Friday, November 03, 2006

How to pile up that Chinese take-out

Always wanted to try those chinese take-outs(not uncommon in the Bay Area), though I choose to think its highly unlikely that it will taste as real as mixed vegetables rice ("chap chai peng", direct translation) which is common back home-in hawker centers, food courts, kopi tiam and even companies' canteens. Typically, for a selection of 1 meat dish+ 2vegetable dishes(with rice), it economically comes up to S$2.50-$3.50 (more expensive of course if you have 2 meats+1vegetable dish).

My first take-out of "chap chai peng" in Ranch99 somewhat felt like buffet-to-go, since you can select ANY dish, take ANY amount you want, for a price of US$5.99($6.48 with tax), as long as you can ensure the box does not "explode" before it reaches the cashier's hands.

What is the correct/best way to "pile up" food in the standard styrofoam box provided, such that you get the best value for money? Hey, there is a technique to this, I somewhat believe. For example, trying to take leafy vegetables last, that is, piling them on top of the starch and meat, since those big leaves are lighter and take up volume. Naturally, tactics will work well when the food sellers place the cooked dishes in the order that you prefer, and/or when there is no queue! Hmmmm...needs experience...and practice too ! What's your secret?

And I can almost not tell any difference in taste from "chap chai peng".

Tag: ,