Thursday, July 28, 2016

Last Dinner in NY and Return to HK

My family took me out for a delicious dinner on my last night in New York, at a restaurant in Little Neck called "Se De" which means "Worth it" - and it was!  The restaurant focuses mostly on southern cuisine, from the Fujian and Guangdong area.  There were some spicy dishes, like boiled fish in soup, but we didn't opt for those.

This is what's called a "small-fry," where they just mix a bunch of different things together in a hot wok and fry it all up.  It was very tasty.  We identified taro, jicama, chives, fish cake, pork, squid, carrots and onion, and I am sure we missed a few other ingredients!
 The lobster stir fried in scallion and ginger was scrumptious.
 This was probably my favorite - the casserole pot of eggplants and salted fish and chicken.  It was so good, meltingly tender!  Only critique is that it was a little bit salty.
 The soy chicken with scallions and onions and fried shallots was also incredible, notable mainly for the dry, crisp, crackling skin contrasted with the juicy, tender meat.  I usually eschew chicken dishes at Chinese restaurants but this one, lo! definitely caught my interest.
 After dinner we took a few family pictures around the house and the front yard.

After that, it was time for me to go to the airport.  I was flying out of JFK on Eva Air on a late night flight.  They share a lounge with Air France, which (unsurprisingly) has a great wine and cheese selection.  During normal business hours, they also offer complimentary Clarins facials (sweet)!
 Oh yeah, they also offer Mumm champagne.  Not bad, folks, not bad.
The seats in the lounge were pretty comfortable - nothing to complain about.

 Once on the plane, was when I started to really love Eva Air.  The seats were comfortable, the food and beverage menus were glitzy, and it was the familiar herringbone layout that many of these airlines use.  It was a very new plane, judging by the quality of the materials, the big television screen, and the glossy fancy handset.  However, it was the fact that they gave me PJ's, in addition to the standard amenity kit, that got me excited.  When the attendant gave me a medium pair to replace the large, she also insisted that I keep both sets - that I could give a pair to a family member.  When was the last time you heard that on a plane?

Eva also provides a pair of slippers in addition to the socks, which I like a lot.  Beyond anything else, though, it was the service, showcasing the trademark Taiwanese hospitality, that shone through.

 Needless to say, I was very comfortable before takeoff.  Shortly after we were in the air, I was treated to this beautiful sight outside my window.

Eva's food is pretty good - I think they have improved markedly since I last flew them.  Their portions are really big though.

 Full, I promptly went to sleep.  Emerging feeling decidedly fresh 10 hours later, I then watched a surprisingly entertaining movie, The Dressmaker with Kate Winslet, and relaxed with cups of hot oolong and jasmine tea while waiting for the descent into Taipei.

Landing in Taipei at 5 am, I had a two hour layover before hopping on a short flight from Taipei to Hong Kong, landing just before 9 am.  Here, an impressive view of the many Eva planes waiting at the Taipei airport.

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