When travelling, even for a month in non-Asian countries, I really don't need Asian food. Sure, there might be a craving for sambal and spices, but it doesn't need to be satisfied till I get home. As it is, I'm already fussy with food at home, what more overseas where restaurants will never re-create the dishes the way I demand them to be.
While I've done painful family holidays, I've never done any group tour with strangers. School trips overseas with classmates have made me realize, at a very early age, that I dislike travelling in a group. So yes, I've a huge problem travelling with companions who require Asian food at every other meal. Even on work trips, I generally prefer to eat alone whenever etiquette and protocol permits. Small wonder I travel with a very limited few and am totally not enthusiastic about travel with friends in general. I'll be honest and say it- the man's got a weird fascination with crappy Chinese eateries like Tsui Wah, and here in King County, P.F. Chang's.
Rather sadly, the man and I ended up at P.F. Chang's. The man's plaintive "It's okay, we don't have to eat there" was done on purpose to make me feel guilty that I was depriving him of indulging in his fascination and trying out more of the menu, which also included 'moo goo gai pan'. *shudder
The menu really liked Sichuan pepper and spices. While I knew it wouldn't be added to the dishes in the quantity to induce that numbing feeling on the tongue, I stayed far away from those items. What I do like, is the provision of a gluten-free and vegetarian sections in the menu. Those are definitely appreciated. There was this egg-drop soup the man said he must have each time he's in the US. What the. WHY???! It was one of those thick soup with corn starch and egg white and dunno what. Eeeeks. The man also chose dan-dan noodles (担担面), which neither looked nor tasted like any I knew. And HE LIKED IT. *faint* I'm not even going to attempt to understand it. I stuck to a really conservative plate of quinoa and vegetables, which was predictably unexciting with familiar flavors.
|Good that they could adjust the dishes to make them gluten-free.|
The one good thing about the experience- our server. She was this motherly Asian lady who still spoke with a strong Hong Kong accent even though she's lived here for years. She took care of us and topped up my glass of Diet Coke non-stop till I didn't know how much had been drunk. She shared with us about her recent November trip to Hong Kong with friends and told us how much she enjoyed Singapore's chicken rice. We were in a decent mood that lunch and didn't mind a chatty server. She could probably ascertain that by our replies too. It helped that we stepped in at 3pm and the eatery was relatively empty. Sure, we left a nice tip for her efforts and genuine friendliness.
|Said dan-dan noodles.|