We’ve been here just under 2 weeks and had some great food!!
Most days, lunch and dinner are served at Dada, and it has been delicious. We help prepare some of those days; one day last week, I made an “American” meal (pasta primavera and a broccoli salad). That was a stressful day because it didn't look nearly like the feast that we're usually served. And I'm not generally known for my cooking.
We wandered around looking for dinner last night and after 30 minutes finally bought some soup that turned out to be our worst meal so far (metallic tasting broth with large chunks of bone/cartilage/a little meat—not sure what kind of meat).
It was then we realized how completely WONDERFUL Ching and Sunny’s food has been at Dada (well, we knew it was good, but each meal, we are trying many new things so there is the unfamiliarity factor). They make cooking for 10 or 20 people look effortless…four different dishes on the table, leftovers are used up throughout the week in other dishes. They do not waste anything.
Rice is generally at every meal. (John complimented me the other day on what I thought was my improved ability with chopsticks, but he was actually saying how impressed he was that I made the effort to get each grain of rice. He said that's what kids are told...eat every grain of rice because the farmer works so hard to provide it.) We each have a bowl and chopsticks; there is usually a soup, at least one or two cooked vegetables and some kind of meat, although it is not the centerpiece of the meal-just a small amount in dumplings or a stir fry.
There are many markets, large and small, that remind me more of 3rd world countries with various meats hanging on a hook, fish, vegetables and fruits, but there are also clean grocery stores and restaurants that could be in any city in the world and the prices are slightly higher for some goods and lower for others.
Clearly, the cost of producing food has been standardized the world over. Our challenge in some of the smaller restaurants has been that the menu is completely in Chinese, so unless there are pictures or some English, we have no clue what to order (that’s how we failed on dinner last night). But, as with the chicken on the left, it is a good thing to remember where food comes from. It's easy for us as Americans to forget the source!