Asian Food and Gifts

On my way home a few weeks ago I spotted a sign from the window of the U-Bahn – “Asian Food and Gifts”. Could this be? The first and only Asian grocery store I’ve seen so far. I took note of the next U-station and resolved to pay a visit. I couldn’t believe my luck. Shao Xsing wine, brown rice vinegar, light AND dark soy sauce!

It’s all Kylie Kwong’s fault. Last year I bought Tony a copy of Simple Chinese Cooking as a birthday present after eating one of the most delicious meals of our lives at her restaurant in Sydney. This book revolutionised our culinary lives. No longer do I think of Chinese food as a gluggy mess of tasteless goo, watery vegetables and generic flavour that I am bound by love to eat once a year on Tony’s birthday. Thanks to Kylie, I now know that Chinese food is fresh, zingy, healthy and at least as delectable as Italian or Thai. I have even learned to love iceberg lettuce (sorry Jamie Oliver) thanks to Chinese Style Lettuce Salad. It’s a taste sensation! Owing to the preponderance of pork in Germany, I can now buy pork neck fillet (key ingredient of our favourite dinner: Stir-fried pork with honey and ginger) at a fraction of the price I paid in Australia.

Apart from scoring major points with my husband for bringing home Mi Goreng noodles (what is it about men and Mi Goreng? Pete? Dan?) I found something strangely liberating about Asian Food and Gifts. I couldn’t read the labels, but then neither (I assume) could the German customers standing beside me. It was neutral territory, and obscure Asian ingredients were a level playing field. Among piles of bamboo steamers and sacks of sweet smelling rice, everything evened out. Have Germany and I found common ground at last?


8 Responses to “Asian Food and Gifts”

  1. 1 lesley May 8, 2010 at 10:24 am


  2. 2 Gerri Frederiksen May 9, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Food, glorious food!
    I believe cooking and preparing food for our loved ones, is not only creative and theraputic, but also an integral part of expressing and nuturing ourselves.
    From a fellow lover of culinary delights!…Gerri…xoxo

  3. 4 Jean May 10, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Hi Ally
    I have been following your adventures on the internet.It makes me feel like I am very nearly there with you, It makes me feel that the world is a small place . Your photos are lovely, very atmospheric .Its great to see Rose growing so beautifully. I liked the story of your interaction in the Asian Supermarket. Food is a great way to connect with people and you may have found a window that lets you in . Keep at it Ally, I’m sure this will be a great experience for all of you.
    Keep writing your blog, its my way to travel!!! (just kidding)
    Love to Tony and kiss for Rose,
    Keep safe,
    lots of love
    Jean x

    • 5 mavisandfrank May 10, 2010 at 11:47 am

      Hello Jean! Thanks for your lovely comment. I think food is certainly one of the best ways to get to know a new place. So glad you’re reading, please give my love to all the girls and Phil xxx

  4. 6 Kevin May 11, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Hi tony and ally!

    Mi goreng.



  5. 8 Annaleise May 15, 2010 at 1:31 am

    ha ha 🙂 when I got up to scoring points with my husband for bringing home mi goreng, I was like, wow, I wonder what it is about mi goreng, and then I read, what is it… 🙂

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A girl with a camera, a toddler and a sewing machine. Making sense of Germany... and life in general.

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