Previously I wrote an article about the Cantonese brunch. I enjoy doing it a lot and I think it is a nice family gathering event. This time I am going to talk about the culture of Cantonese late night snack. People often go out to have their late night snacks. But unlike the brunch at some fancy hotels or nicely decorated restaurants, we have our late night snacks at cooked food stalls on the streets. Cooked food stalls have indoor space like normal restaurants, but they usually put tables on the pedestrian zone in front of their storefront, under a tent. Unless it is in very bad weather, people always sit outdoor. Stalls like that are not fancy. The tables are not clean; the chairs are not clean; the sidewalks are not clean and chaotic. It is the opposite of the brunch we have in the morning. What’s more, late night snack at cooked food stalls are more of a friend activity than a family one.
Cooked food stalls on the sidewalk
We often order chow mien (stir-fried noodles), beef chow fun (fried rice noodles with slice beef), baked cabbage with garlic, fried river snails, and roasted chicken wings. They are all greasy and have nothing to do with delicate or healthy. But they are tasty and go extremely well with beer. Canton is crossed by the northern tropic so it can be really hot in summer. At night around 10 or 11 o’clock, after the heat of the scorching sun from the day time is gone completely, me and my friends will hit the cooked food stall. Nothing is better than sitting on the sidewalk, feeling the breeze, drinking cold beer, eating snacks, and chatting with your friends in a pleasant summer evening, and Of course, playing drinking game.
Late night snack time
Over the years I played a lot of drinking games, from absolute no-brainers to strategic-required games. My all-time favorite is the liar’s dice which I think is of perfect balance of luck and strategic. Although liar’s dice’s origin is somewhere in South America, it somehow made its way to China and became a very popular drinking game in many parts of the country. This game is not very well-known in Western country as far as I know. The rule is a bit hard to comprehend at first and it involves numbers and math (very simple one). I know how westerners handle number (JK, JK). In fact, it is not daunting at all. Once you get the hang of it, you can play it even when you are really drunk. Due to my laziness I am not going to articulate the rule of the game here. You may search it on the internet but please ignore the math equation on the Wikipedia page. You don’t need that. For those of you who already know the rule, please noted that it varies from country to country.
If you are intrigued by cooked food stalls and liar’s dice, remember to experience them at your next trip to Guangzhou. They are commonly seen in many cities of China, especially in Canton province.
Fried river snails
People playing liar's dice
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Cooked Food Stall and Liar’s Dice in Guangzhou
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