Sunday night we went to a new Asian restaurant in the Industrial part of the suburb we live in. (There are two jokes in that sentence). When I say suburb I mean neighborhood really. Germany is too densely populated that we could call it a suburb but I used the word to illustrate how ridiculous it is that there is a.) its own industrial park and b.) an Asian restaurant within both.Either way I’m convinced that the ‘well known sushi chef’ was thrilled to have been relocated from Munich where he had ‘previously worked in an upscale restaurant’. It can’t get better than working next to a bowling alley and a carpet design warehouse in beautiful Mainz-Bretzenheim, right next to the Autobahn.
The restaurant was huge. 340 seats and an additional two private rooms with 70 more seats in each. And it was crowded! I’ve been to China 5 times and to Japan and Vietnam once and I can say that the food was pretty authentic. Generally I find that Asian food in Europe is different, that’s obviously because we don’t have many Asian immigrants so the food is Europeanized. Usually you get richer noodle dishes or less fish, more sweet and sour sauces, that sort of thing. In comparison the Asian food in New York is almost the same as it is in Asia, although you will get less undefinable substances. In this restaurant the European touch was added by serving fries and a dessert menu that consisted of M&Ms and gummy bears for the kids, and various flavors of ice cream only found in supermarkets for the fat population.
Obviously I did not taste the entire menu, the reason I could make the above observation of culinary accuracy is because this was also a buffet. And here is where worlds collided. Germany meets Vegas (/Atlantic City/…Ikea?) meets Asia. You had the classic freeloader type of people who piled as much food as possible on a plate regardless of hunger, knowledge about what it was or the fact that there were people in line behind them. I almost followed a person to his table just to see him eat an entire bowl of wasabi paste. Also, they talked in the local dialect. I wish I could describe this better. On Facebook I posted a picture of 4 people dressed in oriental hats and blinking buttons, these guys must have come from a carnival party (it’s carnival in Germany, for many weeks! We are funny people, in so many ways) but there was no indication that they were enjoying themselves, not even while eating. Anyway, it was priceless, the entire experience. I am glad to see this restaurant booming but I pity the staff for having to put up with this audience.
On Monday I ran a bunch of errands, one of them was getting the car radio replaced because it simply stopped working right before I attempted my longish trip home from my friend Sandra. I had to sing to myself for almost 3 hours, it was rather horrific. The good news is that this radio problem seems to be common with this type of car so the replacement was free and I could spend the money on chocolate.
In the afternoon I once again visited my grandmother in the hospital. Fun with old people, I will spare you the rest.
And finally in the evening we had more authentic Chinese food, this time cooked by my long time friend MaRui whom my other friend Berthold fell in love with when she was our videographer (camera woman) on our second trip to China in 1998, and consequently married and moved to a real suburb (!) in Germany. They have two kids so we usually visit them rather than go out, and each time we do MaRui makes us dine like kings. I’m back in August, I can’t wait…
The kids were asleep already, they had ignored the German pleas to brush their teeth for the longest time but when MaRui switched to Chinese there were no more discussions… who said German is a commanding language?