Tw-eat-ups. I cannot get enough of them and if there is one thing, one real benefit of my hours spent virtually flitting around twitterverse, it’s the real life friendships that it has cultivated and the awesome conglomeration of people like me, people who just want to eat.
And the best thing? When you eat with foodies, no one is ever late.
So when someone (who? I don’t remember but does it really matter?) suggested we hit up Mandarin Kitchen on Queensway for some lobster noodle, not only did I jump at the chance, I arrived a full ten minutes early only to find that I wasn’t the first person there. I wasn’t even the second. Or third! I was fourth!
Geezus what is wrong with these people?
Yeh, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with us!
Anyway, our mission for the night: lobster noodle. But we first indulged in some traditional starters (which do not frequent my little Chinese palate nearly as often as I would like): jellyfish with cucumber (and a not-too-heavy sprinkling of sesame oil), sliced pork knuckle (“is this pickled?” says EuWen, “eeeew..” but the rest of us devoured it), and deep fried baby squid in garlic & chilli (incredibly tender, in a light and peppery batter).
The starters were followed by another recommended dish: shredded duck with hoisin sauce, cucumber and shallots, wrapped in a light floury pancake. The duck – moist, crispy, very fresh – was tasty but at this point I was a bit like, dude, lobster. I came for lobster!
My vibes must have sent a little pin-prick pulse straight into the waitress’s behind because suddenly there she was and lo’ and behold because we love food, because we’re greedy, and most of all because it was lobster, we ordered twice as much as any normal person would – two enormous lobsters to be shared between the five of us, atop a five tonne plate of egg noodles.
Ok not five tonnes, but definitely two big red lobsters.
Nom nom nom!
Having been presented with plates of lobster-heaven, our conversation hit an abrupt stop as we all literally threw our faces into the goodness. What can I say? The lobsters were big, meaty, soft, sweet and with roe ~ quite simply orgasmic ~ and the perfectly cooked noodles were coated in a not-too-sticky gravy containing a good hearty decent amount of shallots.
Because here at the catty life there is no such thing as too much shallots.
Two lobsters really hit the spot. We toyed with the idea of fighting over da-bao (take-out) if we couldn’t finish, but really, who are we kidding here? Lock, stock, barrel and all of the gravy, inhaled within five solid minutes of gastro-induced conversation strike.
It really wasn’t like there was anything in this world that could have followed up the amazing lobster meal, but the troopers that we are, we gave it a go.
On the dessert menu was red bean pancakes (fresh, crispy edges and packed full of red bean paste), toffee banana (too cute as individual banana balls) and almond jelly (great solid texture, not the soft crumbly stuff) but what impressed me most of all was the complimentary fruit platter which was OMG not just oranges, but a pseudo fruit salad of strawberries, kiwi fruit, melon, pineapple and well, oranges.
Big thumbs up to Mandarin Kitchen, so much so that I’m back there tomorrow night with a bunch of non-twitter non-foodie non-blogger friends. Oh yes, they do exist!
Update 30-September-2009: So here’s what we had last night! Five lobsters and twenty tonnes of noodles!
Bayswater, W2 3RX
0207 727 9012