9 (Sat) November 2019
Sukiyaki Beef with Golden Mushroom
at Hai Shin Lou
-San Lorenzo, Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines-
with the Family
Secret Food Thing. Everyone gets a menu, chooses one dish in secrecy, writes the name of the dish on a slip of paper, and gives the paper to the waiter. If any dishes turn out to be the same, new selections are made. Nobody knows what the others have ordered until the food is served.
I don’t know how I came up with the idea.
The set-up is most amenable to a venue that offers an extensive menu with a diverse range of ingredients and cooking methods, similar-sized dishes amenable to sharing, such as a full-service Cantonese restaurant.
Whether by luck or empathy or years of shared experiences, the spread came out as if carefully planned. Not a single overlap of component, technique, texture, flavor: one soup with crab and corn + one braise with shrimp, squid, shiitake and oyster mushrooms + one stir-fry with beef, celery, scallion, and enoki mushrooms + one deep-fry with pork, bell peppers, and pineapples – a well-balanced meal indeed.
My favorite dish was DJ’s choice. Slices of juicy beef sauteed with vegetables in a delicate soy sauce, topped with fresh scallion. An instant family standard. And bonus points for taking a risk on a dish that we had never previously ordered, in any setting.
For the first time in the history of GMTD, I invite a contributor to comment within the main text of a post. IZ, already an aspiring writer at age 7 (specializing in crazy nonsensical fantasy/science fiction), who happens to be sitting next to me as I draft this post, discusses his pick:
I ordered it because in Korea, this dish is one of my personal favorites (see 5.025 Tangsu Yuk), but I did not like it here that much. I will order something else next time we do this secret food thing. – IZ
Actually, W and I initially did order the same dish: Seafood with Fresh Asparagus and Eggwhite. W claimed no recollection of having previously tried it – if only she had read GMTD, which has featured the dish twice – but explained that she had made the choice thinking that I would probably enjoy it.