My friend Laura, an anthropologist, is convinced that Red Bull is a sort of magic Rosetta Stone that can unlock the deepest insights into human nature. Yet she swears to me her craziest theories aren’t a result of too much Red Bull, nor mixing some of it with a little vodka.
Upon closer inspection, I realized these things weren’t teapots after all. Their abnormally large spouts, absence of proper handles, and general pooper-scooper shape made it abundantly clear. Yep, I was looking at urinals. Elaborate, antique, encased in glass, but nonetheless—urinals.
If you were judging by the look on his face, you would think Nico was witnessing some sad blight of the human race. But no, it was just his natural reaction to me eagerly describing the highly experimental crepes I made earlier that weekend at the newly opened Simplicity Crepe & Wine store. Nico is Belgian. And while we Hongkongers see la crêpe as a tabula rasa for all sorts of experiments, for him, they’re sacrosanct.
For a long time, I didn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day—a decision that ended up taking more effort than simply letting the holiday run its course. That’s because a simple dinner reservation for two on February 14 meant that Valentine’s Day was going to be shoved down my throat whether I ordered it or not.
But one woman’s trash can be another woman’s treasure, and some women would be happy with either. Consider the case of February 13, which is unofficially known as “Mistress Day.”
The first lesson I learned about knives was that you shouldn’t have the blade pointing directly at one hand while pushing the handle with your entire body weight using the other hand. But that’s the kind of quasi-suicidal technique I had to use to shuck an oyster.
Depending on how things ended, dinner with the ex-boyfriend may or may not be uncomfortable. Dinner with your mom and her ex-boyfriend, however, definitely is all kinds of awkward.
It was opening day for Hong Kong’s newest Din Tai Fung restaurant outpost in Causeway Bay. As our order of Taiwanese appetizers arrived—glistening slices of braised tripe and the rarely available ma lan tou vegetable dish with its signature smoky scent—a well-dressed man walked up to our table and poured my husband and I some tea. He held the pot handle the traditional way: one hand supporting the wrist of the other. The gesture is deeply respectful, but I barely gave an appreciative nod in thanks.
At moments like this, only three words come to mind: Please. Don’t. Suck.
It’s a mantra I started to chant the second I realized Chef Enrico Innocenti of Duetto restaurant wasn’t going to cook for me; he was going to sing.
Enrico waltzed in clad in his chef whites after an introduction replete with stories of him singing and cooking since he was tall enough to reach the kitchen table of his Tuscan home.
The law of karma says that what comes around goes around. And by that logic, I should’ve known I would eventually end up on a lower rung of the food chain. This week, I was dinner.
Or rather, a midnight snack. Under the cover of night, the tiny culprit—later determined by the joint collaboration of a few dermatologists and my husband’s Googling skills to be the “kissing bug”—fed on my blood while I slept. That’s really its name. It exists—I swear.
Believe or not, I’ve actually heard multiple people say this line: “I don’t eat Christmas turkey because it reminds me too much of a baby.” Laugh if you will, but they’re serious.
Take the traditional start to a Christmas meal. Dad gets up from the table to welcome everyone and sharpens his knife so it carves easily into the sumptuously roasted bird. For most of us, this ritual is about holding out our plates with twitching fingers and letting out a contented sigh when we get our juicy slab—ah... dinner.