Yellow Peril by Tze Ming Mok

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Yellow Peril: Mt Roskill Will Take Over the World Part III: Back to the Future

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  • Rich of Observationz,

    Isn't Roskill one of the old "dry suburbs" like Mt Eden? Or are there just no pubs there?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Tze Ming Mok,

    Yes, it used to be, but Roskill hasn't been a dry area since the 1996 election. The local is 'The Thirsty Whale' at Three Kings Mall. The Pub of the Future.

    SarfBank, Lunnin' • Since Nov 2006 • 154 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And what is our futuristic food? For those in the know down Southwest Central, the grounds of Wesley Intermediate and War Memorial park provided no muesli bars this weekend ...

    Heh. And I was down with my pale homies in the south, conducting traditional firewater rituals and eating mouldy fermented milk.

    And commenting on Sapna's comments:

    Another really interesting theme that came out was this thrust by government, political parties and politicians to push 'national identity' towards ethnic minorities. The academics of course questioned that and rightly so. This week the Herald has spent reams and editorials on religious identity in NZ and the underlying theme was the liberal, democratric and Christian beliefs on which NZ society is based, which allows for accomodation of other religions and cultures. I dispute this belief because democracy is not a Christian or Western institution in the first place and neither is the idea of tolerance. Similarly national identity and the place of ethnic minorities within that is for the minorities to decide, not for mainstream Pakeha to push.

    That Herald editorial was such a bore. It had that windy, written-by-committee feel and Sapna's right, it's pompous and wrong to declare democracy and tolerance the sovereign property of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

    But as a probably "mainstream Pakeha" (damn! shoulda voted National!) I think it's important to offer some vision of what being a New Zealander is about, if only so there's something to contest. It's just also important to listen back. After all, a key plank of the evil philosophy of political correctness us closet Marxists are always peddling in places like this is being polite and letting people define themselves.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Defined! is the new owned.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Defined! is the new owned.

    93f1n39!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    http://boingboing.net/
    Monday, February 26, 2007
    MC Router, "queen of nerdcore," just got this new tattoo. You gotta read this for nerdy, especially Adams comment re. the Level Up tatoo.
    BTW, the 3 key is def

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Tze Ming, I've just realised, one of our registered users proudly displays his residence as "Hamilton - City of the Future".

    Does that mean you'll have to fight him for Roskill honour? My money would, of course, be on you.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Sorry my pathetic attempt at text humour (def = deff gettit) failed miserably, my daughter's fears are now realized, I too am become curmudgeon.
    Hamilton will always be The Tron to me.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Victor Chou,

    The food of the future here might just be a bit low-rent according to Cuisine magazine - the current issue has an editorial about the lack of sophisticated Asian restaurants.

    Since Feb 2007 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Tze Ming Mok,

    The food of the future here might just be a bit low-rent according to Cuisine magazine - the current issue has an editorial about the lack of sophisticated Asian restaurants.

    You mean Monsoon Poon doesn't cut it as 'sophisticated'?

    Perhaps the palate compromises that come with 'ethnic' restaurateuring is why seriously good quality 'Asian' food, whether traditional or 'fusion', in a fine dining environment is pretty bloody hard to come by here? Or is it the training available? Is the segregation of 'ethnic' and 'mainstream' chefing workforces? I honestly do not know.

    Dojo in Wellington is a rare example of both fine-tuned classic dishes and successful contemporary Asian fusion in a classy joint, driven by a talented owner-operator chef. It's the slightly more purist breakaway from Chow, which is not so good. There may be others like it, but I haven't experienced any.

    As for AK, I expect even the most sophisticated of the traditional big flash loud Chinese restaurants do not count as 'sophisticated' (I'm thinking 'China'); and I've never been impressed by the food at Ponsonby Rd Indian places at the height of their fame. (does Cuisine count that as 'Asian'?) The Japanese do it all pretty well of course.

    At the end of the day though, if the best quality 'Asian' food in town is: at the one popular stall staffed by a Soup Nazi at a deserted [undisclosed location] foodcourt; in the converted pie-warmer at a [undisclosed location] sweet-shop; at a little hobbit-hole diner near the [undisclosed suburb] roundabout; or on a paper plate in the middle of a sports field, I'll take it - and hide the map so that all the white people don't turn up there en masse, encouraging the chefs to dilute or corrupt the recipes, as has happened to so many places in the past... It's not the white people's fault, let me make that clear... But you *know* that's how it goes.

    SarfBank, Lunnin' • Since Nov 2006 • 154 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    You mean Monsoon Poon doesn't cut it as 'sophisticated'?

    Heh.

    I'll take it - and hide the map so that all the white people don't turn up there en masse, encouraging the chefs to dilute the recipes, as has happened to so many places in the past... It's not the white people's fault, let me make that clear! But you *know* that's how it goes.

    Ooh, now we see the cultural generalisations ... when have I ever asked anyone to dilute a recipe? Keep this up and I'll have to start making fun of your kiwifruit nectars ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Isn't Roskill one of the old "dry suburbs" like Mt Eden?

    Mt Eden's been moist since 2000. Back when the referendum was held, I'd just moved into a flat in Mt Eden and received the ballot posted to a previous tenant. I made his vote count.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Dojo in Wellington is a rare example of both fine-tuned classic dishes and successful contemporary Asian fusion in a classy joint

    Dojo was great, and I'd have to confirm by popping down 4 flights of stairs, but I believe it has reverted back to a branch of Chow. I'll look at lunchtime.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Tze Ming Mok,

    Ooh, now we see the cultural generalisations ... when have I ever asked anyone to dilute a recipe? Keep this up and I'll have to start making fun of your kiwifruit nectars ...

    There, there pet! Er, what's a kiwifruit nectar? You mean those gallons of green stuff you get at Silver Bell? Kiwifruit (including those smooth yellow 'Zespris') are native to China anyway, they can probably do whatever stupid shit they want with it....

    Like I said, it's not really the white customers who directly ask people to dilute recipes or ruin menus *on the whole* (although I *can* cast some specific blame on certain dishes in certain restaurants being rendered totally inedible because of the Pakeha requests for them to be served with ever more oyster sauce dolloped on top, or other fundamentalist favourites of the actual ethnic community being represented disappearing due to complaints about the 'smell'). Ultimately, these are the choices of the chefs/restaurateurs themselves and reflect their compromises and expectations of what the market will respond to when it has 'ethnic' in mind (seemingly volume, coconut cream, deep fried things, mildness, and lots of salt and sugar notes). Such choices are disappointing and sell-out, but are probably also based on their realistic appraisal of what their business is dependent on if their clientele switches suddenly from their own ethnic community's closely guarded secret, to an inundation of people responding to the style/food pages of a Sunday newspaper.

    SarfBank, Lunnin' • Since Nov 2006 • 154 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Ultimately, these are the choices of the chefs/restaurateurs themselves and reflect their compromises and expectations of what the market will respond to when it has 'ethnic' in mind ...

    No doubt. But I guess that's happened to various cuisines as they've migrated anywhere (eg: Singapore, or the Vietnamese take on their coloniser's cuisine). Still not an excuse for that Poon place though ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Tze Ming Mok,

    Mt Eden's been moist since 2000.

    Didn't the Roskill/Eden dry areas go in the same election year? Ah, yes, I think I was wrong, it was the 1999 election, Roskill wasn't an electorate in '96.

    SarfBank, Lunnin' • Since Nov 2006 • 154 posts Report Reply

  • Tze Ming Mok,

    I guess that's happened to various cuisines as they've migrated anywhere

    Yes - some of it's great, and some of it's terrible, and it's a total crap shoot. Don't ever ask for a fruit salad in China, you might get tinned peaches with thousand island dressing, which is not a pleasant combination. But Vietnamese prawn omelette? Fantastic of course. On a purely technical level, so much of it comes down to a) genuine knowledge of what's good about either original cuisine, and b) the adventurousness of the palate that is the dish's main market. I think it's fair to make generalisations about the state of both 'fusion' and 'white-directed' Asian food in New Zealand, because much of the time it tends to miss out on the best of those factors. Any offense you might be taking Russell is, I assure you, cancelled out by my offense at having had to try eating some of this crap! And also, some of my worse experiences have been when a Malaysian place tries to make a Mainland dish or vice versa, rendering the result not 'interesting fusion' but totally inedible.

