In fear of being one of those authors who puts their life story in the introduction to a recipe which no one will read, I’ll just say this: potato and leek seemed pretty underwhelming a combo to me when I first heard my coworker rave about this amazing soup. I was wrong to be doubtful though. This soup is creamy, hearty, simple, cheap and can be made vegan! I know what you’re thinking; say less.
60ml olive oil, plus extra for use as you see fit
1 brown onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic (or do 1 fresh garlic clove, minced, if you’re fancier than me)
4 medium desiree potatoes (these are the purpley red ones) peeled and chopped into approx. 2cm cubes
2 leeks, pale section only, thinly sliced
1.25L vegetable liquid stock
125ml thickened cream (optional, really has minimal effect on flavour and texture)
+ Whatever bread moment you’re vibing right now, toasted or not, to serve
I personally love to add some fresh, chopped thyme leaves; fresh parsley; and crushed black pepper. Due to the salt content in the vegetable stock, it is usually not necessary to add salt.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until onion is translucent and garlic is fragrant. Now is generally also a good time to add other seasonings. Add potatoes and leek and cook, stirring, until leek begins to soften and separate.
Add the stock and bring this to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat back to medium and let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes or so, stirring every now and then, until the potato is soft.
Obtain a blendy tool – this could be a blender, hand-held masher, or any combination/variation of these. Blend the mixture until it resembles a conventional soup texture. Be thorough in this! No one likes a lumpy soup.
[OPTIONAL] At a medium heat, add the cream and stir to combine for 5 minutes.
Add any other seasonings you’re really frothing. This is the point where I add pepper – my coworker tells me she adds a drizzle of olive oil. Grab a slice of toasted bread and serve.
The soup keeps pretty well and can easily be made in mass amounts. The ingredients are cheap, easy to come across, and generally represent something you may already have in your cupboard.
Comments Off on Four Simple and Achievable Ways to Eat More Sustainably
From school climate rallies, to keep-cups and the movement against straws, young people are championing a more sustainable future. However, amidst all of our sustainable attempts what is often ignored is the enormous impact our diets have on the environment. One-third of total global greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture alone and Australians have one of the largest per capita dietary environmental footprints in the world. But fear not! Although veganism is an ideal solution (I’m patting all the vegans on the back here, especially because you’ve made it very clear who you are), there are many more achievable ways for us mere mortals to help the environment by what we eat. It all starts by what you put in your supermarket basket.
Plan your meals
It’s simple. A well planned supermarket shopping list translates to less food wastage, less impulse spending and more money in your pocket. You won’t have sad and soggy vegetables sitting in the fridge and will also ensure that you have the right ingredients to cook with (rather than opting for another packet of two-minute noodles). Sit down at the start of each week or fortnight and plan your meals. This can be all your meals or just your nightly dinners. Basically just list the ingredients and quantities you will need to buy.
MONDAY AND TUESDAY DINNER
Healthy roasted chicken and veggies
2 medium chicken breasts
1 clove of garlic
½ an onion
1 cup of broccoli
Frozen in freezer
2. Moderate your meat intake:
Avoiding meat is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet. Try making Mondays meat-free! Red meat, lamb (if you are feeling particularly boujee) and processed meats such as sausages, salami and ham have particularly high eco-footprints. Eating beef just 1-2 times per week, over an entire year is the equivalent of driving 2482 km in a petrol fuelled car. Attempt to substitute them for lower impact meats such as chicken or pork. In addition, alternatives such as flexitarianism (eating meat more rarely) are feasible for most people. Another great tip is to experiment a bit and learn to cook your favourite recipes a little differently. Why not make a vegetarian lasagne or pork tacos instead of beef! There are also a huge range of legumes, tofu and nuts that can act as meat-like substitutes. Similarly, junk food and most-dairy products have a reasonably large environmental footprint as they are heavily processed. Swap some of your processed snacks for fruit or home baked products (particularly if they are lovingly baked by a parent or grandparent).
3. Eat seasonally
Eating food that is abundant and in season means that produce does not have to be transported internationally from countries such as the US and China to appear on our plates. Buying produce that is seasonal will not only reduce transport emissions but it is often fresher and less expensive. It is easy to tell what is in season based on the fruit and veggies that are the cheapest and most abundant in supply. If in doubt just check the label.
Here are some of my personal Autumn faves in season
Fruit: Most apples are in season, kiwi fruits, avocados, bananas, most oranges, pears
Veggies: beetroot, broccoli, Asian greens, cucumber, carrot, spinach, pumpkin, leek, zucchini
Some ‘treat yourself/I’ve just been paid’ fruits: strawberries, raspberries, grapes, mangos
4. Eat locally
While lowering your environmental dietary footprint can be achieved by shopping at the big two supermarkets, it is even better to support local stores and producers. Right here at ANU, the Food Co-op under Lena Karmel Lodge sells affordable and sustainable local produce. They also sell weekly veggie boxes filled with seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables. Their foods are sold in bulk to reduce excess packaging and plastic.
In addition to places such at the Food Co-op, Canberra is surrounded by quality farms and growers who are passionate about cultivating great produce. The Farmer’s Markets are held every weekend and are a great chance to feel like a prised millennial, walking around in your activewear (with no intention of going to the gym) while holding a bunch of kale. Choku Bai Jo in Lyneham and Curtin also aim to give local farmers another outlet (that’s open during the week) to sell their produce and foods.
Another fantastic thing about shopping at smaller, local sellers is that you are helping to reduce food wastage associated with the big supermarkets. Shockingly, up to 60 per cent of fruit and veggies never even make it to the supermarket shelves because they do not meet the narrow cosmetic standards they set. For example, Woolworths lists an 11,000-word document just describing their standards for bananas. While some stores have introduced ranges such as ‘the odd bunch’ selling ‘ugly’ produce at a discount, local producers will sell you what they grow. They may sell you a slightly bend-ier carrot, or a mysteriously large zucchini, but ultimately it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
The keep-cup revolution and the switch to reusable shopping bags shows us that if small changes are done consistently they can have a huge impact. Planning what you buy, swapping high-carbon footprint foods for lower ones and eating locally and seasonally where possible are some of the easiest ways to ensure that our planet can support future generations. A more sustainable diet is not only healthier for the planet but it is also better for your cash-strapped student wallets and your health.
There are four Greggs bakeries flanking the Manchester Piccadilly bus station. By noon, all are guaranteed to have run out of their newest menu item: the vegan sausage roll.
I became attuned to the lifeline of the vegan sausage roll last semester, which I spent doing an exchange program in Manchester. These 95p golden brown pastries arrive at 9:00am – there, they languish until the lunch rush begins. Without fail, I arrive around 10:00am, en route to the library for a gratuitous study session (I only needed to pass my classes) and pair up with my little sustainable(?) partner.
I first heard about the vegan sausage roll on the news, which, for context, is a medium for critical global issues. Piers Morgan spat one out into a wastebasket on live television because, like, vegans are millennial snowflakes and stuff. Granted, I don’t ascribe to the view that meat consumption’s damaging effects must be the first thought on everyone’s mind when they grab their morning coffee and pastry. Veganism has not done much to counter its reputation as being elitist and sanctimonious. Although I’m absurdly horny for the environment, I’m able to do this because I have more time and money on my hands than the average citizen of planet Earth; not everyone does.
So, surely, the availability of a cheap, readily available vegan alternative is a great way of de-snowflaking sustainability. The benefits of veganism are indisputable, but it’s devalued because of its association with trends. The online backlash Greggs received for its product was largely attributed to the fact that it was buying into this hippy-dippy culture of Ray Bans and beard oil – i.e, catering to an audience that didn’t typically need to buy 95p lunches.
But, as anyone who has been on exchange will tell you, cheap bakery goods are a must. Another staple of the exchange experience: budget airline Ryanair. In the midst of researching for a report I was writing on the UK agricultural industry, I came across the concept of lab-grown, or cultured meat. I was familiar with the technology, but I was surprised to learn how far along it was. I learned that the Chief Scientific Officer of the pioneering company Mosa Meat was based 614 km from Manchester. I watched 5 hours of TED Talks, read every relevant news article since 2013, wrote a gushy email to a total stranger, and bought a £9.99 flight to Eindhoven.
