Last Meals Before My Diet

>> Sunday, July 30, 2006

I am planning to go on a diet for 28 days or actually 27 days. It would be the birthday party of someone close on August 27th, so my diet would end there. But before going on my diet, I need to fix my cravings first.

Growing up in Hong Kong, we had a lot of things around us that is from Japan. My mom was a big fan of the Japanese department store like Daimaru and Yaohan. I remember walking through the Hello Kitty section alert by the strange sweet plastic smell given out by the exotic stationeries. Growing up in Hong Kong, you can't avoid all the translated cartoons and comic books from Japan and, later on in life, video games. No matter Atari, Nintendo or Playstation, they are all made in Japan.

So I went to New York yesterday to get my fix before I get into my diet program. It's like going to war or something. It's not like I'm dying and it's only gonna be for a little less than 4 weeks, but you know... I've been contemplating between three different meals:

First, I really wanted to go to Ajisen and get myself a good bowl of "Tenderous Ribs Ramen", I take it with additional corn and egg. The ribs is stewed in soy sauce, brown sugar and ginger for a long time until it becomes soft and the bone almost gelatin like. It comes with a nice pork broth and teeth-bouncing ramen, not your instant noodle kinda crap. Less than $10. That's good eat, y'all.

Second, I really wanted a nice bowl of "Scholar" congee and a small plate of soy sauce fried noodles from Dai Wong. It's something that I always loved and since I've reached New York where the food is a lot better than my town, I figured I should get it while I can. Some people will shun "Scholar" congee and it is an acquired taste. But once you are used to the idea and the taste of it, you won't want any other kind of congee, I swear.

Third, I really wanted to go to Matsushima over at Mitsuwa and get myself a great bento box. It looks like a bento box but it is so much more than that. There's vegetable and shrimp tempura, a root vegetable stew, different sashimi, sushi and roll, salmon teriyaki, seaweed salad, miso soup and salad and it also comes with a view of the whole Manhattan and the Hudson. For $40, it's well worth the price.

So I settled for the ramen, and then went to Mitsuwa Supermarket in Edgewater. The place is like a holy land for us Asians. The little parking lot they have is always full of cars. It attracts people from an 150 Miles radius, people like me would travel 3 hours distance just to get there. After the Ramen, I wasn't hungry anymore but I still had a chocolate parfait anyway. It's whipped cream and chocolate syrup on top of vanilla ice cream more chocolate syrup and cornflakes in the bottom.

As for shopping, I got some cabbage, pork and two okonomiyaki kits to make my last meals before the diet. Also I got a few onigiris to tie me up. I got a box of 15 Kobe Bouchee and 8 Kobe Financier from Kobe Fugetsu-Do with the intention to share them with my colleagues. I still don't have a clue of how I can do it logistically. Since these pastries have liquor in it and there's alcoholics amongst my colleagues and I probably don't have enough to share. They cost me $2 a piece and they are the most phenomenal pastries I've ever had in my life. I already had 3 Bouchees and a Financier. The rum raisin pastry cream in the Boucher is sandwiched with the light-as-air, powdered sugar "muffin tops". The honey buttery Financier is like a regular pound cake the size of two fingers, but yet the taste is so much richer.

I'm going through my collection of Mr. Ajikko again, that's probably why I had those cravings to start with. The cartoon that inspired Iron Chef has inspired me to make Okonomiyaki at home. Tomorrow, I'll try to get rid of the remaining carbs I have at home. I hope I can lose some weight.

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