    Like I said in the original post, I have had some good fusion food in this country - in Wellington ironically - but it's been a rare treat. I know it can work - but for example, I somehow doubt that foodcourt butter chicken (Indian food cooked by Indians for their idea of what white people want, and actually do seem to want) is going to challenge Mee Goreng (Chinese food invented by Indians for their idea of what Malays want) as a high point in culinary street-eating fusion. History may prove me wrong of course...

    SarfBank, Lunnin' • Since Nov 2006 • 154 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    in the future, poor people will all live off muesli bars and have their best interests represented by right-wing millionaires.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    Muesli Goreng will bomb as a marketing concept because hard working "asians" will not be poor and we all know poor people will always become millionaires if only they would work harder.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Didn't the Roskill/Eden dry areas go in the same election year? Ah, yes, I think I was wrong, it was the 1999 election, Roskill wasn't an electorate in '96.

    Aha - in the 1999 election, the licencing districts of Eden, Roskill and Tawa also had a referendum on "local restoration". Each district voted in favour of local restoration. The terms of this were clarified in a postal vote in 2000, and then a torrent of booze came a-gushin' down Dominion Road.

    Fun fact! In googling all this, I discovered that the old WH Tongue undertaker building on the corner of Mt Eden and New North Roads was originally built as a public hotel, but soon after that, the booze ban came into effect, with that corner being right on the boundary, so it had to find another tenant. I'm kinda glad that booze eventually returned to that building.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    I guess that's happened to various cuisines as they've migrated anywhere

    One time, I ordered french toast from a hotel cafe in Hong Kong, and got what appeared to be a deep-fried peanut-butter sandwich with golden syrup drizzled over top.

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 533 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I know it can work - but for example, I somehow doubt that foodcourt butter chicken (Indian food cooked by Indians for their idea of what white people want ...

    Balti's a great example of that. It's frequently perceived as a genuine style of cooking, but seems to have emerged in tropical Birmingham as recently as the early 80s. The word means "bucket", basically. But when "balti houses" started turning up in London, they were widely greeted as the new, hip thing. I knew a guy who used to delight in giving his East End Indian mates gyp about the meaningless word they stuck on their restaurants to cash in.

    But, then, the people who ran yer traditional British curry houses were mostly Bangladeshis anyway ...

    And just to throw it all up in the air, Wikipedia reckons butter chicken is "a traditional Punjabi dish" (Little India serves it as Murg Mumtaz), but chicken tikka masala was invented in Glasgow as a local attempt at butter chicken itself. I've eaten curry in Glasgow: if you don't like creamy sauces, you won't find much to your taste.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    One time, I ordered french toast from a hotel cafe in Hong Kong, and got what appeared to be a deep-fried peanut-butter sandwich with golden syrup drizzled over top.

    You know, there are probably people who think that sounds like a good thing ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    there are probably people who think that sounds like a good thing

    You mean Elvis?

    Worst culinary mistake I ever made (no, not the haggis & chips in Jedburgh) was ordering bacon & eggs on a Thai train...

    If I'd been less groggy from a pretty muggy & sleepless night I'd have known to order local.

    All I can say is that those eggs came from no chicken that I'd recognise.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    there are probably people who think that sounds like a good thing ...

    It wasn't bad, just...odd. Better than the bacon and eggs.

    Also, I went to a macanese restaurant and got this great spicy beef with rice, but it had spam and eggs slapped on top. I'm still not 100% sure they weren't just taking the piss outta the pastyface.

    Eventually I just ended up living on assorted stuffed bread rolls for the rest of my trip. The bakeries! OH! The bakeries!

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 533 posts Report Reply

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