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Weeknight Dinners With Friends Are Good For Knocking You Back Into Life!

November 07, 2007

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I know it’s too soon to think about this, really, because I only started work two months ago. But still. I can’t help it. What if I quit now and did something super exciting instead?! Something that doesn’t involve numbers and excel spreadsheets. Something that centers around people, food, discovery, travel and many delicious moments! I’ve been thinking about how easy it would be to remain content at this job. Content in a state where not everything is how you want it to be, but then again, there’s no good reason to leave. Go to work everyday, do the job well, and go home, and repeat over and over again.

But what if…

What if you LOVED your job?

How awesome would that be?!

I mean, I guess, only a lucky/determined/blessed few ever have the opportunity to make a living doing what they love. Can you imagine how incredibly happy everyone would be if they loved their work? Like they woke up in the morning and thought to themselves, ‘yeah man, I LOVE work!’ Haha. Just thoughts.
———–

I’ve been kind of lost this week. Oh no. Not like lost lost, but like mind wandering here and there and everywhere but where it should be. I went running the last two nights (after wiping out the gallon sized jar of buttery shortbread cookies Shann’s mom mailed over, thank you Mrs. Miwa! :). I’ve been going to sleep late, waking up early. And then coming back at night wondering what the hell happened to the day.

So I was really happy to meet up with Robyn, Diana, and John for dinner tonight. We arranged for a 7pm dinner, but I got there late (even after leaving work early!) cause my new client’s faaaar away in Harrison, NY. The means that I take the subway up to Bryant Park every morning, walk two avenues over to Grand Central and then catch the Metro North for about another 45 minutes before making it to suburbia New York. Can you imagine doing this in the snow? Haha.

So on the way to dinner I was all tired and really didn’t feel like doing anything, but sitting (possibly with a slice of red velvet in hand) and hohumming over blahblah. I got off at Canal Street and walked over to New Malaysia. Still tired. And then I opened the restaurant door and saw the best sight in the world. Three happy, smiling faces in a warm room, and a pot of tea on the table. And suddenly, I could not have felt better. Isn’t that strange how friends can do that to you? Even before a single word is uttered from their mouth?

So I sat down, and knew that this would be a good dinner.

We shared two orders of the roti canai, of which New Malaysia executes a very reliable version. A flaky round of dough, grilled till its’ got some nice dark spots, but never burned. Greasy, but it’s all in the beauty of the dish! Tear and dunk into the rich curry…and then split the little piece of fork tender chicken sitting in the center of every bowl. Eating half an order is just enough, and eating the entire order your own will leave you too full for a proper entrée. I recall consuming this same dish a few times over during my freshman year of college. And it tastes exactly the same today.

John lifts to spoon to show you curry noodle soup innards!

My curry beef noodle soup – I asked for my favourite type of noodle, hoo funn (the flat, wide white ones), and I finished the bowl quite quickly. I’m usually a slow eater, but I downed this baby, quickly slurping up the curry coated noodles till there was only a bowl of curry left. Oh I wished I had a nice baguette to dunk in the remainder of the soup…how satisfying that would be!

Diana had a dish I’ve never seen before, but oddly enough tasted strangely familiar to me once I took a sip of the milky coloured broth. It’s noted on the menu as ‘”Fillet of Fish with Watercress Soup.” I think my grandma used to prepare me a version of this dish, only instead of fish, she used pork.

John remarked that his “Seafood Tom Yum Mee Hoon,” didn’t really taste much like tom yum when he first started eating…but towards the end, it started tasting like tom yum! We realized that all the tom yum-ness was at the bottom of the bowl, and that we should have given it a good mix before starting on the noodles. He finished it all, so we will take it as a good sign! :)

Robyn had the ultimate comfort food dish of curry beef and rice. I saw it arrive at the table and I just wanted to steal it, run home to a living room with dark burgundy walls, a fire place, big rocking chair, cashmere blankets, Amelie playing on the television, Buddy running around like the crazy doggie he is…and that dish of curry rice in hand. That should suffice. Teehee.

After dinner, we walked down to Bayard where Robyn and John both got Chinatown Ice Cream Factory while Diana and I popped into next door Moon House for an order of Red Bean Paste Shortcake.

A photo of the shortcakes are supposed to be here. But I was dumb and accidently deleted the pictures and then cleaned out the recycled bin. So just try to imagine two round orbs of hot super flaky pastry covered in black and white sesame seeds. Imagine steam coming out when you bite in, the red bean paste oozing out like molten magic!

*Edit: Or click HERE to see Robyn’s photo of the shortcakes! :)

Tadah! I actually intended to order red bean pancakes…though somehow ended up with this instead. But it turned out to be a good thing, as I was rather delighted to bite into an extremely flaky (and super hot!) pastry stuffed with smooth mashed red beans, which simply screamed of Chinese comfort food :) It was so cold tonight, so this was perfect for the weather!

We all walked together to Grand St where Robyn, Diana and John caught the subway, while I walked a little further back home. For some reason, I just didn’t feel like going back to the apartment. Not just yet. So instead, I went around the corner to Cake Shop with full intention of getting the peanut butter cookie Robyn and Diana seem positively giddy over. But I got distracted. I was distracted by a crazy assortment of cakes, cupcakes, scones, muffins, biscotti – all of them vegan! I tried to stay focused on the peanut butter cookie. Really, I tried (I promise, Diana! :)…but in the end the slice of pecan pie stole my heart…especially when the girl offered to warm it up.

So now I am sitting at the table nearest the door of Cake Shop, writing this post and eating pie. Cake Shop is packed with people on this very random Wednesday night. They play music I’m not used to listening, but that’s good. Because I could use some change now. I am halfway through this slice of warm gooey pecan cake, the filling loose like a warm custard, perhaps a tad too sweet, but the cozy comfort and crunch of hot pecans is intoxicating. And plus, it’s vegan…so that must count for something? Haha. Right. In my mind.

New Malaysia
46-48 Bowery
NY, NY 10013
(212) 964-0284

Moon House
67 Bayard St
NY, NY 10013
(212) 766-9399

Cake Shop
152 Ludlow St
NY, NY 10002
(212) 253-0036



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