Today was the day I left home. My friends and I took a limo to the airport, shed a few tears and they waved me through the gate.
I have always had such amazing people walking by my side, but now it is time for me to walk a little way on my own. I am going to discover the world. I am going to discover life. And most of all, I am going to eat food. A lot of it.
To mop up the tears, I head straight to the Mission district when I stepped off the plane in San Francisco. Mission Chinese Food had been on my hitlist since I last visited, as it has been mentioned in close to every second food publication I’ve read.
After walking up and down Mission st a few times, we were finally told we were looking for a Chinese restaurant labelled Lung Shan Restaurant, not actually Mission Chinese Food (even though that is the name of the restaurant it isn’t written anywhere on the outside).
Luckily arriving close to opening time, we managed to avoid the infamous lines winding around the block.
We sat down and ordered the Tiki Caramel Pork Belly with soy caramel, mandarin, pickled pineapple, shaved coconut, and macadamia nuts (US$12). Deliciously tender, the crispy warm pork fat blended beautifully with the mild acidic tang from the pineapple.
For mains, the Ma Po tofu with braised shitake and aged chilli paste (US$12) was piquant with Szechuan peppers and sporting a mild sweetness. The Thrice cooked Bacon and Rice cakes were served with sweet tofu skins, bitter melon and Szechuan pepper (US$10)– this dish was the definite winner for me.
While leaving home was sad, stepping off the plane and eating at a restaurant that I was reading about on the other side of the world only the day before was surreal, magical, exciting. I am starting to really feel excitement about the adventure that I have embarked on.