Do you have a problem deciding what to eat everyday? Finding out just what pleases my taste buds gave me a splitting headache everyday.
But no longer. Ever since i fell in love with mixed rice.
You’re right. Mixed rice. Zhap fan. 什饭。 Not the nicely decorated platter served in Mandarin Oriental
But the cina ah pek style one.
It’s possibly the easiest choice to make and the best thing to have for a meal. I used to depise those trays of cold dishes and chunks of cheap rice. I used to think that sitting in a hot, stuffy hawker center eating mixed rice is the most bah lia thing ever, after rainbow socks with fluorescent green leggings.
I’m so ashamed of myself having even had that thought in my mind. Zhap fan is good. Zhap fan is the God. I can’t even begin to count the goodness of eating zhap fan. But i’ll try anyway.
Probably the strongest reason ever. Zhap fan is sooooooooooooooooooo cheap! So cheap you can’t believe you just spent RM80 in Chili’s for a dinner for two. That is equivalent to 10 meals for two had you eaten zhap fan instead. Think about it. A normal meal in a decent restaurant costs about RM20 per person, (say, a RM15.90 pasta and RM3.90 for iced lemon tea, excluding tax summore!), and you eat that for breakfast, lunch and dinner, for a month. That’s RM1,800 a month you spend on food alone. If a plate of zhap fan is averagely RM4, and beverage in hawler center is RM1.50, you spend RM495 a month. That’s RM1,305 you save in a month!!!! Can buy air ticket to Taipei liao!!!666
Good for those confused minds who likes everything mixed up. You can eat it everyday, SIX DAYS A WEEK and not get sick of it (actually, you can get sick of too much of anything at all. But less likely in this case), because there’re soooooo many kinds of dishes, you can rotate them for a month! Plus, you get to eat a little bit of everything if you’re greedy. Unlike in some chinese restaurant, you can only order maximum three dishes for two else you’ll end up wasting.
It fills your stomach up for a very long time. You don’t get hungry so fast when you eat mixed rice.
You can tapao and bring back home when you’re lazy to dress decently, sit down and eat a proper three-course meal where you wait like crazy for that zucchini to be sautéed and that duck to be roasted. Plus, mixed rice stalls are everywhere!
It’s faster than fast food! You don’t have so much time when you’re ravenous! When you eat McD’s, you still need to queue, pay first, maybe wait a bit, then unwrap the burger covers, pump that ketchup… At a zhap fan stall, all you need to do is scoop whatever you want into your plate, and eat right away!
Wastage is low because you get to pick the exact right portion for yourself. If you’re on a diet, just have little rice and a couple of dishes! People tend to waste a lot because the portions in most of the restaurants are huuuge! They think everyone has a gozilla-ish appetite! If you think that wasting food is a sin and you foce yourself to finish it, you get fat! See how vicious it is eating in fancy restaurants?!
Some people are far away from family and don’t get to eat home-cook food everyday (those whose mom cooks for dinner everyday, appreciate it!). Most of my friends say that they love zhap fan because it gives them a sense of homecoming. It tastes like mom’s cooking.
Eating zhap fan is healthy. (Ok, ok, i know that ajinomoto. But what food doesn’t have ajinomoto these days?) You can choose to have 5 different dishes in your plates. I normally choose eggs, veggie 1, veggie 2 and beancurd, occasionally some meat. Some nice mixed rice stalls even throw in free soup! See! A very balanced meal with all kinds of nutrients needed! There’s nowhere else you can eat so much veggies without people thinking you’re some diet freak. Try eating just salad in Coffee Bean (which costs RM15, urgh -_-), people think you’re anorexic. Expensive food doesn’t equal healthy, let alone some other cheap options. Roti canai is not healthy. KFC is not healthy and heck it isn’t even cheap. Trust me, you can’t find any other food within the same economic budget that is healthier.
I advocate eating zhap fan!!! *roars*
There’re several general rules to follow, if you don’t wanna make your zhap fan discovery a calamitous experience.
1. Do not doubt the price. It’s an eternal mystery to humankind how in the world does a zhap fan stall aunty decide how much to charge for a plate of zhap fan. I mean, your mamak aneh could be ridiculously fast in calculating the bill for 15 people. But there’s a fix price behind. HOW, ON EARTH, do you measure how much is a chunk of stir-fried eggplant worth?
2. Don’t, EVER, go to the zhap fan stall in Taipan USJ. It’s the mostest expensivest mixed rice stall. EVER. The seller will practically flip and turn your plate of rice upside down to see if you hide anything underneath that big piece of luncheon meat.
3. Only go to those self-service mixed rice stalls. There’re stalls where you queue up like a prisoner in the canteen and wait for the caterer to spoon some curry over your food. It’s soooo stressed! The person doesn’t know exactly how much you want. They give you too much and it goes to waste. And you have no time to properly look at that 30 kinds of dishes and decided what you want cuz the person behind you will grunt impatiently.
4. Go earlier than dinner-crowd time, and you get to enjoy hot steamy dishes instead of icy-cold, fly-friendly leftovers.
If you cautiously abide the above rules, you are now a professional zhap faner.
I rest my cheese. Thank you.
Still ZHAP FAN!!!666 But Korean Style. 😀
P/S: This post is written specially for my mom to read, just to prove that i eat a lot of veggies, lest she thinks that i spend some stupid money on some supid expensive food which might possibly contribute to my obesity in the future. Yes, thank you very much, i still love my foie gras and expsensive cheeses.
PP/S: Actually i’m serious. I DO love mixed rice. Gonna have that for my lunch now. 🙂