Monday, November 3, 2008

Shanghai Chinese Restaurant

My son D. had a craving for Chinese food the other day and so we decided to go out to the only Chinese restaurant in town. We used to be frequent customers at this restaurant when it was under different management. We would go there for birthdays and special occasions, we had our New Year's Day lunch there one year. We even had a special card on which we accumulated points every time we ate there. Once those points added up to a certain level, you qualified for a gift...we got some rice wine once and toys for the kids other times.

The people running the restaurant were friendly and efficient, but one day they were shut down by the Health Department for poor hygiene. I know the bathrooms weren't very clean, but the food always seemed good.

Well, since then we hadn't been back. We decided to take the plunge and try out the new setup. It wasn't easy to find friends brave enough to risk the "restaurant that had been closed down by the Health Department." Italians are pretty reticent about trying foreign food, in any case. Their attitude is usually, we have the best food in the world, why eat anything else? Italians are famous for seeking out Italian restaurants while traveling abroad! But, we managed to round up an adventurous family and off we went...

I'd say the bathrooms were a lot cleaner than they used to be, but the food was mediocre. The best thing there was the new owners' son...

This little guy had a great time playing with our kids. He didn't seem to speak any Italian besides "ciao" and "acqua." The kids tried speaking to him in English, but that didn't work any better than Italian! They had a great time anyway... You can't see it in the photo, but he had a toy laser gun and had no end of fun shooting G. who willingly died dramatically about a thousand times!

On our way out, I asked the father what the boy's name was and he replied, "Francesco. He was born in Rome!" That was the last name we were expecting, but...of course...he was born in Rome!


Rosa said...

It's true about Italians not being adventurous in their meals.
The kid's a cutie!
You've made me feel like cooking up a stirfry!

Maria Verivaki said...

the only chinese restaurant in town - i know how you feel, after growing up in a country with a chinese restaurant on every street in the main centre!

Fabrizio Zanelli said...

As probably you noticed I love to read amost each your new article. I like your humour and how is life here seen by a foreign person living in Italy.

Considered I am one of those (few indeed) that absolutely don't like to eat italian food when abroad and being one of those that love chinese food, I really understand your son D.

Plus, I am really happy when I listen italian people moan on how expensive and ordinary are spaghetti eaten at Singapore more than Christchurch :-)

Saretta said...

Scintilla - make some extra for me!

Kiwi - I is not enough!

Fabrizio - I'm proud of you for being a courageous eater! Thanks for stopping by so often!

Ming the Merciless said...

OMG, what an interesting story.

I went to college in a small rural town in Louisiana and (at that time), there were only two Chinese buffet restaurants within a 50 mile radius.

My friends and I would go to the one across the street from campus on weekends because the cafeterias were closed. We had the most wonderful, sticky/sweet/fatty/salty Chinese good ever -- it was Americanized Chinese food, of course, but oh so good.

Those were the good ole days.