Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dan Dan/Tan Tan/Yum Yum

After my first couple of forays into local Asian cuisine detailed here, here and most recently here things had stalled.

I lapsed into my subway/starbucks ways with only one foray into an Asian bakery.

I voiced my frustration at work that my Asian Education had stalled......I needed a kickstart.

I went back to basics with Pho from Westlake.

This time I went with chicken and Vietnamese sausage.  It was every bit the comforting bowl of goodness I wanted although I found the chicken and sausage a little bland - the beef was more flavourful.

I love the bean sprouts and the noodles and the broth but I feel like such a waster when I cannot finish it.

But at least I was back to Asian food.

Things really took off last week though when I lunched at Chen's with my colleague Jennifer Chen! Not related!

 This unassuming store front on Park Dr piqued my interest when the 365Richmond Food blogger declared their XLB's to better than the ones as Shanghai River ....how can this be true..... my first love XLB's bested?  I needed to check it out!

And Mrs Chen was a willing accomplice....and she had another agenda...she wanted to introduce me to Dan Dan (sometimes called Tan Tan) Noodles.  She felt it was the perfect next step in my education.

We entered a very plain, dated interior and the usual indifferent service that I would have had trouble navigating without someone who spoke the lingo!

Jen efficiently checked off our order on the extensive menu
And soon the XLB's arrived
Bigger than expected and completely impossible to eat in one bite which makes for a messy experience which they almost made up for with the tender and flavorful filling.....almost ..... but my personal verdict was that the Shanghai River XLB's are better!  If you can't get the whole soupy, meaty hit all at one the experience is flawed for me.........look at me..........XLB connoisseur......I've come a long way!

But then for the main event
The Dan Dan noodles....... a dish that easily surpassed all others until now...... hands down.  Hot and spicy and so peanutty with perfect noodles...it was sublime.....I could have eaten just that....so so delicious.  I realise I truly love peanuts in......everything from Dan Dan noodles to hot choc fudge sundaes and I am EVER so relieved no one in my family has an allergy to them and yet I hardly ever cook with them.....I don't think we have any in our house at all (we have friends with allergies so we are pretty careful)......maybe that will be my next cooking adventure ...... peanut something......

Yesterday in the cold and rain and wind I sat at my desk dreaming of this dish.....wondering if I could make myself understood enough to order it.....I didn't do it.  But today someone in this building is going to teach me "One order of Dan Dan noodles to go please" in Mandarin.

The green beans were also fantastic...
It was an amazing meal.....I loved it all.

Thanks Jen Chen and Chen's ..... lets do this again sometime soon!

What could my next Asian food foray possibly be?

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