Thursday, September 01, 2016

Eating the Globe: Fiji

My friend and I went to this Indo-Fijian eatery today, and it was spicy. Roughly a third of Fiji's population is of Indian descent, and they have their own unique cuisine. There are more than 30,000 Indo-Fijians in America, and many of them live in the Bay Area. In fact, I sold my Wrangler to an Indo-Fijian who owned the corner liquor store I frequented when I lived in Oakland.

We tried going to this place a month or so ago, but it was closed. We assumed the owner was on vacation back in Fiji. We were wrong. She was visiting Israel!

Many places claim "home cooking". This place truly epitomizes home cooking. It's a one-woman operation. She is 65 and has been running this place since she was 49 and a half. There is no menu. It's just whatever she feels like making. You just pay $8 and today you got this combo:

  • wet brown rice
  • egg with cauliflower
  • chicken
  • green beans
  • two chunks of green apples smothered with chili
  • the hottest shrimp I've ever had
Everything was full of flavor and just tasted like it was cooked by a family member rather than a professional. The shrimp left me with a numb tongue, runny nose, and sweaty forehead. I couldn't stop inhaling the shrimp, even though I knew there would be consequences.

The sad part is the location. It's in a dilapidated strip mall. Of the 20 or so units, only three are occupied. I've never been to Guyana, but I imagine this run-down location would not look out of place there. The owner is thinking of retiring. She seems tired.

In the next couple of weeks, I plan on tackling Mongolia, Czechia, and Honduras. I've done 56 countries as of today.

Countries tried so far:
Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa
Asia: Afghanistan, Burma, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Yemen
Europe: Bosnia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden
North America: Canada, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago, USA
South America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela
Oceania: Fiji, Samoa, Tonga

No comments: