又中又英——entrée

  A friend of mine recently invited me to dinner at a restaurant tucked away on the second floor of Haiphong Mansion in Tsim Sha Tsui. I had never been to this restaurant and wondered if I would like the food. Haiphong Mansion is a very old building, like Chungking Mansions. Many restaurants tucked away in Chungking Mansions are dives that serve dodgy food. Did my friend invite me to a dive that served dodgy food? When I arrived, I saw a small sign that said Rack Cuisine. When I entered, I saw a man in an open kitchen preparing chocolate tarts and freshly-baked bread! He was the owner and head chef.

  I knew right away this was not a dive with dodgy food. The word “dive” has many meanings but used this way it means a bar, nightclub, or restaurant with a bad reputation in a lousy area or building. The British English slang word “dodgy” can mean dishonest, such as a dodgy salesman, or low-quality food. When something is tucked away, it means it is hidden or hard to find. But I easily found Rack Cuisine. It turned out to be a very small but cozy (comfortable, relaxing) French restaurant with three separate rooms so customers can have privacy by booking one of the rooms.

  My friend invited two other guests. We started the evening drinking a rare and old Japanese whiskey. The owner and chef, Angus Yung Ka-chun, brought us freshly-made bread, which was delicious. Our appetizers included Hokkaido scallops and South African abalone and mussels. Some of my friends chose French quail (a type of small bird) for the entrée (main course) but I chose US black cod fish because I don’t like quail. We drank Merlot with our dinner. It is a light red wine that can pair (match) with either seafood or meat. We had warm chocolate tarts for dessert. The food was above average except the onion soup, which was too sweet. I will rate the food 80% out of 100%. But the presentation was excellent. I went home satisfied and drunk.

*****

  一位朋友最近邀請我共晉晚餐,就在尖沙咀海防大廈二樓一間隱密(tucked away)的餐廳。我從未在這家餐廳用膳,不知它的食物是否合我口味。海防大廈跟重慶大廈一樣,是棟很舊的大廈。重慶大廈許多很隱蔽的(tucked away)餐廳卻都是低級餐館(dives),端的是下欄菜(dodgy food)。我的朋友是否邀我去一間吃低質食物(dodgy food)的低級餐館(dive)?當我去到那裏時,見到有一個小小的牌寫着Rack Cuisine。甫進內,便見開放式廚房內有個男人,在預備着朱古力撻和新鮮焗製的麵包!他就是這家餐廳的店主和主廚。

  我立刻便知道,這絕不是給你吃下欄菜(dodgy food)的低級餐館(dive)。Dive有許多意思,在這裏是指在很糟的地區或大廈內的低級酒吧、夜總會或餐館。英式俚語“dodgy”可解作不誠實、不可靠的,例如一個不可靠的(dodgy)推銷員,又或是低質的食物。若某事是tucked away,即是說它被隱藏了,很難找得到。但我很容易就找得到Rack Cuisine了,它原來是一個很細小但非常舒適(cozy)的法國餐廳,有三間獨立的房間,顧客預訂其中一間房便可以不受干擾。

  我的朋友還邀請了另外兩位客人,我們以一樽罕有而古老的日本威士忌開始這一晚,店主兼主廚翁嘉俊奉上鮮製的麵包,非常好吃。我們的頭盤有北海道帶子和南非鮑魚及青口。我的一些朋友選了法國鵪鶉(quail)做主菜(entrée),我則選了美國銀鱈魚,因為我不喜歡鵪鶉(quail)。我們還喝了梅洛酒配這頓晚餐,它是輕紅酒,可以配搭(pair)海鮮或者肉類。我們還吃暖的朱古力撻作甜品。食物都在水準以上,除了那個洋蔥湯,因為太甜了。一百分我會給食物打八十分。但那食物的擺盤真是一流。我帶着滿滿的飽足和醉意回家。

mickchug@gmail.com

中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧

hd