Thursday, April 20, 2006

exotic stuff

had dinner this evening at a Guangxi restaurant. Guangxi Province is close to the Vietnam border. Their cuisine reminded me of Yunnan and Vietnamese, with some similarity to Northeast Thai food.
I was flipping thru the menu when I saw this! grilled tokay gecko with salt n pepper. it's an appetiser. tokays are a larger relative of our house gecko (chichak).
trying not to gag, I saw the soup selection: tokay gecko and black chicken soup.

NS boys who had been to training in Thailand would probably remember their encounters with tokay geckos in the bath house. the geckos were huge; larger specimens can be as long as 30cm. our "Hokkien peng" (Hokkien soldiers) were amazed that the geckos could scold four letter words. actually it was the gecko's loud calls of "ack-kuuui". it sounded very close to "f**k you!".
next I spotted this "stewed bamboo civet". the chinese name was similar to civet cats, like the ones that carried the coronavirus linked to SARS. I asked the manager about this dish. from her explanation I gather that this must be the bamboo rat, also found in Southeast Asia. The manager assured me that this was a "health food" since the bamboo rat feeds only on bamboo. errr, maybe next time. I declined politely.
the next exotic item was quite deceptive, just from looking at the picture in the menu: braised snake. ewww!
in the end, I settled for less exotic dishes like this delicious Quangxi rice noodles.

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