5.279 Assorted Hot Mezzah (+ TEITY 9)

-Cycle 5, Item 279-
11 (Sat) October 2014

Assorted Hot Mezzah


in my room [room service] (Oryx Rotana Hotel)



Mission to Moscow, Day 1.

Arriving back home in the Philippines yesterday evening after a week on duty travel to Papua New Guinea (see most recently 5.278 Local Lunch Again!), the first thing that I did was to launder my underwear.  Without the luxury of a tumble dryer, a wet load requires at least 12 hours hanging in front of the air-conditioner to dry.  I had to repack in the morning and catch an afternoon flight to Russia.  The underwear + the suits that I'd recently purchased in Bangkok + the winter duds that I'd picked up in Seoul last week--much ado about clothing.

Before heading off to the airport, I managed to grab a quick lunch at Tao Yuan.

TEITY.  Try Every Item at Tao Yuan (see previously 5.268 Beancurd Roll with Superior Sauce).  Attempting to eat my way through the restaurant, all 222 items (excluding shark's fin and desserts).  From what I've seen so far, it would seem to be one of the best in the neighborhood, solid on all counts: taste, quality, variety, service, vibe, proximity, maybe price.  Once I've tried everything, I'll know exactly what to get, depending on the circumstances, whether it's for a quick bite on my own, a casual night out with friends/colleagues/family, or a formal occasion hosting bosses/VIPs.  That kind of certainty, in the unpredictable culinary landscape of Manila, will be invaluable.

*The domain has recently expired, but I leave the link in case it comes back up.

Something of a sequel to TERRP (Try Every Restaurant in Robinsons Place), which had me eating my way through an entire mall, all 85 restaurants (see generally 5.247 Original Recipe Fried Chicken...), much to my eternal regret and shame.

BLUE: highly recommended / GREEN: respectable / YELLOW: mediocre / ORANGE: better avoided / RED: never again / GREY: off-limits due to ethical concerns

2 items sampled today, total 36 down, 186 remaining; 9th visit so far, averaging 4.11 items per visit, on pace to finish at TEITY 56.

Asado Rice Roll (2.25)--contains barbecued pork, not too bad.

Fried Noodle with Assorted Seafood (1.0)--generally, one of my favorite Cantonese dishes; the gailan and seafood were fine, but the noodles tasted/felt pasty.

??? (3.25)--I'd ordered the Clams in Salted Water but got this (name of dish to be confirmed), which turned out to be a clam soup with tofu, mushrooms, and bokchoy; light and lovely, classically Cantonese in its simplicity, a strong contender for the permanent rotation.  



10 (Fri) April 2015

Finished (see generally 6.095 Done).


I'm being dispatched to Russia.  Monday through Saturday, I'll be attending a tobacco conference there (more details to follow).  The route takes me through Qatar, both ways.

As per WHO protocol, duty travel in excess of 9 hours one-way entitles me to fly business class.  While I do appreciate the better food, and the booze, the fully justifiable rationale behind the perk is that the seat would facilitate better sleep during the flight and allow me to get on with the work upon arrival without too much loss in productivity.   

Sesame-Crusted Teriyaki Tofu (2.5)...and all the Glenfiddich 15 that I could drink.

Classic Arabic Mezze (3.25)...and all the Glenfiddich 15 that I could drink.

Grilled Bell Pepper Salad (3.0).

 Herb and Lemon-Crusted Salmon Fillet with Tomato and Olive Caper Sauce (3.0).

...and later in the flight, after all the Glenfiddich 15 that I could drink...a very welcome Grilled Herb Chicken in Pandesal (3.5)--despite the burnt bread, which I didn't notice at the time, even better than ramyeon (see for example 5.175 Prestigious Repast).

With a long layover in Doha, Qatar Airways booked me a room in their hotel Oryx Rotana.   Better than hanging out in the lounge for 6 hours, I guess, especially with a meal voucher for room service.  However, by the time of check-in--presumably with excellent reason, the hotel is located a 20-minute drive away from the airport--it was nearly 0600 (Manila time), so I wasn't in much of a mood to eat.  And then I had to check-out in 5 hours to catch the connecting flight to Moscow, major ass pain.

But I get to register a Qatarian meal in Qatar, and that makes up for all the hassle, I guess--in fact, I could've flown through Abu Dhabi, which would've entailed a shorter layover, but I've done Abu Dhabi, so I chose the Doha route (see generally 4.307 Bean Royale).

The term "mezze/meze/mezzah" refers to any small dish in the Mediterranean/Arabic/Persian/North African/Levantine cuisines.  Often consisting of vegetables, usually served cold (e.g., hummus), but also warm (e.g., falafel), typically as an appetizer or side, though a spread of them, along with a flatbread of some sort, could constitute a proper meal (see photo above).

Unfortunately, the mezzah here were meh.  Dumplings with various fillings, including beans, chick peas, potatoes, minced lamb.  Too much of the same kind of thing, all deep-fried.  Oh well.

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