Sunday, October 18, 2009

Full of loofahs

There was no gradual onset of fullness. The food just exploded in my stomach. It was like, 'POW! I'm full.'

It reminds me of that scene in that old Gong Li movie, Lifetimes, where the lead characters feed a starving doctor seven buns and then give him some water to drink. The husband says, "If you drink water, one bun becomes seven in your stomach. Seven times seven equals 49. No wonder the doctor passed out!"
Tina and I ate too many deep fried goodies, fried almond abalone mushrooms, golden shrimp rolls, at the famous Slack Season Tan Tsi Noodles restaurant where one fried loofah equals seven fried loofahs in your stomach.
I've never eaten loofahs or sponge cucumbers before. Only used them to scrub dirt off of my body in the shower (see picture).
"Don't loofahs taste like plant?"
"Loofahs taste like loofah," Tina says. She dips the deep fried bit into honey.
"No, taste it again," I say and I stare at her, willing her to taste what I taste. "Okay. Imagine that you're in a botanical garden and you're diving into a bush with your mouth open. Do you taste the plant and the soil? It tastes the way plants smell!"
"It tastes like loofah. It's like asking what apples taste like."

The sign outside the beautiful restaurant says, "since 1895." A photo hangs on the wall showing the stall, the brick oven and the stone bowl where it all began down an alley. At the entrance, a man sits in front of a pot, dishing out soup noodles and rice with a scoop of marinated pork.

The pot has a shiny brown crust, which looks like half of a muffin top, so we ask the cook about it. It's grease and bits that have formed from stewing the meat.
The pot, he says, has not been washed in 11 years.
That wouldn't pass your father's health inspection in Canada, Tina says.


  1. If you still can't get over the fact that you're eating loofah, just remember loofahs in Taiwan were first grown as a type of melon, and prepared/eaten as vegetables, then dried and found out to be great exfoliating sponges.

    It's just weird because it was introduced to you the other way around. I had to repeat like 5 times(!) before you'd believe it was indeed loofah you were putting in your mouth that night...

  2. missssssssprincessdarOctober 20, 2009 at 11:14 AM

    soooo based on your last comment i cannot and WILL NOT EAT there now (cuz i'm prego) or later cuz thats just so NOT sanitarily or HYGENICALLY ok. yuck. and yuck for plant flavored lofahs.
    xo mpd