Saturday, January 16, 2010

Thai BBQ 2: When Food is Just Right...

Sometimes, you come across something that just makes so much sense in life – something so beautiful, so right – you just start to wonder why you or anyone else has never thought of it before. Such was the case about two months ago.

Not content with our first dinner of a mediocre claypot rice (it was alright but nothing fantastic or blogworthy), we taxi-ed our way out to the food mecca of Kowloon City in search of a spot for “second dinner.” A quick stroll around the block led us to Thai BBQ 2 – a dingy little eatery… the type that has a see-through vinyl door curtain and cheesy Thai soap operas playing in the background. Perfect.

(SO much meat...)

We plunked ourselves down and ordered the very-necessary bottles of beer. And wanting to try something really special, we requested for the Thai style hotpot-grill ($2xx) the restaurant had displayed out front. To elaborate, this genius creation consists of a charcoal-heated barbecue grill, which is raised over a “moat” of hotpot broth. The idea is to cook thin slices of meat on the sloped grill and let the meat juices trickle down into the broth. Sigh… awesome? Quite.

The dainty-cute restaurant lady brought out our platter of meats, which – in all honesty – was probably designed to feed four hungry individuals, as opposed to two already-had-“first-dinner” people. There was a huge portion of beef, pork and chicken – all marinated in a rich-red sauce – along with various pork and cow entrails and beef and fish balls. And let me draw special attention to the grill for a bit, which was brought out, topped with a hunk of beef lard to lubricate the grill and to give the meats an extra aromatic edge when cooking. I was totally in food excitement mode.

(Watch as the meat juices trickle down)

(What love looks like)

We dived right into the meats platter, “ooh-ing” over the tender pork and “aah-ing” over the flavor-soaked beef. So perfect with the beer. And it was a whole new level of amazingness, cooking the basket of greens, enoki mushrooms and vermicelli in the meat-flavor enriched hotpot broth. The vermicelli, in particular, was just beautiful in every way – like little glassy strands that soaked up every ounce of flavor from the soup. All the way through the meal, we kept repeating “hell, I’m so full,” and “crap, I think I’m done.” But the whole thing was so delish, we just kept on eating and eating. We definitely ate more than any decent person should eat, polishing almost the whole meats platter. When the lady came by the clear our plates, she couldn’t help but comment on how impressed she was with how much we managed to finish. Yea, we’re kinda disgusting… but also kinda awesome…

(Proof that we are pigs)

The hotpot-grill plus several beers came in at less than $300 for the two of us. An awesome deal, considering how much food we had. It just all goes to show that when it comes to food, it’s never about the fanciness or the extravagance. Whether you’re eating a slab of foie gras, or something super complicated like uni with cucumber and apple gelee and burnt flour foam… if a simple platter of meats and a few cold beers can make you just as happy and satisfied, then that’s the most important thing. That’s what eating should be about. And thank God for that.

(Dessert after second dinner)

And because we’re absolute pigs, after that big fatty second dinner, what do we do? Head a few streets down to Tei Mou Koon to grab dessert of course! Hong Kong styled double boiled milk ($14) and a small dish of gooey-chewy glutinous rice balls with sugar and chopped peanuts ($10) for a very satisfying food end to a very satisfying food day.

FOOD: 4/5

THAI BBQ 2 ($$)
17 Nam Kok Road
Kowloon City

FOOD: 3.5/5

47 Fuk Lo Tsun Road
Kowloon City

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