Thursday, July 07, 2005


Last week I had a nasty case of food poisoning. I'll spare you the gory details, but I hadn't felt so bad since the great food poisoning incident of '02, when my brother and I ended up in the emergency room of a korean hospital, hours before we were supposed to fly back to SF. Like most people, I don't particularly enjoy throwing up, but the worst thing is, I think I lost the ability to feel hungry.
This makes me very sad. It's awful, eating because you know that if you don't you'll remain weak and easily tired. I miss the ability to feel excited about going home and making dinner, or looking in my fridge and thinking "yum! I haven't had this in a long time!" It reminds me of the part in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, when Francie buys a huge dill pickle on the days when nothing tastes good to her anymore. I wish I had a similar cure.
I think my tastebuds are broken. Rich and I went to Burma Super Star on Clement a couple nights ago. We had passed by this place a couple weeks ago and it was full of people and the menu looked good. We vowed to come back and try it out. We ordered ginger salad, pumpkin pork stew, and beef kebat. The salad was good - I was expecting something spicy but was pleasantly surprised. The only heat came from the ginger and the salad's strength was in its texture - lots of crunchy nuts and seeds. I wouldn't order it if you want a flavor explosion, but if you want, nutty (there's a better word to describe it in korean, I wish english had a comparable one) with a rounder and more satisfying mouthfeel, this is the salad to go to.
I chose the pumpkin pork stew and was disappointed. It looked promising - nice big chunks of stewed squash and lean pieces of pork that easily fell apart in a green sauce. But it didn't taste like anything except salt! Maybe my tastebuds are broken. I thought I detected a hint of cardamom but it was all overpowered by a salty taste. I think it would have been much better if they upped the spices but reduced the salt.
The beef kebat had good flavor but the texture was...blech. It was described as flank steak but the meat was so mushy you had to wonder. I really liked the mint in the dish - but the chili wasn't strong enough. Sure, the dish looked red, but you didn't get that zing on your tastebuds. I think the oiliness detracted a lot - if a dish is going to be that oily, it better damn well have zing. And meat with a strong texture.
So I guess I would go again, but order different dishes. You sit very close to other people and you can see what they order. The catfish curry looked good. As did a stir-fry dish with shrimp, but I think it had mango in it, which I'm allergic to. :(
In the meantime, I hope I regain my hunger. My brother says ice cream sandwiches will do the trick. Hm....

No comments: