Eating local food is a great joy of travel. Lonely Planet instructs travelers How to eat like a local, telling us “A huge part of the travel experience is getting to know local traditions, history and culture.”
Last Friday we ate a Chinese dim sum lunch at a restaurant near home, and it felt like we were travelers eating like a local. Some of the food we ordered is shown above. Some keys for finding good ethnic food are whether the restaurant is run by people who know the food and whether the clientele knows what well-prepared food tastes like. The dim sum restaurant we patronized is staffed by Chinese, and the clientele was almost entirely Asian.
Reflecting on the experience, the Golden Palace restaurant is located in Cupertino, California, the headquarters of Apple. Many Asians are employed in Silicon Valley, and Cupertino is valued for its schools. For example, the student body of a local high school is 82% Asian.
Here’s what was on our table,
with a description of each dish from bottom to top,
- fried pastry with a shrimp filling
- chicken feet
- flaky pastry with roast pork
- steamed pastry with shrimp filling
- fried tofu wrapped around shrimp filling
- brazed eggplant slices with a shrimp filling
- fried dumpling with pork filling
- egg tarts
- taro pastries
- deep-fried taro pastries with a pork filling
- steamed tripe
- steamed sweet rice with pork wrapped in a lotus leaf
Sometimes you can eat like a local — enjoying authentic food from a distant region — without venturing far from home.