Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hot Pots and More

Icy Seoul airportIt has been cold everywhere: in San Francisco, where I arrived yesterday on a cloudy day; in Seoul, which was icy when my flight stopped briefly; even in Mumbai, on the evening I caught my flight.

Before flying, I had ordered an Asian Hot Pot for dinner. Many Asian cultures have an interesting form of sharing a meal, where, in a cauldron of boiling stock unique to every region, sliced meats, seafood, noodles and vegetables are simmered together. The meal ends with a consumption of the flavorsome and aromatic cooking liquid.

Hot Pot at Pan Asian MumbaiI was at the Pan Asian at The Grand Maratha in Mumbai. The fiery Sichuan hot pot looked appetizing! Chef Liang had made this hot pot with slices of pork, prawns, squid, chicken, fish, shitake mushrooms and greens in a pungent and hot broth spiced with Sichuan condiments. The dish was delicious and filling!

Pan Asian at The Grand Maratha Mumbai
Pan Asian at The Grand Maratha Mumbai
Sichuan Hot Pot at Pan Asian MumbaiWhile I was drinking the soup from the hot pot, I was reminded of the Texan version, the son-of-a-bitch stew. I used to be a voracious reader of Westerns during childhood; I remember this cowboy dish to this day because of the interesting name.

After that sumptuous hot pot, I only had place for a Thob Thim Crob, a Thai dessert of steamed water chestnuts, young coconut in a jasmine flavored cream.

Thob Thim Crob at Pan Asian Mumbai
The Grand Maratha MumbaiMy flights were uneventful and I reached San Francisco on time, but with a splitting headache. BTW, there is good news for Jet Airways, which had a very rough year in 2008. In the Best in Business Travel Awards, Jet Airways scored their first global award - the best airline for first class. Emirates grabbed the award for best overall airline - beating out Singapore Airlines for the first time, while Asiana got the award for the best flight attendants and in-flight services.

Icy Seoul AirportIsn't it interesting, how San Francisco and Seoul are almost at the same latitude and yet Seoul is so much more colder and icy?


My Unfinished Life said...

like the pics of the restaurant and the food!!...but sadle i cant taste them even if i hang out at these places coz am a veggie!!....

Anonymous said...

Ooooh that hotpot sizzles! I love hot & spicy stuff, and this thing rox!

Now u mentioned it, I always have the impression that Seoul is more northerly than San Francisco!

Anonymous said...

@shooting star: Thank you. Hang out enough times and who nows, you may turn carnivore. :)

@kyh: Apparently not.

Anonymous said...

When I saw the pics from the airport, I was so excited as I thought you was in Oslo, Norway :-)

The Pan Asian looks delicious - I love everything with a bit of seafood you know.

Selba said...

The restaurant looks nice.

Ah.. I miss snow!!!

Vamsee Modugula said...

That hot pot looks delicious!! Will try that restaurant one of these days.

I miss San Francisco. I hope you have a great time there. If you want to eat good Pakistani food, try Shalimar. It is a hole in the wall, but their Chicken Tikka Masala is the best I have ever eaten.

Anonymous said...

Seoul is on east coast and SFO is on west coast. Northern hemisphere has hot currents near west coasts and cold currents near east - that may explain the same latitude - diff weather for Seoul and SFO

Anonymous said...

@RennyBA: Hope to cover that part of the world some time!

@Selba: Thanks. I am not looking forward to snow, it's freezing even in California these days.

@Vamsee: 'Will keep that in mind. On my trips to the Bay Area I rarely eat Indian food - hoping to try Cuban this time.

@Anon: There you go folks, the reason why. Thanks!