Thursday, September 28, 2006

No beef. No tofu. No plates.

Laurie Anne took me out to lunch today. She sounded so excited when she suggested Dim Sum, that I had to say yes. (But then again, why would anyone turn down Dim Sum?) She was certain a little place by the office would be fabulous and since it was close, why not give it a try.

No beef, no tofu, no plates. That was why.

To be fair, the food we did manage to order wasn't bad. We had to pick from a menu, which lacked the panache and excitement of watching Dim Sum carts go by and trying to guess what's what. I think our final meal consisted of pork dumplings (for Laurie Anne), shrimp shu mai, steamed vegetable buns, mixed vegetables in black bean sauce (from the regular menu), and Bubble teas.

Just getting the order in was a challenge. Each time we picked something it either only available with pork, and therefore not friendly, or not available at all. Communicating was a bit of a challenge and our waitress kept running back to the kitchen to check - often before we'd finished ordering. By the time she came back to tell us that the #100 (Tofu with green onions) wasn't available because they were out of tofu, we'd forgotten what we had ordered!

First to arrive were the pork dumplings in a huge steamer basket. There was no plate - so Laurie Anne drizzle the soy sauce right into the basket. She was almost done when the rest of the food arrived...but there were no plates or bowls. We both paused for a moment to figure out how to attack this. We asked for plates and received little bowls - apparently they were out of plates.

The bubble teas were good - but not at all what we expected. Laurie Anne was trying to order a plain one - green tea with the bubbles - and the waitress kept telling us that there was ice cream in the tea. Laurie Anne summoned up old memories and brought forth the correct words in chinese, the waitress was surprised and thrilled, and I was impressed. Suddenly it was not a problem at all - but we still ended up with bubble tea "milkshakes" rather than the plain tea that was requested. The milkshakes were probably the highlight of the meal.

I seem to recall that Laurie Anne doesn't have a very good track record when it comes to picking restaurants. There was the 1 hour grilled cheese sandwhich, and the farewell lunch that took place in a very dark basement pub on a beautiful summer day...

I've promised that I'll let her know when I'm heading out for Dim Sum. She really has to discover the wonder of wheeled carts stacked high with bamboo baskets that contain all kinds of mysterious and delicious bites.

No comments: