I took a little break from cooking this past week while we went to Hong Kong for a short trip. We only planned on staying for 2 days, but our trip was unexpectedly extended. Having lived there before, there wasn’t anything touristy that I was particularly keen on doing. But there was one place I was adamant about visiting: The City Super.
It’s the most fabulous international supermarket I’ve ever visited, the kind that every city should have. It just about dwarfs Hyundai and even Carrefour with variety. You can find anything from anywhere, and I couldn’t resist stocking up on flaxseeds, vanilla extract from Madagascar, cocoa powder, hoisin sauce and a few other goodies. I even picked up a little bottle of maple syrup, so I can enjoy my pancakes in all their glory. We’ve been using honey as an acceptable alternative, but it just doesn’t quite do it for me.
The rest of the trip was a mad scramble to basically eat as much as we can possibly consume. Being in a city like Hong Kong makes you realize just how homogeneous the cuisine in Korea is. We had dim sum, sushi, Vietnamese pho, Shanghainese food and French patisseries. Even the salads and sandwiches exuded Western authenticity. And fruit tastes so much better when it doesn’t cost several hours worth of wages.
On our last stop before heading to the airport, we found ourself in a South-Asian community and we just couldn’t pass up the curry and kebab wraps. We took everything to go, and hurried to catch our flight. There the security officers told me we had to pour our neatly packed dishes over the basmati rice if we wanted to take our lunch with us. I suppose the logic was that if the sauce was absorbed by the rice, then it would no longer be considered a liquid and thus a threat. By the time I boarded, my fingers were turmeric stained, while the fury of Indian spices was conspicuously escaping from our bags. But undeterred from the mess and smell, we enjoyed our wraps, which were oozing only of goodness.
And after carrying the curry some 2000km to enjoy at home, our only regret was having not ordered more.