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In Defence Of Chicken Rice ....


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It would seem that its something of an insult to accuse someone of eating nothing more adventurous than chicken rice, but I find it to be a dependable choice virtually anywhere in Asia - I know what I'm getting and I know it will be relatively cheap compared to seafood. Similarly, no-one has ever poisoned me with Pad Thai, and I dont find myself feverishly looking for a toilet with either choice.

 

To be clear, the dish I'm talking about is Hainanese Chicken Rice, but I'll eat any variation of 'chicken with rice':

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hainanese_chicken_rice#Malaysia

 

I'm all for trying other dishes, but not when its a restaurant that I've never been to before and I cant even begin to decipher the menu. In some cases, even the photos dont seem to line up with what they bring to the table - chicken rice may well be the 'baked beans on toast' of Asia, but it makes me happy and isnt that what food is meant to do ?

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Being English means of course that I have the culinary flair of a house brick! I come from a family with historically as much interest in anything beyond the pure bred English staples as a fish might have to diamonds. A breakthrough was made sometime in the mid 1970's when my father was encouraged to try a boil in the bag curry and declared it edible! Having spent the last 30 years extricating myself from such blandness I can now sample foods with someting more than totally zero spice or other attractions without declaring them impossible. That said I still exist on the likes of chicken rice and phad thai as basic staples feeling no need to eat 30 different dishes a week.

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Peter Kay - Pure Gold, thanks for that one..

 

Peter Kay is from Bolton and myself from Salford North West England about 10 miles away and his observations about "Working Class" family weddings is absolutely spot on, that's what makes it so funny. Trust me I have attended many weddings just like this, in fact as a ten year old I probably was the little lad sliding on his knees.

 

About 30 years ago it was traditional for people to marry young, late teens / early twenties and usually to someone from same school or housing estate so of course at the wedding reception most people knew each other and I have observed a few good punch ups.

 

My wife thinks Peter Kay is hilarious, I know amazing that a Thai can understand the accent but as I mentioned he is basically a neighbour of mine when I was younger and occasionally my accent slips into my old home town twang and "I speak reet proper just like he does" so she can follow what is being said .

 

If ever you have a spare hour or so and they is only crap on the TV just look for Peter Kay on Youtube, he does not tell jokes as such just funny observations of life

 

Like who can make you laugh talking about biscuits.

 

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Earlier mentioned Pad Thai.

 

Australian Nutritionists published a list of 10 unhealthiest foods from their test (you know that, they blend the sample into pulp and dip different prods that tell how much of what gunk is in the meal).

 

The worst two: Pad Thai and THEN Big Mac.

 

It was back in 1999. when I did not know what the heck pad thai is and thought Bangkok was a sweaty, irrelevant 1 hour stopover on the way to Europe.

Could not visualize what kind of meal it might be (no Google then, crappy Alta Vista only) and the only reason i still remember is that there was something faring worse than Big Mac.

 

I quite like it, Thai restaurant "Sukhonta" in Nagoya (this whole set ~400THB), ice coffe or tea come at the end:

 

padthai3.jpg

 

and wife cooked it at home:

 

padthai99.jpg

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Used to watch a lot of Peter Kay when I was over there in 2000-2003, one of the best comics going around I reckon. He's improved with age too..

 

Surprised you could understand him, you must have been based "Oop North" or had a a good translator. There is a tedious link between Peter Kay and Thailand, he never wrote all his own material himself he had a co-writer for most of his work who was one of a pair of Bothers I used to hang out with between the age of 6 until i was about 20.

 

The non script writing brother now owns and operates a successful logistics company on the Eastern Seaboard of Thailand with Oil & Gas Companies as his main customer base and when I re-met him at a charity event on ESB back in about 2007 I don't know who was more shocked me or him. The guy hosting the event was "So you two know each other then?" KNOW each other we grew up together, crashed out bikes as kids, fell in the canal, broke legs falling out of trees, we have known each other for 40 odd years and then our accents did come out catching up on old times and many people asked "are you two speaking English" happy days.

 

If memory serves me right I do believe that it was his mother who introduced me to Garlic Bread as an 8 year old and my claim to fame is "GARLIC BREAD, Damn this is the taste of the future" was actually something I said over 40 years ago.

 

So know you now why I am mad, I went to school and grew up with Peter Kay's co script writer and a lot of his material was the shit we used to say and get up to as kids. I was at Sandra's wedding and uncle nobby, well norbert to give him his full name, in his new cream slip ons was Sandra's uncle. Every story Peter Kay tells is true, based on real characters and actual events and I lived through half of them.

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Peter Kay and Paddy Mcguiness ( sp. ? ) did a short series a few yrs ago about living on the road in a camper van - very funny .

 

That was a funny series, Paddy McGuiness was a stage name he used, it is my mate. Their father was the local indipendent Milkman at the time and fro the sae of 6 I was up at 4AM, delivering Milk for 3 hours before home for breakfast and changed Into uniform for school. i am sounding like an old fart now but not even 50 (yet) but this is how it was in my day, 7 mornings / week on the milk float and 3 hours every thursday evening delivering the local journal newspaper around the estate. We never had the "Bank of Mum and Dad" back then we had to make our own way in life.

 

Some of the best days of my life were as a teenager, going to Manchester Appollo to see Sabbath, Purple, Zepplin, Rush, Hawkwind and numerous other bands, all paid for from my milk round and paper round or back in 1979 i saved up for 3 weeks to bunk off school on the day and have the money to buy Joe's Garage by Zappa the day it was released and then see him play it live 1 week later, happy days.

 

I always have been of the opinion that if I want something then I go and earn it, just the way I was brought up on an inner city housing estate and even now at nearly 50 I have the same opinion, no one owns anything, if I want it I go out and earn it.

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