Sunday, May 21, 2006
Hashima: Chinese Forest Frog Fat
This was interesting. The Chinese have a dessert called hashima, which is apparently oviduct fat from a female forest frog, if my information is correct. Prepared in a very thin cold broth together with some Chinese herbs, this allegedly has all sorts of health benefits (like bird's nest soup, another Chinese dessert of similarly strange origins - saliva from a swallow - although I'm told that hashima is basically a cheaper version of bird's nest soup). As nasty as it sounds, it really didn't taste like anything. All the taste came from the mildly sweet broth and the Chinese herbs rather than that jelly-like hashima, which seemed more like a mildly crunchy and tasteless fungus than anything. I won't get cravings for it, but its light nature was admittedly refreshing after a long dinner.
Anyway, this was the only interesting highlight from an otherwise lackluster meal at Teahouse (China Square Level 3, 6533-0660), which is a Tung Lok restaurant. For some reason, it only dawned on me tonight that Tung Lok (and its rival big restaurant chain Crystal Jade) is basically just an Asian version of a chain restaurant. Just as with mass chain restaurants in the States (or Australia?), they have a steady stream of customers thanks to their clean ambience, consistency, and safe food. That's also why I hate chain restaurants: they are so safe that the food - while certainly not the worst food that I've ever had - is simply boring (the hashima above is apparently standard issue at many Chinese restaurants). Oh well...I've had this place's dim sum a couple times too. It wasn't too bad, but again, it's not a place that I'd get cravings for.
Digested at 9:58 PM
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