The lunch group returned to China Box at the Bukit Timah campus for our monthly get-together on July 2, having exhausted the too good to be true deals at the American Club.
We’ve not gone to China Box since Chinese New Year and the food remains above par. At $600 for 18 people, it was a good deal when many restaurants nowadats charge as much for set lunches, with less quality and without the privacy of a private room.
We brought our own wine though not sure if we were charged corkage as JL, the organiser of many decades, doesn’t like to dwell on numbers. In any case, he has always generously supplied the wine without billing it to the group’s kitty.
There were eight courses, starting with a mango vegetarian roll (below) which prompted HCM to remark that with mango or avocado, you can’t go wrong.
This was followed by my bete noir, Peking duck, which isn’t so much duck meat as duck skin wrapped in egg crepe.
I got the waitress to make me a couple of crepe rolls sans duck skin. I was mighty pleased that everyone declined the meat towards the end of the meal because everyone was stuffed and JL had to press tar pau duck meat on various attendees.
The other dishes included chicken fried in batter and prawns done similarly and then doused in a thick reddish sauce which at a glance looked the same, but tasted different. A tofu with brocoli followed; then came a prime pork rib also doused in mango sauce this time, that made me think it was cod till my fork sliced into the bone!
The piece de resistance of the meal for me came right at the end: a trio-fruit platter. However, because of recently switching to eating fruits and veggies wherever possible at the start of the meal instead of at its end, I wish the platter could have been served as the first course.
BN, in response to my verbalising that wish, told everyone that CYS — who is known to everyone in our group — has in fact gone on this fruit-first regime already, taking his fruits around 5pm way be4 dinner.
[For those who've not heard of the fruit be4 other food diet, the reasoning is thus: Fruits contain simple sugars that require no digestion. Thus, they will not stay for a long time in the stomach. Other foods, such as foods rich in fat, protein and starch, will stay in the stomach for longer because they require more digestion. So if you eat fruits after a meal, the fruit sugar will stay for too long in the stomach and ferment. This is why people experience digestive trouble after eating fruit.]
For myself, I’ve found that indeed when I start a meal (especially dinner) with fruit, I don’t get that pre-falling asleep burping that has plagued me for years. Only trouble is, I can control the eating sequence only when I’m calling the shots for the meal. Not when I’m a guest or eating with a group of friends on a Dutch basis!