Dr Mark Post is a pharmacologist and professor at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. In 2013, his team created their first burger out of cultured meat. Briefly, cultured meat describes the product of growing meat cells – primarily muscle – in a lab environment, as opposed to harvesting meat from a living organism. The benefits of this technology are astounding. The meat has a drastically reduced carbon footprint. In the absence of livestock, many harmful environmental impacts are all but eradicated: methane emissions by animals, the massive amounts of water used for irrigation, and the emissions involved in the preparation and transport of animal feed. Importantly, Mosa Meat’s product is meat, genetically and texturally – it just hasn’t been in a cow.
His product, Dr Post explained, wasn’t meant for people like me. I don’t eat meat unless it’s being thrown away and I largely avoid dairy by virtue of being Asian. But then who is Mosa Meat for? Cultured meat isn’t the miracle solution to the environmental impact of meat, and the vast majority of us could thrive on plant-based diets, so why eat meat at all?
Dr Post explained that people need to be wooed. Sustainable food initiatives like veganism and insect consumption haven’t gained momentum because they put too much onus on the actor. He used the metaphor of bread makers, and how everyone’s dad or uncle got one for Christmas at some point. Yes, it’s cheap and easy to make your own bread, but who can be bothered? That’s why Mosa Meat needs to be strategically marketed and commercially competitive, so that consumers are never made to go even a bit out of their way.
However, Dr Post recognises how it might seem as though meat is a half measure. After all, if any of us can go into our local bakery and have a vegan meal for less than $2, shouldn’t we just do that? But attitudes like that, which reinforce the dichotomy of vegan and carnivore, are unhelpful and unnecessarily adversarial. If people are deterred from making an effort from the get-go, we’ll never get anywhere.
Nevertheless, as the evidence currently stands, avoiding meat and animal products is the single most significant lifestyle choice you can make to reduce your environmental impact. Ambivalence towards environmental issues will define how/if we respond to this evidence. I hope that we’re moving away from meme-ing PETA’s Facebook content and towards seeing informed consumption practices as empowering rather than as an orchestrated attack on liberty.
So far, I’ve made a point not to mention the statistical evidence about the damages caused by animal agriculture, or invoke hotly-contested animal rights. The impact a reduced market for traditionally-sourced meat would have on the Australian economy is also far too muddy for me to go into. Being a Netflix food documentary aficionado does not qualify me to explore these issues, nor to promote my agenda. All I can say is that there is a very real issue at hand and smart people out there developing solutions. As for me, I’m just excited to share a positive experience I had, and to strategically flout my exchange.
Comments Off on Rendang Retaliation, Minus the Crisp
Netizens of Malaysia received a big shock a little over a month ago, when the top headline was a MasterChef judge mistaking the criteria for a Malaysian participant’s rendang. Malaysian-born contestant Zaleha Kadir presented a traditional local dish, nasi lemak, with a side of spicy chicken rendang. “The chicken skin isn’t crispy. It can’t be eaten, and all the sauce is on the skin, so I can’t eat it,” critiqued the MasterChef judge, Gregg Wallace. The judgement made by Mr. Wallace and a second judge, John Torode, resulted in the elimination of the wronged Zaleha Kadir.
This mishap brought on a series of fuming responses across the media from Malaysian citizens. Even the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, pitched in with a tweet to support his country and express his bewilderment – “Mana ada orang makan rendang ayam ‘crispy’?” (“Who’s eaten crispy rendang chicken before?”) Most unforgiving comments were angled at the judges’ credibility – how can one be a world-renowned Celebrity Chef lacking knowledge on all types of cuisine? One commentator professed his irritation on a post, saying: “Such limited knowledge on cuisine from around the world. Gordon Ramsay himself knows what is chicken rendang and even made it himself. I bet Ramsay would love to smash a plate of ‘crispy chicken rendang’ on the floor or on your heads after watching this episode… the Hell’s Kitchen way!”
The ridiculous situation brought unity upon two other nations who have similar versions of this dish – Singapore and Indonesia. The three nations, especially Malaysia and Singapore, usually have friendly neighborhood banter on things like who has better food, better tourism and hotter weather. “[Malaysians] view Singapore as our rich cousin who likes to show off, while Singaporeans see Malaysians as people who only know how to have fun,” quoted from Kavin Jayaram, a Malaysian comedian. Followed by Mr. Wallace’s comment, netizens of the three nations got together and set out on a mission to sort out the worldwide confusion, explaining in detail key differences among the variety of cooking styles of the same dish.
