Sunday, May 06, 2007

Hainanese Steam Boat - Yet Con

Hainanese Steam Boat
Originally uploaded by daveyll.
Hainanese establishements line Seah (or Purvis, I can never remember) Sts. Yet Con is one of these that I've seen but never dared to enter. My lack of Mandarin inhibits me visiting such Chinese places as inevitably I'm forced into, "Dui bu qi, wo bu jiang hua yu" in my forced Beijing accent. I shouldn't let it stop me, because it's the minority that do not speak English as well. But I feel this expectation that somehow my language should be genetically transferred and I'm somehow 'less Chinese' because of this.

But after Peranakan with K&K, we have dinner here. They order, surprisingly, in Cantonese while the floor manager bosses everyone around in loud Hainanese. He looks almost like my grandfather and the languages enveloping me remind me so much of growing up in Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur.

Steamboat is their speciality here and a dangerous looking gas burner fires up and a bowl of clear chicken broth arrives. We cook the prawns, pork and blood-red cockles to our liking.

We order a plate of chicken breast (no skin) as one of us is a little fanatical about what he eats.

The bowls of chicken rice look too good to pass up and upsize mine to a larger one - the waitress chides me gently in Cantonese as she's already prepared a small one.

To finish we poach some eggs in the broth and drink the soup.

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