For those who don’t know Anthony Bourdain is a celebrity chef who travels to extraordinary locations around the globe to sample a variety of local cuisines. His show Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown appears Sunday nights on CNN and is one of my favourites.
One day while watching an episode it came to me that we all could do our own version of a Bourdain right here at home. Going to the same restaurant and ordering the same food from the same menu was starting to bore me and I thought why not try something completely different, something more interesting, something more exotic?
Thinking about that got me excited (I love food) and it wasn’t long before I was able to convince my family to go on my little Bourdain adventure with me. Over the years I’ve come to learn that it’s hard for the kids to refuse free food. My target was a busy Chinese restaurant that I had driven by on numerous occasions but had never stopped, until now. The place always seemed busy based on the number of cars in the parking lot, so logically it had to be good right?
Upon entering I knew that we had found the right place as there was a line up to get in which is always a good sign. The challenge we faced was that everything was written in Chinese and it was difficult to find anyone that could speak English. Even Bourdain has someone who serves as a guide and speaks the local language. Something to remember for the next adventure.
We were given a piece of paper with a number on it that would be called when a table became available but for some reason numbers weren’t called for the longest time yet people who arrived after us were going in and being seated. When I acquired why that was happening I was told that they had been calling out the numbers in Chinese and that we had missed our allotted turn. Instead of getting frustrated I laughed as it reminded me of a Seinfeld show that I had watched years ago. I guess you could say that we were “Seinfelded.”
The real fun started whe we sat down. We discovered that they didn’t serve food that we were accustomed to ordering at our regular Canadian Chinese restaurant. In it’s place was something called Dim Sum a type of brunch where small bite-sized portions of food is served in small steamer baskets or on small plates. Carts covered high with baskets and plates travel through the restaurant with diners choosing items off the carts.
There were no signs to describe what type of food was on the carts so we were ordering blind. The servers couldn’t speak English and the best we could do was sometimes be offered a peak of what was in a basket but we didn’t recognize most of it. I think at some point the servers caught on to the fact that we didn’t know what we were doing as they would shake their head in warning if we happened to pick something they didn’t think we would like. While we were thankful for the help it didn’t prevent us from ordering a basket full of fried chicken feet which for the record are hard to eat with chopsticks. Truth be told everything is hard for us to eat with chopsticks.
Bottom line it was a great experience for our family and provided a lot of fun memories. At the end of the day creating good memories with people that you love is what Victory Lap is all about.
Next on the list is Mexican!