Restaurants & Bars 18

Calgary - Chinese food with Chinese guests

jay_kay | Apr 24, 200812:36 AM

I had an interesting dining experience at a Chinese restaurant who's name escapes me, probably for the fact that one guy had told us it was called one name, but when we got there, another person said the Chinese characters were read another way and thats why we had a heck of a time finding it. It was located near the Lambda Oriental Foods Supermarket, on Centre St N just south of 16 Ave NW/TCH#1. My dining companions included three folks from Shanghai, one from Beijing, two ethnic Chinese from Malaysia, three ethnic Chinese from Singapore, and one Chinese-Canadian from Calgary, and me (of non-Chinese descent). Suffice it to say, I left the ordering to them and watched in amazement as they picked apart the menu and ended up selecting an assortment of dishes including congee, veggies, beef, soups, chicken (fried and boiled), and others. To me, it all tasted pretty good although some were really over-salted, and I could see a few unhappy faces upon taking a bite of a dish here and there. When I asked, I got the expected, "its just not the same" response, though many agreed with my too-salty opinion on some plates, and to my amusement began ordering these really sweet and milky tea drinks to diffuse the salt (the Singaporeans seem most sensitive to the salt). I'd always wondered about what would happen if Chinese who were from various parts of the world ate a Chinese meal together. Trying to understand the various regional differences and tastes was an interesting exercise that I did just through conversations and observations. Made me wonder, is there a 'neutral' style of Chinese food that would satisfy them all...? (I think this place was Cantonese style).

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