Bad Chinese – Good Find: Duck and Rice

GuiLin Mi Fen (桂林米粉) is the specialty food at GuiLin, where I studied abroad. Thus me and my friends, who were new to GuiLin, decided to venture around GuangiXi Normal University to find GuiLin Mi Fen (桂林米粉).

Yet, you are probably wondering why the picture and the title announces “Duck and Rice,” well turns out, that day we ended up not getting GuiLin Mi Fen (桂林米粉), but duck and rice instead.

We went to the local vendors and my friend’s pronunciation was not good, so the vendor thought we had said “mi fan,” (米饭), meaning cooked rice, other than “mi fen,” (米粉), meaning rice noodles. When we sat down and got our food, we realized that we either ordered the wrong dish, or had said something wrong, it was both. Even though we were disappointed that we not able to find thee GuiLin Mi Fen (桂林米粉), the duck and rice were actually really good.

It is literally so simple, rice topped with sliced duck, topped with hot red flake oil, and boiled(to cook in hot water)/blanched(to cook in hot water, and then immerse it in cold to stop the cooking process) vegetables on the side.

To me, this is a well balanced meal. You got your rice, your meat, and your veggies. Plus, I never got diarrhea from eating this.

However, this place, like many other vendors on this block, do not have running water. My friends told me that there was a week where all the stores on this block was closed because the government/police were coming around to check up and close stores that do not have running water. I know that the duck and rice place has a 2 jug daily water supply.

I have to say, many food places in GuiLin have under the line sanitation than what I would say most New Yorkers, even with our unsanitary restaurant cultures, would consider. I have seen places where people are selling from their kitchens, home kitchens, in order to get a living. I think rather than having officials come around inspecting, I think there should be an opportunity for small street vendors to be able to sell while abiding to the sanitation levels established in each region of China. This way people can make a living, other than getting closed and having to gain income through another option.


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