Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Worst Thing We Ate

On the way home from school yesterday, Wey asked me what the worst thing was that I ate in Oz. I asked him his worst thing but he wanted me to go first so I said "Let's say it together so we won't cheat!"
We both shouted "Dim sims!" We also agreed that we could eat the fried dim sim if we were starving, but not the steamed one. If you serve this in China or Hong Kong as Chinese food, they'd stone you with it. And they should. It truly was gross: egg-sized thick-skinned lump of wheat flour and water pastry with grounded stinky pork inside, all scrunched up messily. We ate dim sims at that fish and chippery shop in the Mornington Peninsula but I was so disgusted I forgot to take a picture. Here's a pic from Google Images. The Ozzies seem to love it. This big guy walked in, bought four to go, shook some soy sauce all over them and walked out with a smile. That's when I was reminded of the saying: meat to some, poison to others.

I just found out from Wikipedia that dim sims were first made by this Chinese guy in Melbourne. Must've failed as a cook in his native China. For non-Chinese readers, I'm going to let you in on a secret expression that is used among Chinese cooks: "Pen guilao" or "Deceive the whiteman/westerners." Some pen guilao dishes are probably your favourites: chop suey, sub-gum noodles, most versions of sweet n sour and dim sims. I bet dim sims are the Ozzie version of sau mai/siew mai, those little delicious steamed wonton-wrapped morsels of grounded pork and prawns that you must eat at yumchas or when you 'eat dimsum'.

To me, the king of dimsum (meaning 'to point at the heart) is the sau mai (pork and prawns mince wrapped in thin wonton wrappers made of egg and flour ) while the queen is ha gow (prawns mince in translucent gluten wheat starch wrapper).

On my previous trip to Melbourne, which has the second largest Greek population outside of Greece, I tasted dolmas (grape leaves stuffed with rice, olives, olive oil, pine nuts etc) for the first time. I bit into one and spat it out, something I rarely do. Tell me what your worst holiday food discovery was!


Hazza said...

I must say I have not heard of "dim sim" before .. only "dim sum". Does the word "sim" means its a simulation of "dim sum", and therefore not the real thing, but maybe modified for local tastebuds? Living in Manchester, quality Chinese food is plentiful but I must say that the worst I have tasted is actually from my local Chinese takeaway at the locality where I moved to a few months ago. There is never anybody in there and I often wonder how they stay in business. It is not cheap too. I buy from them only when I am VERY desperate, as there are no other asian takeaways nearby. Next time I do that, I will take a picture for my blog.

Denise said...

(a) YES!!!
I seen that giant sized fried Dim Sum b4 !!! and I 200% agreed with U! really pen-guilao!, and they even put a signboard outside the shop say " BEST-DIM-SUM in town" ! (brisbane) E yucKS!

(b) I HATE guilao cook "sweet & sour pork" really one word, YUCKS
Needless to say la, the sauce is defintely sweeter than HONEY, and the pork is under a Flour-DUVET , imagine?

(c) ALSO, I'm very afraid of eating at places like suburb of KK, such as Papar, Telupik .... the food are just very the oily, and bland ! and, dunno la, parents said I m just " yam-Jiam " (fussy), but in fact is not okay!

Anonymous said...

hazza: hi! nice to hear frm u. Hmm. dimsim is an Ozzie creation n it hasn't reached the merry shores of England yet.i've been to ur blog & u r impressive! yes do update us on the disasters frm ur chinese take away.

denise:1) :O Our tastebuds are still in tiptop condition. 2)Flour DUVET. Now tt really describes it!
3) Hmm I did eat at this restaurant in Beaufort tt was pretty good but I never touch things like wild boar meat which interior towns seem to always serve. Yukks!


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