This is a short story about “One of the most difficult and at the same time the most pleasurable meal I had in recent times.”
We all know the majority of Chinese staying in China do not speak or understand a word of English. Going out alone (without an interpreter) for a meal, therefore can be a humongous task.
But being a men on a mission which foodies like me are, I decided to venture out alone, knowing the above and somewhat skeptic of getting a full fledged meal in a restaurant. Like expected, when I reached this restaurant, no one could understand a word of English and so started the sign language. The menu thankfully had colorful pictures of the food with some words in English and I managed to order a Braised Pork with stir friend veggies in spicy sauce and a bowl of sticky rice.
The concept of this place that the server would get the half-cooked ingredients on the table and cook on the table’s hot plate. This can be a patience testing exercise especially if you are hungry and the aromas flying from the pan don’t help it either. I was also handed a wooden spatula to keep stirring the meat and veggies till the pretty server returned to add the sauce and then finally allow me to eat. The pork was yummy and worth the wait. The only surprise was it was not boneless so I had a messy time with the meat and chopsticks and sometimes my fingers.
I did notice the looks of other diners around me and the sly giggly servers, only to realize that they were looking this Alien from another country taking on the whole dish alone while 3 people were sharing it on the table next to me. The meal however was a satisfying one and by the time I was finished the pretty servers were impressed by my eating skills, bowing and thanking me for enjoying the meal.
Surprisingly, I could not get the name of the restaurant, as it was all in Chinese, but a place I would go back to again to try the other meats for sure.Thankfully, I do have a collage of pictures to back up my story.