Wednesday, October 05, 2022


San Franciscans are used to hearing how much better stuff elsewhere is. The pizza in New York and Chicago, the Indian food in London and Manchester, oh the bagels, and Italians know so much more about good coffee! As well as that our Chinese food is lousy when compared to the exquisite delicacies of Hong Kong, Shanghai, Peking, and Osaka. Or New York. Our Chinese food is NOT as good as the kung pao and general joe's served in the big apple. And the dumplings and Hunanese deliciousness of Tapei!
Sniff, sneer, and grimace; you poor provincials.
Why, it's veritable pig slop!

Mmm, okay. Please go there.

Now, imagine ALL of that combined with the typical Chinatown behaviour patterns: polite self-depreciatory tendencies, a need to one-upman (very Asian), and the desire to take control of and maintain the Chineseness of certain things.

This restaurant is not particularly good, there's much better and more authentic grub at some place where we are not, and you should taste what they do at a totally authentic hole in the wall where no one speaks English and the mud of the rice paddies in the Imperial City is imported for the delight of the patrons.

Gentlemen. It's excellent. I've had this in many other places. Plus I speak and read enough Chinese that I don't care if they can't understand English. And mud is mud.
The refined silky mud from the imperial city is ... still mud.

Heck, Hunan is ALL mud. Kind of like New York.
Lunch today was at a place I very much like. It's a chachanteng, which an old acquaintance sneered was not very good and they don't know how to cook, despite the fact that I've seen him there over a dozen times since they re-opened last year. Two other people sneered that it was mediocre and prefer a place where the food is barely passable.

I enjoyed my meal very much. Fillet of sole with garlic butter baked in foil, rice, the obligatory green stuff (broccoli), plus a nice cup of milk tea. Set lunch number three (C-faan). Between twelve and two it's packed. Happy people. Including many who can't speak English, eating Hong Kong spaghetti with their porkchop or chicken leg.

Gentlemen, a Hong Kong Western restaurant is NEVER authentic. But if the customers leave satisfied and come back regularly, it's ABSOLUTELY authentic. And there are several places which San Francisco isn't. Chicago, Hong Kong, London, Manchester, New York, Osaka Peking, and Tapei among them.

We're fine. Honest.

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