Posted in Restaurant Hopping, The Flavors of Asia

In Which We Order in a Family Luncheon…

Broccoli Leaves and Mushrooms + Chow Mein

Happy 2012, dear SybDive readers!

I hope everyone had a safe, happy New Year’s Eve.  My family and I had a relatively quiet one at home, though we did step out into the street at midnight to watch the fireworks.  Then, upon coming back indoors, we had the customary Media Noche (midnight feast) where the paella took center stage, flanked by slices of sweet, succulent ham and my mother’s unbeatable meat loaf.  Non-alcoholic sparkling peach and a good bottle of proper sweet sparkling white wine also added sparkle to the celebration.

But before the midnight feast, hours before, there was the dilemma of lunch.  With the paella stock bubbling on the oven, a loaf of pane al cioccolato in the oven, and several non-kitchen related chores, there wasn’t really time (or energy to spare, for that matter) for cooking lunch.  As a result, we just called in for delivery from North Park.

The last lunch of the year consisted of classic favorites that sure went down nicely with everyone.  The chow mein, in particular, had something for everybody: tender, toothsome noodles in a savory, umami sauce with slices of char siu, chunks of fish cake, battered fish fillets, plump shrimp, mushrooms, and some baby bok choi.  Since we were all craving for something green and leafy, a bowl of broccoli leaves (gai lan) with three kinds of mushrooms was also ordered and added a welcome crunchiness.

Wontons and honey-lemon chicken

North Park meals – even those delivered to our house – are never complete without the honey-lemon chicken.  In this case, a Chinese restaurant staple is given a welcome tang by fresh lemon slices to offset the gooey sweetness of the honey-based sauce.

I think we’re going to have to rethink the wontons the next time we order in for delivery, though.  You can opt to have them steamed or fried, so we chose the latter and got these soggy lumps with burnished edges that, alas, bordered on chewy.  Filled generously with a savory pork forcemeat and a whole shrimp, these were nevertheless tasty; they could have been better steamed, though.

Washed down with fresh lemonade and cool water, the meal gave us all the pep to see through the rest of the preparations for the New Year.

So, how’d your New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day feasts turn out?  😀



Midge started her career in PR writing at seventeen when she began drafting documentaries for a government-run television station in the Philippines. Since then, she made a career in advertising and public relations which ended in June 2016 These days, she works full time at Philippine Tatler as a features writer under the nom de guerre Marga Manlapig. Aside from what she does for a living and her poetry, she has turned her home kitchen into a personal culinary lab and is currently working on another novel. Follow her on Instagram at @midgekmanlapig.

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