Saturday, December 19, 2009

Purchasing Power Up => Food Expenses Up

I wanted to try the 汤师父 owned by 永顺 in Jusco Tebrau City for a while, always stopping to flip through the menu whenever I walked past to enjoy a fleeting feeling of luxury. Yesterday while Town Mouse and I were in JB, the Country Mouse decided to treat the Town Mouse to a truly atas meal, that was supposed to be good for the health, albeit bad for the wallet.

Walking into the cafe restaurant, which looked really small from outside, I was pleasantly surprised by the pleasing decor of the inner section which contrasted greatly with the sales counter and cramped tables outside (see picture 1) . I even had to gingerly step past the free chairs 永顺 was giving away with the purchase of a dozen bottles of birds' nest or shark's fin on my way in.

We decided to not order from the set menu but try the ala carte. Since I was the one treating, I had the dubious honor of choosing the items, haha, while Town Mouse steadfastly refused to touch the diabetic-faint guaranteed-worthy guava slices pickled with preserved lemon rind (yucks!!! at RM2 a pop. 永顺 really knows how to keep their cashflow flowing with gullible customers like us. I feel bad for the local clientele.)

I ordered broccoli served with wolfberries, "abalone slices" (one taste and I realised that it was tako slices), fresh and dried scallops, braised meat with wood ear (木耳), the pièce de résistance Buddha Jumps Over the Wall 佛跳墙 (at RM70 a 2 inch deep bowl, which looks deceptively deep...), brown rice, and red dates (红棗) boiled in a sweet soup with dried longans (龙眼), hasma (雪蛤), to be washed down with strong pu-er tea (普洱茶).

Town Mouse complained that the abalone in the 佛跳墙 was tough. After much scrutiny, I realised that it was a canned abalone and not the rehydrated dried kind, and thus concluded the 佛跳墙 was a bad deal, though the soup was quite lip-smackingly savory. Perhaps I have, as often opined by Vater, been spoiled by my parents' cooking. My mother would painstakingly soak the dried abalone (tiny little blackish ones that look ominously like cheese pies, no wonder EDMW refer as them thus) for days to rehydrate them properly before boiling them with dried scallops, kampung chicken, dried shitake, fish skin (鱼皮), etc. The rest of the dishes were the usual kind served in good chinese restaurants. I refused to touch the sweet soup, since swearing off all things frog a long time ago since I discovered a styrofoam tray of frog legs in the freezer one day(looking too much like the legs belonging to a bunch of white chicks lying on beach chairs, trying to soak up the sun).

All this came to about RM130.

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