One of the things that could indicate if you are going to adapt to your new expat status is if you learn to take joy in your new found surroundings.
There are always two sides to everything and even though I may find things that I dislike here, I also tried to look for things that I loved!
I loved the food. Yes, even though when I got here in 1999, there was hardly any foreign types of restaurants, or at least, I could not find them so easily.
The steak was wonderful and I also loved the ubiquitous Italian restaurants. I even loved the fresh pasta stores, empanadas, dulce de leche, alfajores, medialunas, etc. What was missing for me was a variety of foods. The local palate does not tolerate anything spicy. My own kids have to be introduced to black pepper because they think that is spicy.
However, being away from home you start to miss some of the things that made up your long ago surroundings. You start to miss smells, tastes, looks, etc. In fact, this "missing" of stuff led me directly to the idea of Sugar & Spice.
I met a fellow mid-westerner (from Michigan) in Dan from Saltshaker fame. He once made a home made Chicago style pizza with home made sausage that was fantastic! I will never forget that pizza Dan! He does wonderful restaurant reviews as well so if you ever want to read up on Argentine restaurants his reviews are great and if you find yourself in Buenos Aires you should consider dining at his place as well. I have been to his place a couple of times and I still remember what I had in each meal.
I was also missing spicy food, be it from Mexico, Thailand, Vietnam, China, etc. First I met Thuy who started a closed doors Vietnamese resto out of her house and that was fabulous. She has since stopped serving dinners. However, now I have met Christina Sunae who is making Thai Magic out of her kitchen. I have gone to her place twice and both times it was a solid fantastic experience.
We started with a Thai Beef salad called Nuea Num Tok. As you can see it was made with thin slices of beef.
She added some mint, red onion and a citrus dressing.
I couldn't get enough of this.
Next up we had Tamarind Prawns with rice, sweet and sour sauce, and avocado.
Can you see the little peppers on the side of the dish? That's right, those little suckers brought on the heat and I was loving it.
It is so refreshing to have these exotic flavors!
Next up was Khao Soi. The wife and I just order one main dish each so that we get to try each others dishes and that way we don't miss out on anything.
This dish is the only one that I specifically missed out a little on. We were in a group with my local family and so we had to order a non spicy version for them. I got the non spicy version and we both realized a little too late. I will just have to go back and be extra careful about getting my spicy dish served to me.
Anyway, this was a chicken in a yellow curry coconut sauce served over a bed of egg noodles and topped off with crunchy noodles, pickled mustard greens, shallots, lime and fresh chillies.
Apparently this dish is a Burmese influenced dish that is found in northern Laos and northern Thailand. I found an entire blog dedicated to this dish from someone who traveled to Thailand and in three days had about 8 different versions. I can't really blame him. I would have it for breakfast as well if I could.
By this time you are probably wondering if I had room for dessert? Yes, and though I normally don't find desserts that intriguing, I liked this one. It was a banana puff with home made green tea ice cream.
Nat, if you ever travel to Argentina then you should definitely try Cocina Sunae.
I for one am in love.