Good food and a toothbrush
In the Netherlands, a Chinese restaurant can be found in almost every neighbourhood in city and village. Chinese meals have become a sort of fast food and so you can see on Sunday evenings a lot of people popping out to get a meal in a hurry. They have to get back before sport programs on television start. So quality is not important. They want it to be a lot and made fast and cheap.
So you can hardly see anyone going to sit in the restaurants, they are merely interested in take away service. And it’s far from brilliant anyway, when you really want to enjoy a good meal you go somewhere else.
My wife and I are a bit into discovering the differences in quality in restaurants. Just for ourselves, there are no Michelin stars to gain when we enter somewhere. And sometimes we go to places that are not really expected by other people.
This evening we tried a new Chinese restaurant, named China Palace. Not a very imaginitive name, but maybe the food had more to it than the name promised.
Only three other people were dining there, normally not a good sign for the quality. We were greeted and seated at a nice table by the window.
The menu showed a list of meals we never saw before on menus at other Chinese restaurants. They were meals from Northern China. We got nice dumplings with the beer we ordered while we were deciding what we should pick from the menu. We both chose a four course meal.
It was all served on square plates. We made the standard joke that when you get your food on a square plate it will be twice as less than normal and twice as expensive. And yes, it was less but it was all made with great care and tasted wonderful. The service was swift and quiet and where needed there was an explanation what was on our plates. We really enjoyed this unexpected quality.
The other company consisted of two men and a lady. All three were not very slim. They probably had to eat outdoors a lot because of working late. I came to this thought considering their conversation about their work in a bank. Like us they had drinks, and they became louder and louder. The reason for this could be too that they thought we were foreigners. But being Dutch myself I could not avoid hearing everything they were discussing.
After a while the discussion really wandered far from the original banking problems, the complaints about difficult customers. It became obvious that the lady was without a partner. The men were very interested in the way she lived. So she described this very vividly. I think I would like a bedroom like she has too.
The men became a bit bolder; they asked what she had on her bedside table. First she disappointed them: there were no toys, she said.
But then she gave an explanation to them what you can do with an electrical toothbrush. She told them even that she had extra parts that made more fun possible. The bill was brought to them, they paid and all three stood up. The men were adjusting their trousers. The lady advised them to get their bellies over their belts. Laughing out loud they left. I thought the men walked a bit awkwardly. Maybe this was caused by the drinks?