Review: Mr. Kong & the Revitalization of Chinese Food

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

 
Mr Kong in Soho London
  Society is used to bad Chinese food.

    There, I've said it. The thing that every Chinese person knows and what every non Chinese person is shocked to discover.

It is one of the few national cuisines that has been manipulated, adapted and exploited by non Chinese eaters. We have become accustomed to demanding a different quality of Chinese food, and in some extreme cases (such as Fortune Cookies) a type of Chinese food that doesn't even exist in China!

    Such was my state of disdain with Chinese food two days ago when, in the back alleys of London's China Town, I stumbled across the quaint, green-trimmed establishment of Mr. Kong's. Its very unassuming name certainly didn't draw me in and since I was in China Town and couldn't tell from which restaurant which smell was coming, it wasn't that either.

Simple Gluten Free Spaghetti Carbornara & Stuffed Peppers

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Call me superstitious, but at one point in my life (well, a recurring point) the word carbonara makes me cringe. Something that tastes this good, how can it not be bad for you?! Carb is in the name! That's a snippet of the conversation I have with myself whenever I see carbonara on a restaurant menu. Incidentally, I normally flip a few pages back to Insalta, trying to (unsuccessfully) trick my palate into believing it doesn't want carbonara at all.
I'm sure you can figure out who wins the contest between palate and waistline.

Gluten Free Grilled "Baked" Potatoes

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

You know how sometimes you just get a mood for a certain food?
The first chilly day of Fall and I get nuts for homemade chicken noodle soup, or if I'm sad and want to a wallow for a bit, a rich and decadent cheesecake is my pity party companion. Mood can dictate our food and food can certainly dictate our mood. It's so fascinating how the two are related. It's been said a million times, "You are what you eat," which is true. So that makes me a potato. And quite happily so, I might add.


What the hell am I waffling on about?

Well, comfort food. Nothing can lift my spirits or make me feel safe and comfortable the way a piping hot potato can. I don't care if it's a good ol' American Idaho Russet Burbank potato with its odd elongated plumpness and thick skin. Or it can be one of my personal favorites, the lesser-known South American Adirondack Blue Potato, chock full of antioxidants with a slightly sweet and crisp taste. Even a traditional Irish potato, which, although it may seem blasphemous, tastes a lot better than an American potato any day. I'm not sure if it's the fact that Irish potatoes grow deep in the rain-cultivated, chilly Irish earth or what, but they taste heartier, have a subtle sweetness and an undeniable potato taste. Much more tasty than their English neighboring crops.

Giorgos Seferis

Monday, June 21, 2010

One of the things I love most about Gmail is that it comes with this launchpad type homepage thing called iGoogle. On iGoogle you can customize your gadgets to see what you're interested in before you get to checking your emails. On mine, I have areas dedicated to the weather, previews of my inbox, a calendar, these really cooky googly eyes that follow your cursor around the page and, of course, I have various poetry and literary-related things.
Today, underneath my Daily Literary Quote section is this quote from Giorgos Seferis:
Don't ask who's influenced me. A lion is made of the lambs he's digested and I've been reading all my life.
Pretty powerful, if not a bit odd and a tad bit graphic, no?
The beautiful thing about this quote (other than the fact that every avid reader and writer is probably nodding their heads after having read it {and after having scribbled the quote down on a Post-It Note}) is that it is a perfect reflection of the best components of a Seferis poem.

Gluten Free Pavlova

Saturday, June 19, 2010

This classic Australian dessert is a cinch to make and is perfect served with fruit.

Strawberry Pavlova Feeds 2 adults For a good bulk of my TV-viewing life, I've been a fan of domestic shows. IE: cooking shows, decorating shows, buying, selling or flipping property ... . When I'm in America, my TV is constantly tuned to TLC, Home and Garden and the Food Network. Here, in England, it's a bit of the same. Recently, I've been indulging in foodie shows such as "Come Dine With Me" and "MasterChef," and "Cook Yourself Thin."

In addition to being shows about making and or serving food, there has been a common denominator amongst all three of these and that is the classic Australian dessert, pavlova. I had never eaten a pavlova but it looked easy, yummy and I've been wanting to improve my dessert-making skills. So, on a whim, I went out on Thursday and purchased the ingredients necessary to make a pavlova, per Delia's recipe.

to know the beginning is to know the future

Friday, June 18, 2010

Blogging is so hard for me. It seems slightly blasphemous that this is the reality since 1. I am a writer and 2. I am of the generation in which blogging became a thing. Surely, that should equip me with everything I need to fashion a blogging storm and plug away at my laptop for hours and hours! Alas, it doesn't. I seem to go through blogs the way newborns go through diapers. I'm constantly throwing them out, starting over, blah blah blah. Well, here's to attempt number 288397240174.

I wonder how many people (Lorelai Gilmore not included) automatically think of "Fame" when they read my blog title? How could you not? Cheesy '80s at its best, the hair, the Jane Fonda leggings, that crazy, the world-is-amazing bounce. Oh yeah, you're gonna see me and cry.

Anyway, I was thinking the other day about the word know. About how much its connotation has morphed over time. I mean, in the biblical sense of the word it's about a certain type of physical intimacy, isn't it? In later decades, it became something to which you could attribute something to--ie: I know such-and-such a person. Now? We've kind of killed it.