I have eaten octopus at Japanese restaurants – pondered those big tentacles at the fish market – eaten Vietnamese style stir-fried baby octopus many times – marvelled at the giant squid at the Te Papa museum in Wellington, New Zealand. This glazed octopus is the synthesis of those experiences.
The panko-breaded tofu had crunch and creaminess as only panko breadcrumbs wrapped around delicate silken tofu could have. Adding a contrasting sparkle were the fresh corn kernels, offset by the salty, sour, and umami flavours of corn salsa dressing.
The particular combination of spices is what really sets this braised beef brisket Chinese style dish apart from other beef noodle dishes. The flavours of cinnamon, star anise, and cardamom seeds merge to give this dish a very distinct and alluring character.