One meal leads to another

Dear Daisy,

Last night, I had an amazing meal with my family, and it is all thanks to you! My cousin and her husband have sort of seen it all when it comes to eating Chinese, but as you pointed out, there are some interesting new places opening up with really creative energy. I wanted to try Mission Chinese (especially after seeing your recent post), but it was too late in the game to get a reservation, and it was packed when we optimistically stopped by right after they opened. Luckily, you had also mentioned Yunnan Kitchen, a place that my cousin’s husband Bill also knew of.

What a meal! There were a few things on the menu that got me really excited — tofu ribbon salad with cilantro, which was amazing, and rice cakes with shiitake mushrooms. I love rice cakes. I have practically lived on them. And these were mighty.

The fried pork belly (translation: bacon!) was delicious, beef rolls with cucumber was refreshing, and the chrysanthemum salad, although one of the simplest dishes, was also one of the biggest surprises

I had eaten chrysanthemum in hot pot before, but I never had it raw. Well, suffice it to say that edible chrysanthemum is on my list for the garden now. I think I even have some seeds hiding out somewhere…
One of the specials was a wax bean salad with pepper relish


It looked simple, but that relish was spicy in a lovely, tongue-tingling way. Towards the end of the meal, my tongue had that characteristic numbness that you get from Sichuan peppercorn. I have to say, it’s not a feeling I have often, having grown up eating straight up Cantonese food!
And to think that this all started with breakfast at Il Buco Alimentera e Vinera. Our meeting was a real first for me; I never imagined when I started this blog as an open letter to my friends and family far away that it would lead me to actually meet new people and make new friends. I found myself quite uncertain whether it was even a good idea to cross the line between the virtual and the real. However, you made it easy. If you hadn’t been so friendly and enthusiastic, I would have beaten a hasty retreat, I can assure you.

I told my mom all about our meal, of course, and she is dying to try that insanely crusty bread.

Bread Baked Egg and Breakfast Sandwich, with fellow blogger

I love going out for breakfast. It is so much more decadent to me than going out for lunch or dinner. It’s like eating dessert, I guess, because anyone can manage to throw some sort of breakfast together, but when you go out for it, you’re saying, “No, I want to be fed this morning, and fed well.”

And I double love to have someone to share breakfast with.

What better way to start the day than with good coffee and someone to share it with? And with brioche and pistachio cake to sweeten the deal, no less!

I will definitely always ask you where to eat when I am in the city. And I look forward to sharing another meal with you some time soon!

Keep in touch — I will sic my mom on you when she gets back from Turkey to seal the deal.


P.S. — I have a nice photo of you, but didn’t post it because I didn’t know if you were camera shy, like most bloggers seem to be. Or is it just that we are always the ones holding the camera? I’ll email it to you to do what you will with.

11 thoughts on “One meal leads to another

  1. This is the absolute sweetest post ever! I am so happy to have been able to have a wonderfully decadent breakfast with you. It’s true that it is a little strange meeting someone in person after only knowing each other through your blogs. Kind of like online dating in a weird way actually! But I think that contrary to online dating, I really think that you can get to know someone through their writing in a way that is really intimate. Maybe even more so with blogging since you get to see photos and comments. Sometimes I think about how my blogging friends know what I eat basically every time I cook — now that is closeness!

    I also think that we all take great pride in our blogs because they are personal projects built from our lives. It’s wonderful to be able to meet like-minded people, real kindred spirits whose literary and creative vision matches our own. For example, all the friends I have made blogging have been people who have great grammar, senses of humor and really strong and clear writing voices. I can’t imagine that not translating in person!

    I am so glad that you got to eat some yummy food at Yunnan Kitchen! I’m sure you will make it to Mission Chinese the next time you’re in town. It doesn’t look like you had too shabby of a meal though 😉 In fact, it looks pretty gosh darned amazing! Good to see you got your rice cakes 🙂 And raw chrysanthemum? Yummy! I’ve never had that before either! I should go down and check it out.

    Thanks again for the delicious olive oil! I was so excited about it that I checked out a book on Turkish cooking from the library! That way I can show it off with something awesome!

    And do put me in touch with your mom! If she lets me know, I can check on her squash for her!

    1. That’s so exciting that you got out a Turkish cookbook. I hope it leads to some exciting experiments. And I am already thinking of what to send back with my mom so you two can meet. She’s already looking forward to it!

      1. Me too! I can’t wait to get this chapter out of the way so I can get back to cooking something real 🙂

        Looking forward to meeting your mom too! She sounds like so much fun. Have you ever looked at the Yudum website? It has these crazy animated floating olive hot air balloons. Like the Nespresso website but for oilves.

  2. And I don’t mind people posting pictures of me. At my ripe old age, I find that I’m not really self-conscious about how I look anymore.

    Can’t wait till that time in my life when I’m not conscious of loud bodily noises either!

    Wait . . . is that too gross? 😉

    1. Haha! I know what you mean. I guess there’s a reason that we say “old” fart… I find that I too care less about how I look as I get older but it’s still weird to be in front of the camera for me, since I’m always the one behind it.

      1. I know what you mean! I took a new picture of myself for my blog about a month ago and I found myself art directing my friend (“No camera up, UP! No down, off-center, wait . . . move the candle!”).

        But in candid shots, I have just come to accept that the photos will show weird chins, giant necks, and what’s up my nose 😦

  3. It sounds like you had a great breakfast together. I love the look of that bread. I have never had those salad leaves before. I will look out for them and give them a try. xx

    1. It was all lovely. I think they put some citrus zest in the dressing too, so it was really nice and bright tasting. Actually, I was emboldened in this adventure by your post in May about meeting Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for the first time.

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