In a final push to set up my kitchen I went Chinatown to grab bowls, soup spoons, chopsticks etc.
Its funny, normally I am all about my personal space, but there is something about the hustle and bustle of a good Chinatown – anywhere – that makes me happy. People are pushy, it sounds like they are yelling at me, I find strange looking fruits and vegetables that I cannot find anywhere else, and I am oddly comforted by all of the unusual smells. They also have great restaurants where I can find lots and lots of tofu. Often the menus are in Chinese, so it is a rare time when I am as adventurous as I can be about food (I have allergies) and say bring me a tofu dish without fish or meat, they do, and I never regret letting the server decide.
I had heard good things about New Malaysia, which as it sounds is actually Malaysian, and hidden in a dark little alley. Don’t be afraid of the alleys – wander around – it leads to the best adventures. Anyhow, I have to say they seemed a little surprise and confused when I wandered in mid-week during the lunch rush on my own. And after I was seated and had a look around, I realized I was the only white girl in the joint – typically a good sign. I ordered a lemon aid, which was sweet and slushy and one of the best drinks I have ever had, and let my server choose the rest. I should have tried Malaysian food much earlier in life – amazing flavors. I noticed Chinese, Indian, and Thai influences in my dishes. Great food and service; bottom line, if you are in Chinatown – check it out.
I was also looking for a new place to purchase Chinese green and jasmine bulk tea. I drink a lot of green tea, so I am slightly particular and had run out of my favorite gunpowder green. As I wandered the alleys, I stumbled across TEN REN’S TEA AND GINSENG CO (http://www.tenrenusa.com/). This is a great place and I think they have a teahouse with food next door. Their prices are not cheap, but you get what you pay for, right…I still need Japanese green tea, which they also carry, but that just gives me an excuse to go to Chinatown again soon.