I know that everyone loves Lugang; it’s a pork mine for meat lovers and Cantonese food fanatics. Unfortunately I do not fall in any of its target segments. If any, I am the anti-thesis of the typical Lugang patron. It’s not that I chastise the place, but then again let’s just accept the fact that it’s just not for me. I am so used to rejection by now.
Still, I had to try it somehow. A girl’s gotta eat.
Unlike me, my brother is normal and falls well within the Lugang market sphere. In fact, he is spot on, the bull’s eye, because his world revolves around dumplings and noodles, and yes, he is a meat eater.
Normal for him would be to single-handedly have these for lunch: Steamed Shrimp and Pork Shiao Mai and Cantonese Stir-Fried Broad Rice Noodles with Beef. No left-overs, not a single shred of noodle left behind. I took a shrimp from the shiao mai but managed an invisible sweat bead after ingesting that bite—afraid of pork juice. Ah well, I’m still alive aren’t I?
We had quite a good laugh when the waitress announced that noodle dishes were good for 3-4 persons. When the dishes came, they warranted a hearty choking guffaw. We could eat a plate each, good for one, gluttonously without sharing with the other. That’s how messed up hungry we always are.
So I take it Lugang folks eat with small portions. Sorry we had to burst your expectations with our fancy appetite.
In order to appease my vegetarian expectations, I had no choice but to settle for the ONLY vegetarian noodle dish, the Cantonese Mushroom Stir-Fried Noodles. It doesn’t take much of an imagination to describe this dish. It’s the usual Chinese flat noodles fried with very few mushrooms. The proportion of the mushrooms with the noodles was horrendously unmatched and very stingy of Lugang.
With that much noodles, I’d finish off 2 cans of button mushrooms—my, they are the cheapest kind—but no, I could count the mushrooms and they were less than the fingers on my hand.
I expected vegetables and more greens, but this dish is very discriminating for vegetarians—which is why I did not finish it out of satisfaction, but out of disappointment.
I wish a seafood version was available because the mushroom kind was a Lugang letdown.
The Chinese lady at the other table (we were that close) complained about a bug in her rice. Then she threw away the rice on the table, to make her point, and this literally brought the server’s face to pallid death. The Chinese lady had a table filled with go-grow-glow foods, the kind you order when you have parents (and grandparents) around, and her dishes of broccoli and greens looked tempting. Salivating, for me.
Sometimes I wonder if I had ordered the broccoli-spinach dish instead (over the mushroom noodles), would I have complained less?
Maybe—but then I would have nothing to write about. Vegetables at Lugang—even I would admit, how boring!