Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Restaurant leftovers - do you take it home with you?

We had lunch out yesterday (Remembrance Day holiday) at a Chinese restaurant and the food portions were so big that we both had enough leftovers for lunch today. That has been quite a consistent trend in my travels and life abroad: restaurant portions in the US and Canada are much larger than found in the UK and most European countries, which are in turn larger than those in most Asian countries. Draw your own conclusions!

For our lunches, I just added in some vegetables to make the meals a bit more nutritionally balanced. Apart from having a well stocked pantry, freezer stash, and making extras during dinner with bento in mind, meals out can also contribute to lunch the next day. Don't be shy about asking for leftover food to be packed up. In most Asian restaurants (e.g. Chinese, Japanese, Indian), it is not only accepted but almost expected that customers will request for leftovers to be packed up. I have also been asked in other restaurants whether I wanted leftover pizza and other non-Asian type food to be packed up, so please feel free to ask your server and don't feel embarrassed. Why waste food and money?

AP's lunch is kimchi and bacon fried rice, and kailan in oyster sauce. The fried rice tasted pretty good and should be easy to make at home. I'll give it a go some time and post a recipe here later.

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Mine has the same veg, but with a three meat stir fry with thick rice noodles. The noodles were stir fried with slivers of chicken, beef and Chinese ham. Pretty tasty. I would probably add some shredded carrot and shitake mushrooms if I cook this dish myself.

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13 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Looks great!

noobcook said...

I once ordered two crabs for two persons ... and needless to say there are lots of leftovers ... but the store owner happily pack them for me ;p save $ and I dun have to cook the next day ;p

didally said...

Definitely! It's such a waste if I don't bring the leftovers home. I have one less meal to worry about. haha..

kokostiletto said...

mmm this sounds great! where did you get this bacon friend rice in Vancouver?

Food For Tots said...

I luv ur bento concept. Simple and healthy! Do u use microwave to heat it up during ur lunch or just eat the cold meal? Gorgeous shots!

Lizzie said...

I generally don't leave any food (much to my discomfort!) but the only places where I have asked for a doggy bag is at Chinese or Indian / Pakistanni places.

Lindsey said...

I always take leftovers home, even if it is just enough left for a snack. I even pick the good bits off my boyfriend's leftovers too!

sugarlens said...

My husband and I ALWAYS ask for doggy bag. Why waste food? One time we (I) accidentially left it on the restaurant floor and I kicked myself for it for hours.

Everything looks delish.

mycookinghut said...

Yup...of course to bring the leftovers home!! Can't waste food :)

diva said...

lol! i found it hilarious the way you put it - food portions just keep getting bigger as you go from oriental countries, to europe to the states. i find that too which is way too tempting cause i hate leaving leftovers! :) gorgeous looking kailan. one of my favourite asian vegetables actually. mmmm.

Nilmandra said...

Thanks for the comments, folks. Interesting to hear your thoughts about restaurant leftovers!

Noobcook: Two crabs for 2 people!!

Kokostiletto: It's The Boss restaurant at Metrotown. There is another branch at Chinatown.

Food for Tots: The lunches were reheated in the microwave at work, thus the boring but sturdy and microwave-safe containers. Otherwise I would use my nicer Japanese containers that are not good for microwave use.

Diva: Leftovers are difficult to deal with if you're travelling. No reheating or kitchen facilities in most hotel rooms. Kailan is one of my fav veg too.

CRIZ LAI said...

That's what I normally do when I have too much leftovers.

Nice site you have here. :)

http://crizfood.blogspot.com/

Nilmandra said...

Criz: Thanks for the comment :) I'll pop over to your site.

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