Whilst beef is usually the most popular choice of meat in rendang curry, Kadir’s choice of chicken applies to the same concept. The chicken cooked in curry resembles more of a stew and comes out soft and tender and not even remotely crispy. Some claimed the judges assessed the rendang based on the typical side to Malaysia’s national dish nasi lemak – fried chicken – and therefore expected crispiness. It was also pointed out that Torode had prior experience of cooking traditional rendang during an episode of ‘John Torode’s Malaysian Adventure’, proving his evaluation to be even more ludicrous. Kadir held no grudges and simply wrote on her Instagram that she was “gutted to be eliminated but [will stand by the] traditional way of cooking,” and thanked all those who stood by her and supported her all the way.
In response to the hoard of angry comments, as if to add fuel to the fire, Torode wrote in a tweet (which has now been deleted, but plenty of screenshots online if you’re interested): “Maybe Rendang is Indonesian!! Love this!! Brilliant how excited you are all getting … Namaste.” There are three things wrong with his tweet. Firstly, despite lengthy debates over the years on the origins of prominent Malaysian and Indonesian traditional dishes, it is hard to trace back and unavoidable since the two share several cultural and culinary traditions after decades of intertwined history. Secondly, the greeting ‘Namaste’ is of the Indian Subcontinent, and has little to do with Malaysia or Indonesia, which fired even more backlash in Torode’s direction claiming his ignorance and ‘whitesplaining’ of cultures. Finally, the sheer sarcasm was not helping his situation. Whilst people all over were expecting an apology on behalf the misdiagnosis and maybe using this opportunity to educate themselves on three cultures at once, all Torode and Wallace accomplished was showcasing their ignorance and reducing the authenticity of the MasterChef show. Nevertheless, the comment failed to rile up tension between countries and only unified them further against a mutual common enemy.
Zaleha Kadir said once that she entered MasterChef with the hope that it “will help her boost and promote authentic Malaysian food in the UK”. Needless to say, the outcome of this whole fiasco managed to give Kadir a whole lot more fame, acknowledgement and support which she deserved as well as a golden opportunity to Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore to team up against evil forces who materialised in the form of egotistic chefs. I am certain the rendang chicken is grateful and appreciates every second basking in the light of glory. Thank you to all who brought justice to our cuisine!
Fusion might be the only way to describe Australian cuisine. It blends colours and flavours from the Mediterranean all the way to East Asia. It is the symbol and signifier of the multiculturalism that takes place in Australian society today. Australia prides itself on the mix of populations that have brought their own palates.
Food is more than just a necessity; it is a tool through which we can achieve multiculturalism. Regardless of our cultural, ethnic and religious differences, food just brings us all closer. Certain flavours, spices can instigate strong memories. Food sometimes takes the form of celebration, on our birthday, or nostalgia, when as migrants we miss our local cuisine.
I spent my summers cooking in refugee solidarity kitchens in Athens. There, hierarchies did not matter. Someone would know the recipe and the right amount of ingredients, and we would all work toward the same goal. Cooking for 300 people was not always easy, but we managed. Simple tasks, like cutting a kilo of onions or chopping hundreds of tomatoes could be seen as mundane, but it was an opportunity from people around the world to get to know each other.
The kitchen became our safe and even favourite space. Asylum seekers, locals, and independent volunteers became a family. Sometimes the recipes were not our greatest achievements, but with the right spices, they became our pride. The final result was a mix of cultures; Syrian, Afghani, Greek… and sometimes Philippine. Food did not only bring us closer, but also made us equal. We came to see each other as individuals, with our own struggles, pain and ambitions.
In Australia, this wide mix of cultures made me think about the ways we approach food. Even though it’s said to celebrate multiculturalism, I felt like some cultures are emphasised and seen as more important than others. In my university exchange year here, I have witnessed the adoration of all things European combined with partial indifference to the non-West as ordinary.
In Levenstein’s words, migrants often neglect aspects of their native food that they consider ‘inferior’ as a way to assimilate to a white settler culture. At the same time, they focus on colonial foods and methods to foods that are thought of highly in their host country.
At a time of increasing ethnic violence and discrimination, we realise we don’t actually live in a post-racial world. However, food reminds us that deep down we are all the same. It is so powerful in uniting us, that it’s said it can solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Humous embodies the few things the two populations embrace and share in common. Respect for the same regional cuisine can help shape the ways in which they see each other.
