Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The Best Meal In The Year Of The Dragon

The title of this post sounds premature, I know.  In this vast city of restaurants, cafes and yes, even food trucks, the 'best meal' is always something to be chased, hunted and consumed.

But this 'best meal' wasn't about the food.  It was about seeing my Dad again for the first time in many, many years. 

We had a huge, terrifying falling out around 2006.  I'll skip over the details - messy and complicated, the past isn't worth picking over.  Let's just say that he was the most traditional of Chinese fathers and I was the most un-filial of Chinese daughters.  When Mum passed away in 1992, there was no middlewoman to deal with the unruliness and mess that comes with having with kids, no filter between him and the rebellious, confusing child. 

So to be sitting down at lunch and sharing a meal with him and my brother last Saturday was mind-blowing.  It was the most awkward, confusing, amazing, mysterious and unexpected thing I could comprehend.

I received my lunch invitation via my brother Andy - he said that he and my father were thinking of going to lunch to celebrate the Lunar New Year, and would I like to come? 
Stunned, I asked, "Is that okay with Dad?"
Andy replied, "It was his idea."

And so it went.

I have a theory, but no actual evidence as to why my father wanted to resume contact.  He didn't tell me why this most astounding of meals came to be.  He is Not A Talker.  He came from an age when Men Did Not Have Feelings.  One of the first international students to study in Australia under the Colombo Plan, he was terrifyingly ambitious and determined in a steely, set-jawed, Gordon Gecko kind of way.  He owned an engineering firm.  He bought not one, but two Porches.  He paid for overseas holidays, built his own computers and ordered his shoes from Bally.  He was (still is) a Doer, not a Talker. 
He is, after all, a Metal Dragon.

Maybe he thought it would be nice to have the family together again, in this year, his celestial animal year.  Maybe.

I'll never know - but that's okay.  That's more than okay.  It was just wonderful to be sharing a meal with Dad again.

Happy Lunar New Year, everyone!  May 2012 bring you a few extra dollars and whole lotta love.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

I Believe The Term You're Looking For Is 'Amazeballs'

Yeah, this is a post about soup.
A sweet soup.  Made of beans.  Red adzuki beans.  It's one of those 'weird Asian desserts'.  

But you know what?

It's tasty as hell.  Easy to make.  Even *gasp* good for you.  And contains one sacrilegious, gosh-darn-crazee ingredient guaranteed to make generation of Chinese grandmothers roll in their graves.  As well as an optional extra which doubles as a sticky yet-oh-so-right choking hazard.

So now that you've got the emergency room number on speed-dial, let us foray, explore, plunder.


Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The Worst Thing You Could Possibly Be

New Year's Day.  A bunch of overfed, weak-willed slobs, dying in the heat, watching cartoons.  The Vietnamese Chef has kindly made us a standout feed of fennel and watercress salad with mustard dressing, as well as oven-braised pork ribs that are to die for.

Miss Siv can't eat pork, as it doesn't agree with her.  Besides, it's nearly 38 degrees outside and she's pregnant.  She slumps on the couch, stabs idly at her phone and munches on some chicken tenders.

"Aren't you having any pork?" asks her boyfriend, Mr Heath.

She shakes her head.

His eyes grow wide, then he yells, "What, are you The Enemy of Delicious or something?!"
Falling off the couch, he goes back for seconds, muttering incredulously.

We laugh.

Damn, it's hot.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year! Some Entirely Non-Farcical Food Predictions for 2012

  1. Cupcake Voltron - The vast amount of cupcake stores taking over the entire universe Melbourne is food for icing-laden thought.
    I predict that in 2012 some Great Calamity, Very Much Like Godzilla Himself will threaten humankind.
    Then ALL the cupcakes in the Whole Freakin' World will join forces and make a huge, buttercream-icing-covered, red velvet/hummingbird/mocha-chocolate robot to Punch It In The Nuts and Save Humankind.  And you thought they were merely cute-ass baked goods... bah.
  2. The Hundred Dollar Meat Pie - In the U.S., the fad of ridiculously expensive burgers prevailed, despite (or because of?) the damn Global Financial Crisis.
    So like a giddy Julia Gillard following in the footsteps of a certain Mr Obama, we shall eagerly follow suit with the sublime, the ridiculous and wannabe 'prestige item' on every self-respecting bogan douchebag's list of must-haves - The Hundred Dollar Meat Pie.
    Naturally, it will be drowned in black truffles.  The beef will be Kobe and Wagyu.  There will be jamon iberica ham in it... somewhere.  And did I mention the foie gras?  Can't forget the bloody foie now, can we?  Just pan-sear and slap it on top.  Oh, and don't forget the gold leaf.  There ya go.
    You'll know you've done it correctly if you end up with something that looks like a footballer's girlfriend on Brownlow night.
  3. Kinect Knife Skillz: A Game By Xbox 360 - Watch the screen, watch the knife, try to beat Gordon, watch the screen, watch the knife, beating Nigella, try to beat Jamie, ohmigawd what have you done to your hand?!?!?!
  4. Camera Ninjas In Restaurants - Okay, if you're a food blogger, chances are you've been politely asked to put that camera away at certain restaurants.
    However, with the terrifying rise of the creature known as The Food Blogger comes a cost - a "no camera policy".
    I predict that some restaurants will employ professional sneak-sneak-kerpow-type ninjas to totally nunchuk that Canon SLR right outta your hands.
    Because restauranters run our lives now, as evidenced by my next prediction...
  5. You Give Me Food, Now You TELL ME HOW TO LIVE?!?!?!  This is already happening.  Sure,  I can take lifestyle advice from, say, my doctor.  Or some of my healthier friends.  Even nagging aunts.  I freakin' love my nagging aunt and will throat-punch anyone who says a single bad thing about the woman.
    But from the guys at Joe Beef?  W? T? F?  Yes, I would eat there, gladly and well.  Yes, the shellfish-served-on-a-Bakelite-radio thing is cute (not 'art'. Just cute. As in 'cupcake').
    However, these fat, overbearing, drunken and belligerent lads do not get to inform me on 'The Art Of Living'.  Especially when one of them looks like unless he's on Lipitor, he's gonna have a  heart attack while bearing down on the porcelain throne at age 65.
    Hell, even the divinely meddlesome Jamie Oliver still knows he's just a guy that cooks.