A new exotic Chinese dish

I just picked up a menu from a local Chinese restaurant recommended by my brother. Who has had a life-long history with Chinese food, a lot of it connected to his profession. He’s a musician, and every musician in New York has his “own” Chinese restaurant — and all of the stories are very funny.

But it’s his Chinese restaurant story so I won’t tell it here.

In my neighborhood, a decent local Chinese restaurant closed a while ago, as did a good Indian restaurant. I cook most of the time for myself but gee, every once in a while I want someone cooking for me, and since I don’t cook Chinese food (I do cook Indian), why not from a Chinese restaurant? So I was happy with my brother’s recommendation.

I’m not hungry at the moment but having achieved my outside goals — baby bok choy, leeks and okra, which are now in my oven roasting merrily away, dribbled with olive oil and scattered with lemon zest — I am taking a break to read the Chinese menu.

Good stuff, looks like.

Then I got to this, under the heading “Cold Dish”:

Fungus in Vinger. Maybe I have to emphasize this:


Reasonably priced at $7.45.

I’m just the sort of adventurous person who might order it the next time I get Chinese take-out. If I do, I’ll let you know what sort of fungus and what is vinger? I’m cool with whatever, as long as the fungus isn’t, say, insects. And the vinger isn’t taffy. The two things I will not eat.

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