Saturday, 3 March 2012

EATING OUT: Royal China

The Chinese are famous for having well over a third of the global population, they are famous for building a huge wall which happens to be the only man-made object distinguishable from outer space, they are famous for various flu's that somehow have close ties to swine and poultry, they are famous for ridiculous ideals which are more misunderstood than they are really ridiculous. They are however not famous for vegetarian dishes. So here I was on a date trying desperately trying to impress as I chose what looked like a classy restaurant, quite randomly on a night out. This particular eatery featured a reception that resembled the Chinese immigration and border control desk. The question was this, would they serve some good vegetarian dishes or had I just ventured down a dead end alley?

Was I ever so wrong? They had some vegetarian dishes indeed and I must say I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it beyond comprehension that to this day I wonder about some of what I tasted on that day. I started the evening with some vegetarian spring rolls and vegetarian spicy dumplings. At this point I started to chuckle on the inside as I realised that almost every restaurant would have veggie alternatives as it were. The dumplings were fantastic and the spring rolls were gob-smashingly crunchy with a manner of vegetables that should speak praises of their engineer (the chefs name is probably Xu Li). The vegetarian spring rolls were distinctly reminiscent of their full protein flesh cousins. I had to double check that they were indeed vegetarian.

The defining point of this meal was the imaginatively titled "shaolin monk vegetables". Honestly I am not ashamed to admit that as I bit through this delightful casserole, I closed my eyes and imagined myself as one of the wise meditating monks in the Tibetan mountains in full robe attire. There where all sorts of greens in this dish including ones I was tasting for the very first time despite having known them for ages but just maintained I would never bring myself to it.

They had a vegetarian duck which I found out was made from a bean curd and whilst I’m not sure I agree I did find it quite tasty. I found it so tasty; I left my plate looking like this.

Because the service was brilliant (I think it impresses any woman you’re eating out with) and their “Chinese” red wine, well for lack of a better word, amazing; I will give this particular diner an 8 out of 10. It would have been a perfect 10 were it not for what I found to be borderline exorbitant pricing. Broke student issues aside this establishment is well and truly a few minutes spent munching on the green of Mongolia…(possible failed attempt at being dramatic)