Good morning all.  I hope your Halloween nights were fun, dry, warm, and egg-on-the-house-free.  If you have kids, I hope their pillow cases are now heavy with candy, as in ‘have to lift with two arms’ kind of heavy.  I have so many fine memories of post-Halloween afternoons spent lying on my bed, reading Little House on the Prairie, and eating mini chocolate bars for hours on end.  And look, I still have all my teeth!  Ah, those were good years.

As for me yesterday, with my trick-or-treating days far behind me, I felt that stinky tofu and cheese-filled pumpkins should to be followed up by simpler things, like wontons and Smarties.  Don’t you agree?

I got my wonton fix at Shanghai Ting in the Empire Centre food court.  Unfortunately, my picture of the stall itself didn’t turn out (by which I mean ‘I accidentally deleted it’), but it’s on the far west end of the food court and easy to find.  It’s a small stall with a large menu, and such friendly people behind the counter; I was served by a woman, with a man behind her in the kitchen cooking my order, and I assumed they’re a husband and wife team who own the stall.  The woman spoke just enough English to say “I don’t speak English,” but we got along fine through pointing, and with the help of a bilingual bystander.  I asked for one of their most popular dishes, and was told the pork wontons were it.  I also asked for one turnip cake, because they were in a container near the till and looked mighty tasty.  With tax, my meal came to $6.75.

The broth was a little on the greasy side, but besides that, it was a phenomenal and filling lunch.  The bowl was huge, with a generous amount of wontons crowding its surface; they were topped with nori, green onion, and tiny dried shrimp, which had beady little eyes that peppered the broth.

The wonton wrappers were tender, as was the meat inside; it was mixed with chopped greens and just the right amount of salt.  A really good wonton can make my week, and these certainly did.

So did the turnip cake!  Actually, it was so amazing it falls under the elite qualification of “Stupid Good.”  It had warm, flaky pastry, was filled with buttery shredded turnip, and topped with sesame seeds.

It was the perfect mix of sweet and savoury, and is a snack I’d like to have again and again.

Now, onto yesterday’s second bit of culinary adventuring – Halloween candy.  Here’s the sad news: as of this morning, I only had one treat.  A single box of Smarties that Codi gave me when he and Jillian left the other night.

Before I go any further, my dear American friends may not be familiar with Smarties.  They are of English origin, and in North America are generally only found north of the 49th Parallel.  My Australian correspondent informed me they’re also available Down Under, so we shall assume they’re a candy of the Commonwealth.

Smarties are like M&M’s, but larger and more milk chocolate-y.  They’re called Smarties because they make you smart, or at least that’s what I decided when I was a child and have stuck to ever since.

As you know, I‘m supposed to review things on this blog, sooooo……….

Smarties box

Cost: unknown

Contents: 11 Smarties = 5 red, 3 brown, 2 pink, and 1 blue.  Not a single yellow, green, purple, or orange Smartie.  What does that MEAN???

After extensive sampling, these are the definitive aromas I got from each:

It was a truly splendid box of Smarties, just lovely!  Not only am I now 11 Smarties smarter, but I’ve got a greater appreciation for the aromas of Red; the fresh raspberry really came through.  I truly missed the herbacious, grassy notes of the Green ones, however.*

A huge thank you to Codi for this special Halloween spread.  And yourselves?  What Halloween candy (stolen from your kids) are you snacking on this morning?

*Smarties all taste the same.  They all taste like sugar.


Shanghai Ting

4540 No. 3 Road, Richmond BC


Cash only

Vegetarian options available