I found the cafe where I would meet D. It was a cafe/ bookstore with loads of people reading and writing at tables. The kind of place where people share their table and get on with their thing. All profits of books and of coffee and cakes go to charity so there’s another bonus.
I liked it and I intend to return. It’s only around the corner of my school and this morning is another writing lab. Looking at my schedule, I realised as the weeks go on we’ll have less writing labs – which doesn’t make any sense but made me realise that now is the time to step on it.
After I met D, we go to meet his friend and have dinner with him. He’s found some obscure Fuzhou Chinese restaurant that is highly recommended. It’s in Chinatown and if you wouldn’t know it was there, it would just be one of the many restaurants there. It is typical: empty stark and fluorescent lighting. The waitresses don’t speak English and after a few empathetic smiles I have to confess to her that I indeed don’t speak Chinese, in any dialect.
D has printed out a translation of the dishes that aren’t translated on the menu. Apparently to hide it from the food authorities… Hmm. We order some dishes: one is a translated duck dish, the other one – we have no idea. D is near delirious with excitement and I think it is funny to have run into a foodie.
This is a foodie who knows his stuff: the duck comes out in some kind of red sauce, bones sticking out still and it tastes amazing. The dish that we had no idea with it was turn out to be razor clams, another delicious find. The waitress has now cottoned on that we are up for trying anything and recommends a dish by pointing at it. She is given the nod. By the time D’s friend arrives, the fried jelly fish skin arrives too. Though the sauce is indeed a little too vinegary, I still very much enjoyed it.
The last dish was on step too far: duck tongues. It looked gorgeous on a sizzling hot plate, steaming with aromas. I tried it, for the ones who are interested it has a little bone in it that you have to take out, but in the end my plate only contained one of those. I remembered I don’t actually like the texture of tongue. (Beef tongue being my only previous experience, but funnily enough not dissimilar.)
Still last night was a win. I enjoyed the company and the food. I got an invite to see a play tonight and we are going to stop for falafel first. Already looking forward to it.