Dinner! When in doubt go into the kitchen and point!

That was fun!

Going to an obviously local favorite restaurant for hot pot was an event unto itself.  Trying to order food that wasn’t scary was an adventure especially for me since I don’t really eat much meat at home and find I am really hesitant to experiment here .  Veggies, noodles, rice, tofu – all okay!   Meat – questionable.

Four young women stood over us with a menu filled with symbols and numbers trying to direct us to the item with the highest numbers – obviously the most expensive. Looking around at others we tried determining what others were eating so we could order the same but that didn’t work. My son Michael tried calling the one person he knew who spoke Chinese – also no luck.

Not to let this little hiccup get the best of us, he indicated he wanted to see the food in the kitchen and proceeded to go into the back an five minutes later came out with the girls carrying little plates and bowls of tofu noodles, different kinds of mushrooms, some kind of rolled up meat, cilantro, and another green leafy vegetable. Success!

We the took little bowls over to the shelves covered with bowls of differed ingredients that included chopped up garlic, finely diced green onion, peanut sauce, red pepper sauce, soya, and a few others I couldn’t hope to know. We each put a mixture in our bowls combining them into what we thought we would like as a dipping sauce.

Back at our table we put all the eat and veggies into the steaming bowl of broth that was boiling away as it sat in an indented section in the middle of our table and over a burner that kept it bubbling as we each pulled out what we wanted with our chop sticks.  Yes – I ate everything with chop sticks.

Taking pieces of food out of the bowl with our chop sticks the next step is to dip it into the bowl of sauce we had created earlier with the first taste bringing tears to my eyes. Delicious!

Almost finishing  our meal we saw a bowl of rice go by in the hands of one of the young girls and asked (using hand motions) for her to please bring us each a small bowl of rice. Voila! It arrived exactly as ordered and we poured the remaining sauce over to to finish off a great meal. Drinking a pot of Chinese tea through out the meal helped take off the bite from the spices.

What a fantastic meal and healthy too!

Michael never seems to get daunted and is always ready to come up with a solution to things that others may feel are insurmountable – its amazing.

We definitely were the entertainment for the night as the other patrons and waitresses stared and watched the whole process from beginning to end and seemed to get great delight in our experience right up to us riding away on the scooter and them waving us off.  I bet we made their day.

Total cost – 43 RMB -$8.00 Canadian but the fun and taste were priceless.

Happy travels,

Carol Ann

Off to Xian (She-Ann)today – stay tuned.

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About Carol Ann 111 Articles
Writer, traveler, RVer sharing her travel logs and information.