Sunday, 15 February 2009

I Taste HK

Taste is one of the various supermarket brand names by which the A.S. Watson Group operates in Hong Kong. It comes from the same family as the more popular PARKnSHOP. But unlike its big sister, Taste offers a wider variety of products, local and international.

But this entry is not about them. I just had to write something about them because I used a photo of their Rewards card and I don't want to be sued for copyright infringement (or anything like that) for doing so.

It took me forever to open this food blog because I didn't know the best way to. Initially, it was my growing fascination for dai pai dongs that made me want to start a food blog. But I figured that if dai pai dongs were to be my sole subject, this blog would be more short-lived than their moribund culture. I thought I had to be more observant, so as to discover what other surprises HK kitchen has in store for a foreigner like me.

Just very recently, my friend, James (a fellow appetite monster and fellow performer who had just recently made a big career leap to F&B), brought me to a Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand receipient Indian restaurant in Lan Kwai Fong. The following day, as I was composing my blog entry about the drunken misadventures we had that night, I came across, in my research, a statement that the Michelin Guide released to answer their critics. Here it is:

"The quite vocal critism is aimed at the fact that in the panel of judges, only 2 seats were occupied by Asians; 1 Hong Kong and 1 mainland Chinese. Critics say that the panel does not understand Chinese food and the whole thing is a hype to increase sales of the book.

In reply the Michelin guide stated that, "One does not have to be French to understand French food"."

Source : & sources "Hong Kong/Macau Michelin Guide now official", Wednesday, 3rd December 2008)

Inasmuch as I dream (and sometimes have the grand illusion) of becoming a food critic, I just am not. I am absolutely inexperienced and my culinary vocabulary is extremely limited. But I am adventurous enough to have tried Bo Innovation's sausage ice cream, curious enough to have tried rabbits in Poitiers, pretentious enough to learn the different qualities of cheese and foie gras, and critical enough to compare fried octopus tentacles sold by three different stores in HK. My opinions may not be valid to the authorities, but they are credible to my friends. With that having said, I must say thatI agree with the Michelin Guide on their statement.

I am not chinese. And in the first two years that I spent here in HK, I often complained that chinese food elsewhere is better than chinese food in China; and I often questioned why every dish had to have corn, and why in lauriats rice always came last, when all the side dishes had been consumed. But all it took was to open my mind and activate my tastebuds to understand the Chinese culinary psyche, not just in terms of their local cuisine, but also in terms of how they adopt other cuisines and make it their own. I didn't have to take a crash course in Dietetics & Nutrition to understand why locals, in general, have clear skin, are not overweight, and are deficient in calcium. I didn't even have to read history books to understand their culture. It's all in the food--- in the noodles, or chicken feet, or congee, or fried tofu, or anything that one could find in their menus, which, exploring foreigners like me, usually can't read.


jericho said...

Yipee!!! ... and now it begins.

cant_u_read said...

heehee! ito na ang matagal nating pinangarap, kuya! *sings "Unti-unti mararating... kalangitan at bituin..."

enanlim said...

I like the title. Spin off of your other blog and true I can't read Chinese menu. Very appropriate. I like.

cant_u_read said...

thanks, enanlim! :-)

Dan said...

when you become famous because of this blog, naku, free food na toh sa mga dai pai dong in hk! hehehe! sama ako dyan, ha?

congratz, friend!

cant_u_read said...

naman! pero kailangan matuto ka mag-cantonese, kasi busy na ko sa pagsusulat. ikaw na ang research, marketing & PR.

Kiks said...

well written. witty. FINALLY, THE BLOG IS BORN!

And the food critic who sincerely loves food is back.

cant_u_read said...

thanks,kiks! ayan na... nadala ako sa motivation mo. at aminin, excited pa ko sa bagong blog. kada bagong comment, may sagot ako ora mismo! hehehe!

And the food critic who sincerely loves food is back. --- at ang ebidensya sa "sincerely loves" ay ang tyan na walang tigil sa paglaki.