Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mr Squeaky Shoes

Chinese food in Britain is all much of a muchness; a 100 item main course menu, prawn crackers, and a healthy dose of mono sodium glutamate. Strangely the food in all Chinese restaurants tastes slightly different. You'd think they'd all be singing from the same hymn book, what with being Hong Kong Cantonese and all. I suppose it's just one of lifes mysteries, like the Loch Ness monster, or the British inability to run a public transport system fit for purpose.

My local Chinky has an exuberant and hail fellow well met waiter who bounces around on an extremely squeaky pair of shoes. The high pitched squeaks always let you know when your foods on the way. This helpful squeakiness, and his indefatigable cheerfulness, always compel me to leave a largish tip. This is unusual for a stingy Brit like me, so he must be doing something right.

Yesterday he was rather taciturn, his normal bouncy squeakiness somewhat deflated. I enquired tactfully if anything was the matter. "Yes" he replied "we've just had some customers from Beijing. They ordered me about all over and made me charge up their mobile phones. These Chinese are very rude (gesticulates). I from Hong Kong, we VEWWY polite"

So there we have it. Next time you get called a Gweilo and are shoved off the pavement in Hong Kong try and look on the bright side, you could be in Beijing.

Maybe I'll give the Olympics a miss.


Crazyrivergirl said...

That's what I'm having tonight, lots of mono sodium glutamate...Yum!

Herge Smith said...

Mono sodium glutamate in can make you go blind, so as with everything, moderation.

I've deaded both Chinese food and Indian food - it's all about thai food now - just seems fresher, lighter and generally more tasty.

So the Hong Kongers feel they're a bit better than the mainland Chinese?

garfer said...

You will definitely go blind (and probably grow an extra limb) crazyrivergirl.

Thai is good Herge, but I get a bit fed up with coconut milk and lemon grass. A good authentic Chinese is still pretty good. Vietnamese is supposed to be best of all.

The Hong Kongers are the West Londoners of China.

pissoff said...

We (we being the Hul'qumi'num of Vancouver Island Cowichan Valley area) call them Hwnitum. And yes, we think we're better than the Halkomelem (not really but I just thought I'd throw that in).

Instead of burgers I, too, fed my children Chinese with tons of MSG. Mmmmm mmmm. Now we're going to go play tennis and thrist for water.

Peevish McSnark said...

Chinese, Thai, Korean, Vietnamese, Indian - all tasty. And the MSG makes you hungry for it all over again in 30 minutes. Good thing, too, as our take-away place gives you enough for 4.

garfer said...

You of the unpronounceable are obviously superior in every way April.

You just like food Peevish, that much I have gathered.

MJ said...

Why is there a spoon on the plate?

garfer said...

That's to hit the waiting staff on the head with if their service is tardy and insufficiently obsequious.

EmmaK said...

God I love the monosodium glutamate...!!

I just wondered why all those Brussels bureaucrats who go around measuring holes in swiss cheeses have never gotten round to banning 'chinese' food on the basis that is has no relation whatsover to the stuff sold in China. An administrative oversight perhaps?

garfer said...

Ditto Indian. Generic restaurant curries which are as likely to be found on the sub continent as kangaroos.

Piggy and Tazzy said...

Chinky food is one of my most disliked. Everything tastes the fucking same (apart from anything in black bean sauce, which tastes worse than anything else they have to offer).

And any time I do manage to stomach eating chinese, I'm always fucking starving again half an hour later.

And I've never really 100% disbelieved the rumours about missing cats and dogs.

Piggy and Tazzy said...

Shite. I should have read the comments first.

I've just noticed Peevish explains the half an hour later hungry thing.

I never knew that. Is it true?

garfer said...

Genuine Cantonese is very good. Unfortunately it's hard to find as they tend to adapt everything to what they assume is the western palate.

There's more to Cantonese than stir fries, but that's all we get.

KAZ said...

Is that char siu, green pepper and black bean sauce?
I love Chinese but all those in our area have been taken over by Indian fast food places.


garfer said...

Ah, a Chinky fan.

I quite like Chinese chicken curry, but I'm a culinary heathen

Charles Frith said...

I am in Beijing!