Venturing into Manhattan's Chinatown yesterday morning, I thought my appetite would be satisfied by the extravagant array of dim sum options at Jing Fong. That, however, was not to be the case.
Mind you, I'm not complaining about said dim summerie. Jing Fong had a mighty fine selection.
Carts clattered away through the dining room's maze of tables, each stacked high with steaming bamboo baskets encasing Sharks Fin Dumplings, Shu Mai, Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaves, Barbecued Pork Buns, Stewed Chicken Feet, Vegetable Dumplings, and so much more. Platters came forth with thick ribbons of rice noodle stuffed with sweet shrimp, which I happily sprinkled with salty soy sauce. Other plates featured braised chicken and veggies swaddled in a sheaths of chewy bean curd, and skewered beef complimented by sugary chunks of pineapple.
It was definitely a first-rate brunch-time feast.
But once I exited the restaurant and hit Chinatown's bustling sidewalks, I couldn't help but get caught up by the showmanship of the food stalls that lined the streets. Everything from fat chestnuts to fresh squid to clumps of longan berries to baby snow pea leaves were on display. My stomach might have been full, but my tastebuds were watering. Then I spotted them...
...the most bizarre fruit I'd ever seen. The Chinese produce seller explained that they were called dragonfruit -- and that their bright pink flesh would give way to a kiwi-like honey center. I had to try one!
And try I did, the second I got home. Considering the fruit's spiky green leaves, I thought the center would be green as well, but instead it was snow white, dotted with dark seeds galore.
Unfortunately, the dragonfruit's visual impact wasn't matched by its flavor. The texture was reminiscent of watermelon and the juicy center was slightly musky - but not terribly memorable.
In the end, I guess I would have been better off bypassing the dragonfruit altogether and going back to Jing Fong for another order of dumplings. Come to think of it, I wouldn't mind going back there right now. Too bad dim sum is only available in the AM, and I have to work tomorrow morning. Guess I'll just have to wait until next weekend to get my dumpling fix. In the meantime though, I think I'll go out and rent Eat, Drink, Man, Woman to put me in the mood.