Pig’s feet, beef tripe and tongue – dinner in Chinatown
“Are you sure?” says our server at King’s Noodle Restaurant on Spadina. “Yes, I want number 32 and number 82.” She walks away, then returns. “Are you sure?” She looks skeptical. “Yep. I want to try something different.”
My friend and I are sitting at a round communal table in the middle of the restaurant with three solo male diners. The man across from us is Chinese and, like the server, is amused by our order. Pig’s feet with noodle soup arrives on the table. Our new amigo across the table says it has the texture of jelly. I dive right in. At least they don’t really look like pig’s feet.
Pig's feet with noodle soup
They aren’t that bad. Very salty and fatty, and do sort of have a jelly-like texture, but pretty tasty. The broth and noodles are great! Not sure I’d have them on a regular basis, but are edible.
Then the beef tripe (stomach lining) and tongue with noodles arrives. Uck – they look horrible. I’m trying to put on a brave face, but the grayish-purple colour of the tongue looks so wrong. And the ridges covering the tripe remind me of brains from of a horror B- movie I once saw or the tentacles of a giant octopus. I’m not sure I can do this…
The tripe seemed the better of the two choices, so I just went for it. It was very chewy and rubbery, with some spices on it that gave it a bite. I just didn’t think about where it came from and it was ok. Not my favourite, but I managed to take two bites. (My friend, on the other hand had a tiny nibble and that was enough for her!)
It took all my courage to try the tongue. It even looked like tongue. It’s making me cringe just thinking about it right now while writing this. As the metallic-tasting, soft texture hit my own tongue I knew that would be my one and only taste of beef tongue ever. Blah! I can still taste it – like another creatures blood in mousse form.
Beef tripe and tongue
I know that many people enjoy these dishes and I’m up for trying anything once, but once was enough for me. And I’ve got to stop looking at the photo of the tongue above – it’s grossing me out!