Posted by She Said.
I had my dream meal last Saturday after our visit to The Summer Palace. Chang was very excited to take us to one of his favorite places to eat. But first, we took the kids to McDonald’s for a cheeseburger before we went to lunch so they would actually EAT SOMETHING. I’m not thrilled about feeding them McDonald’s, but I have to say, not having to bribe our children with 99 cent iTunes games to TASTE SOMETHING NEW is kind of nice. And, well, the cheeseburgers taste just like they do back home. Hooray for them. Ewww for me.
I couldn’t begin to tell you the name of the restaurant we went to, and sadly (for Greg and me) there was no English on the menu, making it hard for us to go back without someone who speaks Chinese. Based on my experience with this place however, I will be begging people to take us back.
The table has a built in “hotpot” in the middle of it. The waiters bring over a huge pot of water that is divided into two sides, one flavored with hot spices and one spiced regularly. A dial on the table allows you to control the amount of heat that goes to the pot. Chang then ordered a plethora of items for us to cook in the boiling broths.
And then, as if it were created for me personally, you dip all of the cooked goodness into a bowl of peanut sauce, called satay in the States, and if you wish, you can add cilantro to this. IF YOU WISH. Hello? Anyone who has been around me long enough knows that I would bathe in juiced cilantro and lick myself clean if I could. I risked the whole fresh herbs thing because IT WAS CILANTRO IN PEANUT SAUCE!
This was seriously one of the best meals I have ever had. In addition to the mouth-watering food itself, the very nature of cooking your meal together has a very intimate feel to it. Even though language can be a hurdle at times, there’s nothing like cooking food together and then dipping it in CILANTRO LADEN PEANUT SAUCE to bring people together.