Chinese’s Monthly Food Diary

Every month I worry if I will have enough pictures to fill up a food diary. I honestly don’t know why I worry so much, since I am somehow #blessed enough to eat great stuff every month. I guess I’m just lucky to be surrounded by people who love food and trying new places just as much as I do. I’m just assuming they don’t mind being dragged along to all these fab restaurants, because who could really resist anything that looks (and tastes) this good?

A couple of weeks ago my parents and I visited the Asian fusion restaurant Reborn (Europaplein 21, Amsterdam). I was sold before we even went here, based on the high ratings and original dishes I saw on the menu. This is definitely not your average fusion restaurant. We started with some lovely cold appetizers. Pictured on the left is a shrimp, avocado and tobiko salad that had some fruits mixed in which made it super summery. In the middle you can see okra with a spicy sesame dressing; I had never tried okra before but was pleasantly surprised, I really enjoyed it! On the right we have some fried oysters which were soo good. I’ve had fried oysters once before a few years ago in California and ever since then I have been dying to eat some again.

From the cold dishes we moved on to some more warm appetizers. Pictured on the left is a duck and cucumber wrap with hoisin. What was so neat about this is that the wrap was actually an Indian paratha – so clever! Definitely going to recreate this at home. We also had a pumpkin soup with seafood (scallop, shrimp, the works). Who would’ve thought to add seafood to a pumpkin soup? I wish I came up with that idea! Lastly, we had some cute little crab dumplings. They were tasty, but not all too special.

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And now, for the pièce de résistance: the fried seabass. Where do I start? When I visited China three years ago, I first discovered the ‘squirrel fish’. The fish is cut and fried in such a way that it looks like the fluffy tail of a squirrel. I ate this countless times during my trip, but never managed to find it on a menu once back home. We ordered the fried seabass hoping it would be similar to the squirrel fish I knew, and turns out we were lucky! The fish was lovely as was the sweet and sour sauce. I was so excited about this one!

We also had some lovely lambs rack and duck, which were nice but not mindblowing. We finished it all off with a really nice mango dessert. It was sort of a mango-coconut cream with tiny tapioca pearls and fruit, just the kinda dessert I love! Reborn has a crazy menu and the staff is friendly, but the area and interior are nothing special. Go here if you’re willing to try some unexpected dishes you can’t find at your usual Chinese restaurant!

As some of you might have noticed from my previous food diaries, Oriental City is my favorite Chinese restaurant in Amsterdam. It’s my go-to place for some good roast duck and noodles. I have a confession to make however. I cheated on my beloved Golden Chopsticks last week: I got my duck fix elsewhere this time. We tried out a place called Taste of Culture (Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 139, Amsterdam) because I had heard so much about their Beijing duck. While Cantonese roast duck is probably one of my favorite things ever, I was craving a good Beijing duck: again, something I ate a million times when I was in China. I think the Beijing duck experience is so fun – I love the little pancakes, cucumber, spring onion and hoi sin. There are very few combinations in the world as good as this one! Anyway, while Taste of Culture is in a horrible part of Amsterdam and the restaurant has almost zero atmosphere: it’s worth the visit. The duck is delicious, crispy and not too expensive. We also had some ma po tofu, which was not that special but nice enough.

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Last, but definitely not least is this elaborate Indonesian meal (or rice table as we know it). I don’t even remember all the dishes we had (amongst them were rendang, goat satay, sambal goreng telor and coconut green beans) but all I know is that I wish I had the cooking skills to prepare such a feast. One day..

Love,

Chinese

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