In our local context, the Canberra Multicultural Festival sought to do this with great success. It gives a voice to the hundreds of communities that live in Canberra that we would otherwise overlook.
Maybe it is time to set aside our preferences and better engage with communities and flavours we ignore.
Comments Off on Nine Issues with the Night Noodle Markets and How We Can Fix Them
This year the noodle markets were held in and around Questacon and the National Portrait Gallery. This location is a record 45 (!) minute drive for people living in the deep south of Canberra and even longer for those in outer Gungahlin. This is unacceptable and makes it near impossible for the event to grow. How can we fix it? Easy! Move the event to the Tuggeranong.
This year the roads surrounding the markets were bumper to bumper and impossible to navigate. How can we market this as one of the feature events on the CBR calendar if it is so disgustingly packed? Well, luckily, I have a solution. If we move the event to the Tuggeranong Town Centre, we will eliminate a lot of the attendees because it is too far away. The crowds will thin and we can finally enjoy the event without having to elbow our way through to the toilets!
This year was so cold and windy it made the event insufferable. The winds coming off Lake Burley-Griffin were arctic! As soon as I got out of my car, I could only think about returning home and cosying up in front of the fireplace. Theoretically, if the event were to move to another location with a smaller lake, say Lake Tuggeranong, this issue would be resolved. The smaller lake would cause less extreme weather conditions and therefore preserve that ‘summer feel’ we all crave.
This year the markets were crawling with children, further contributing to the large crowds and noise level at the event. If the location were to change to a less kid-friendly atmosphere, such as Tuggeranong, the smaller numbers of kids present would make the event more professional and mature; a vibe that the noodle markets has always been shooting for but never achieved.
I don’t know about you, but I am SO bored of seeing the same buildings every year with lights projected onto them. Change it up ACT Government! I have done extensive research for alternatives and the best ones, objectively, are the Tuggeranong Hyperdome, Bunnings Tuggeranong and the Officeworks building next door! Let’s take gentrification to the next level, sheeple.
Gee whizz, this year I paid a whole $18 for what was essentially a small bowl of chicken and rice! Let’s change up the vendors and seek out more affordable options. 7/11 have recently added a splash of the Orient to their cuisine options, with Peking Duck Smiths Chips. You can even get two for $5 – talk about value! Coincidentally, the top rated 7/11 on Yelp is the Erindale store, just a few minutes outside the Tuggeranong CBD. I am sure they would be happy to provide a pop up stall for the event.
It’s not in Tuggeranong!
Okay, I’ll admit that I might have a bit of bias towards Tuggeranong, but don’t let that get in the way of my well-researched and articulate piece. This has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I am one of approximately ten ANU students who live in Kambah. Let’s start a movement, let’s go to Andrew Barr’s office and get him to change the location to one for the future #TUGGERZ4NOODLES
Brown, glistening, viscous and spreadable
Pretty much looks like literal shit
Dispersed sporadically over cold, burnt toast
The perfect combination of fats and carbs
Makes for a surprisingly bitter sensation
A taste just as salty as my attitude
Delivers stained teeth almost instantly
Ensures the breath smells mitey bad
Embarrassment puts a rose in every cheek
Attempted diversification of cooking potential
Vegemite lamb roasts aren’t fooling anyone
B vitamins do nothing for immunity
Yet still marketed as a health staple
For some reason, an Australian cultural icon
Made from beer manufacturing waste
Briefly pinched by the Americans (typical!)
Poorly imitated by the British overlords
The traditionalists wouldn’t have it any other way.
Comments Off on Do something today for a greener tomorrow!
Every year the average Australian family produces enough rubbish to fill a three-bedroom house, equating to a massive 2.25 kg of waste per day! Australia’s waste generation is one of the highest in the world, and it is time that we all do something about it. As individuals, we can make a big difference by simply reusing, reducing and recycling; decreasing our wastage and increasing our share of the recycling. However, avoiding waste generation in the first place is the best thing one can do. Just imagine what we could all accomplish if we were waste wise when shopping. Doing something as simple as buying in bulk and avoiding single packaging, bringing our own bags, using reusable containers and repairing items instead of replacing them.
