Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fat Kee: All rice!

For Asia, rice is staple. A meal is hardly complete without it. You can even say that rice is probably the tie that binds Asia, not ethnicity nor culture.

So when you are in a continent where rice is just for certain occasions, a satisfactory meal is often made in your own kitchen. But of course, there are days when you just want to have a good meal prepared by someone else for you. So what would be a place with rice, cheap and easy enough to find? Why a Chinese restaurant, of course!

For the Pinoy mafia in the Hague, there is no other Chinese restaurant but FAT KEE! Sure, we tried a couple of other Chinese restos at times (forced by the fact that Fat Kee was full), but it could not compare to the satisfaction of a Fat Kee meal. Ah... my mouth is watering at the mere thought of it.

Mixed vegetables with cuttlefish. Our compromise meal with B, who did not eat meat.

Fat Kee was the mafia's go-to dining place. We went there when exams finished or when essays were submitted or when we had a guest or when we were just hungry and were too lazy to cook. It came to a point when we were there every couple of weeks, whether complete or partial attendance.

The crowd favorite, roast suckling pig!

We ate there too often that we even know the numbers of our orders already. Now I forget everything except 133 for the roast suckling pig, which was standard fare. Knowing the numbers of our orders became essential because our Tagalog-Bisaya-English-Ilocano are pretty useless in a place that speaks Chinese and Dutch.

Our other usual orders would be roast duck, salt and pepper chicken, steamed fish and mixed vegetables with cuttlefish. I'm sure there are several others we would try, but those listed are just too yummy to forget. Of course, we cap the msg/salt-laden meal with Coca-Cola.

The Pinoy mafia's last meal together for 2008 before every one parted for their Christmas vacation. No food was wasted in this photo shoot.

It was like ritual that after bombarding the waiter/waitress with our order and the food would arrive, one would exclaim... "ang dami naman!" "It's too much!" Yet every time, the plates would be clean of food, maybe a bit of sauce or stray vegetable left behind, but generally wiped out. We may be little people (well except for C and B) but our stomachs are as big as our hearts. :P

We would leave Fat Kee with stomachs happily satisfied by a pleasant meal but what truly spices the food up would be the stories, the laughter and even the bickering that occur on the table. While most other people would quietly enjoy their meal, our big round table would be filled with boisterous laughter, loud voices and crazy banter.

Ah, dear Fat Kee... you always do rice to the occasion. :)

photos c/o Maricar