Weekend food… and Jac’s camping ambitions
Having worked from home all week I was well and truly suffering from cabin fever, so I decided to spend some time at our local shopping centre yesterday morning. I was all set to order a serve of chicken karaage with barbecue sauce and baby mayo from the Japanese place, but most disappointingly, the pieces of chicken in the bain marie looked all small, shrivelled and overcooked (maybe old ones leftover from the day before?). Instead, I went to the Thai place and ordered a small combination for $6.80: steamed rice (I could have had fried rice or fried noodles instead if I’d preferred), stir-fried vegetables, Thai green chicken curry and sweet chilli chicken. Asian combinations always look like they’ve just been thrown on the plate, but believe me, it was pretty tasty.
This morning, Jac drove us to uni so we could bring my stuff home from the office. There are now two cartons and a sports bag of my office/thesis crap sitting in the hallway. I have to work out where to put it for the month or so that it will be here. My study is already full to bursting! On our way home from uni we stopped by Taurus Hawker Foods (Shop 10, 113 Collins Rd Willeton) for some brunch. Taurus is always busy. We arrived just after 11am, which is when it opens, and joined the queue of people lined up to place their orders. If you like this sort of food I recommend you check it out – but be prepared to queue up.
Jac loves popiah, and so we shared a serve between us. Being a chilli wimp, I ordered it without chilli.
Yummy! The popiah was served without dipping sauce, but it didn’t need it – the filling had been pre-sauced (hoisin sauce and possibly something else). I think I prefer it this way – it was very moist, but the bangkwang (also known as chinese turnip or jicama) was still lovely and crunchy.
I usually order from a small range of my favourite dishes – char siu wantan mee dry style, hokkien mee, chicken rice… but today I felt like something different. I ordered the braised duck noodles, dry style. The dish came with plenty of tasty dark sauce, and lots of very meaty pieces of duck. The photo turned out a little blurred (sorry!). Yes, when I finished the noodles and vegetables and had sucked all the meat off the duck bones, I drank up the remaining sauce. It was too good to leave on the plate.
My duck noodles came with a bowl of yummy broth.
Jac’s choice was our old favourite: char kway teow. Taurus’ version is delicious, served piping hot and fresh, with lots of chicken and beef, and two juicy prawns (in this photo the prawns are buried under the top layer of noodles). Jac ate the kway teow with her current favourite condiment, a dish of cut green chillies. One thing I’ve noticed about the staff who bring the food to your table, they sort of amble in slow motion, with completely no sense of urgency whatsoever. Maybe they figure the food is so steaming hot it won’t make any difference whether they hurry or not. The food is freshly cooked, delicious and cheap though, so I’m not too fussed.
Jac also ordered a glass of cendol (pronounced as “chen-dol”), which had a dual function – it was both refreshing drink and dessert.
After brunch Jac drove to a camper van/caravan yard so we could have a look around. She’s been toying with the idea of us getting a camper van or getting camping gear. We liked the Toyota camper vans with the tops that pop up best – but they were all either cheap with lots of miles and a little too much rust or really cool, but waaaaaay too expensive ($40 or 50K ). After that we stopped by Ranger Camping. We checked out everything from tents to chairs to portable gas cooking stoves to eskis with wheels on them. I told her I want one of those enamel or tin cups so I feel like I’m really camping (hah). I’m not really keen to go camping – I’m comfortable at home and fail to see why people choose to live for days or weeks in less comfortable and less convenient conditions. I find it hard to relax living out of bags. I’ve refused to go anywhere too remote where the toilet will be a hole in the ground; we’ll probably start out camping at tent sites at caravan parks so I can use the toilet facilities there. Yes, I know, pathetic. But it’s like I said, I still don’t get why people would leave their flushing toilets for holes in the ground, where bugs can crawl up you, stuff makes you itch and the smell is that much closer! Anyway, I’ll give camping a go as Jac is very keen. I can’t see myself becoming a true camping enthusiast (I am really NOT the roughing-it type!) but I’m sure when I get used to it I’ll will enjoy it (after I get over my Internet withdrawal symptoms). I’d like to go fishing, anyway. I like the idea of catching my dinner. Of course, when we do go camping, there will be camping food porn to take pictures of!
We didn’t buy anything today, but Jac has lots of ideas and thoughts to work through. Then we’ll talk about it again. I’m happy for her to take the lead on this, as I know nothing about going camping or camping gear.