With a community of more than 25,000 people, the Australian National University (ANU) has committed to act responsibly towards minimising waste. In recent years, the ANU has made significant efforts to reduce its contribution to landfill waste and is encouraging students and staff to recycle actively. With more than 200 recycling bins available to the public across the campus, there is no reason not to recycle.
Additionally, the Facilities and Services Division (F&S) has recently introduced a new waste system that weights all bins individually on collection. Not only will this allow for the clients to pay only for the waste produced but it will also help to identify the high waste generators and follow up with targeted education and initiatives to positively change waste behaviours.
It is exciting to announce that the ANU is the first university in Australia to introduce smart bin sensors. This allows the engagement of waste collection services only when the bins are full enough to be emptied, rather than the status quo where garbage trucks come no matter if the bins are full or not. This new system has resulted in a saving of nearly $25,000 in 2016/2017, or over $2,000 on a monthly basis. It has also contributed to the ANU’s carbon emissions reduction targets – reducing the university’s carbon footprint.
However, it can be hard to remember what can and can’t go into recycling. With new generations of students coming to campus every year, it is good to remind ourselves about what to throw in the yellow bin. We all remember the usual – paper, cardboard, tins/cans, glass bottles and jars, – but don’t forget that you can also recycle:
– Pizza boxes,
– Advertising material,
– Egg cartons,
– Envelopes (even the ones with the clear plastic window),
– Takeaway food containers and coffee cups.
Beyond this, it is essential that we recycle our old and broken electronic devices and batteries. Not doing so will prevent toxic heavy metals leaking into the soil and water. Special recycling containers for old batteries, mobile phones, computers and other electronic gadgets are across the campus. These containers are found in all the libraries, Anthony Low #124, CBE #26C, Jaeger #142 and JCSMR #131, or you can simply email firstname.lastname@example.org, and they will direct you to the nearest drop-off location.
I’ve been hesitant to try out the several Chinese restaurants around campus for two main reasons: I was worried I might be disappointed, or worse still, that I would find a place I would really love. Unfortunately for my wallet, I think I’ve managed the latter.
On a recent Friday evening, a large group of friends and I dined at the Shanghai Dumpling Cafe, which is conveniently open until 9.30pm all week. To minimise logistics, a few friends and I ordered for the rest of the group, picking out a selection of dumplings and vegetable dishes while trying to accommodate requests: no pork, and one serving of chilli oil soup wonton. Amidst the busy chatter of the restaurant and our increasing hunger, we finally cobbled together our order for the very patient and helpful waiters.
Although the restaurant was completely packed, our dishes arrived with impressive speed. We couldn’t help but eye the steamers full of dumplings, as they were being bussed around, and once ours arrived, the excitement was palpable. The best thing about eating as a group at a place like Shanghai Dumpling Cafe is that you get the opportunity to sample a wide range of dishes. Among the 14 of us, we shared steamed prawn, beef, and chicken dumplings, chilli oil soup wonton, stir fried green vegetables with garlic, Shanghai tofu with mushrooms, and chilli eggplant.
Dumplings look deceptively easy to make, and now that they’re churned out at dizzying speeds to meet voracious demand I’m not convinced that the people making them get the credit they deserve. Too much liquid in the meat mixture? The dumplings fall apart. Poor technique in pinching the ends of the wrapper together? The dumplings fall apart. Steamed too long? You guessed it, the dumplings stick to the parchment paper when the diner tries to peel them off and, consequently, fall apart, spilling their juices.
Good dumplings can’t be frozen either; they have to be made fresh on the day or the wrapper gets hard, and the seasoned diner can tell right away. All the dumplings at Shanghai Dumpling Cafe were impeccably made, and very fresh. The crunchy prawns were enveloped in soft translucent wrappers with just the right amount of pull. After I popped the first in my mouth, I immediately regretted that we had only ordered one steamer.
A small complaint would be the rice. It didn’t come as the soft, fluffy yet distinct grains you’d hope for at a restaurant. Instead, it was clumpy in parts, like it was from the end of a batch. Nevertheless, the dishes were sufficiently delectable that this felt easily forgivable.
One trick I’ve discovered to ordering for large groups in Chinese restaurants is to order a few dishes less than the number of people, and rice for about a third. We demolished everything, everyone seemed happy, and the ridiculously cheap bill came out to just under $10 per person. I was full but not stuffed, and still able to bike uphill to get home – a successful dining experience, in my book.