5.286 Chili Mango Prawns with Asparagus Couscous

Cycle 5 – Item 286

18 (Sat) October 2014

Chili Mango Prawns with Asparagus Couscous


on Qatar Airways – Flight QR 926

-Moscow en route to Doha-


Mission to Russia (Day 8)

In transit, heading home to Manila.  Spent the week in Moscow to provide technical/legal support to Member States from the Western Pacific at the 6th Conference of the Parties (COP6) of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).  Very exciting, both as the biggest tobacco control event of the year, and my first mission outside our region.


A news article  (I won’t dignify the source by referencing it) reported that, while the fight against Ebola suffers from a critical funding shortage, WHO spent “1 million pounds” to host this event – that’s a vast underestimation – where participants were showered with caviar and champagne – that’s a vast exaggeration.

To set the record straight, the standing buffet lunch on the final day did include little appetizers topped with salmon roe, probably cheaper to make than the ham sandwiches on the same table, and generic white wine was served in stemless glassware, no champagne, though most people seemed content to drink juice or water.

Throughout the week, the food and drink were otherwise quite humble.

And not to make a specious comparison between two totally different and equally urgent health issues, but I should point out that tobacco kills 6 million people every year, 100 million in the 20th century, potentially 1 billion in the 21st century, whereas the current Ebola outbreak has claimed less than 5,000 thus far.


Yujung is a Korean/Japanese restaurant.  Offers both Korean and Japanese dishes, sometimes in combination.

Located in World Trade Center Moscow, facing the entrance to our main event hall.

After the conference wrapped at noon, a few of us went for a final lunch at Yujung.  The place had been beckoning all week long.

Moscow is 24th city in the 12th country where I’ve tried a Korean restaurant.

Generally, I’m noticing that Korean food abroad these days is all okay, not quite there, but close enough, and well on its way.  Presumably, as the cuisine becomes more recognized in foreign markets, the dishes can be prepared more closely to the real thing.  And globalization, presumably, has facilitated ready access to ingredients.  Small world.


Booze #1: Baltika Lager Beer
Booze #2: Cidre Royal Apple Cider

A final observation about the food here, I’ve felt an immediate sense of familiarity with much of the tastes and textures, reminding me instantly of what I use to eat daily in the cafeteria throughout elementary school back in California.  Dishes like potato salad, beet salad, breaded cutlets, meat in cream sauce.  Now that I think about it, traditional “American” cuisine, to the extent that such a thing exists, would probably be mainstream fare from the mid-west, which was settled early on by immigrants from northern Europe, along with their culinary traditions.  Other so-called ethnic foods, like pasta, would come later.  Interesting to think that generations of Americans have grown up on the same foods as Russians.


Qatar Airways Flight QR 234 Moscow Doha

Booze #3: Black Russian + Smoked Salmon with Horseradish Cream with Pumpernickel Toast (3.0)
Booze #4: Saint Clair Sauvignon Blanc – the flight attendant handed me the entire bottle, saying that I’d be the only to drink it anyway.


Qatar Airways Flight QR 926 Doha Manila

Booze #5: Glenfiddich 15-year-old Single Malt Scotch Whisky + Nobu Miso-Crusted Sea Bass (2.5)
Seafood Salad (2.5)


Lamb Wrap with Chili Salsa (1.5)


Mushroom Omelet with Sausages (2.0)

The food was generally okay.  Nicely, if overly, presented in all cases.  Wonderful choice ingredients, like shrimp and lobster and smoked salmon and salmon roe (“red caviar”) and sea bass.  But the flavors, eh.  Maybe I was just too tired to enjoy.   Anyway, so much fun.

As always, I am grateful for and respectful of the opportunity to travel internationally, whether for fun or for work, whether on economy or business class, especially business class, including airport lounge access.

What a trip, literally and figuratively.

(See also IN FLIGHT)



(See also BOOZE)



Leave a Reply