all the bright colors and the singing! So it was the perfect end to my chinese adventure evening. And also you will be happy to know when I got to real China I will be able to say ice cream in chinese so I won't starve there.

And what would an adventure be without a few photos so now you too can feel like you were there.
The "hot pot" and some meat.
The spread, look you even get a fancy strainer!
Mochi. It's is really small in real life that's a itty bitty fork not a big one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your Chinese experience sounds like something I would love to do!