The Best Thing I Ever Ate

I am not a foodie, and that’s a fact.  I am not a picky eater either.  I love all foods.  Sure, I tend to stay away from milk, but I’m not lactose intolerant.  Mushrooms aren’t exactly my favorite, but I’ll still eat it as long as it’s not the star of the dish.  Other than those things though, I’ll eat anything.  Which is why I have always struggled to answer the questions “What’s your favorite food?”, “What’s the best thing you ever ate?”  or “What restaurant do you swear by?”  I would usually have a cop out answer, like Japanese food or sashimi.  I really do enjoy all types of Japanese food (ramen, sushi, sukiyaki, etc), but I wouldn’t call it the best thing I ever ate.  They’re all great, but not magnificent or incredibly memorable.

Upon reflecting on my last trip to China in 2012, I remembered that I really liked a particular dish: Kweh Chap!

Kueh-Chap
A dish of flat, broad rice sheets in a soup made from dark soy sauce served with pig offal, braised duck meat, various kinds of bean curd, preserved salted vegetables and braised hard-boiled eggs.

Maybe it’s the rarity that I’ll have it or maybe it’s good memories of being in China that play a role in why I think it’s so good.  Or maybe it’s the low quality kitchen that you’ll never see in the states.  Perhaps I just am proud of my Teochew heritage?  Every time my grandpa takes us (his grandchildren) to China, he’ll take us to his favorite noodle shop in his hometown.

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Like clockwork, the first thing we do when our plane lands is head to that place for some kweh chap.  Supposedly, it’s been there since he was young.  He’s also probably their number one customer too.

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pictures from our 2006 trip

It is a little intimidating at first with the intestine and bitter melon.  But for some reason, it just all rounds out the dish (and I hate bitter melon).  The thick gravy of a soup, the thick cut noodles, the duck meat.. it’s really quite satisfying.

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Some people just don’t enjoy it though.. (2012)
What’s the best thing you ever ate?

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