For all those people who either actually know me, or have actually read my blog in the past (Hugs!!!), there is one thing that might, just might, be a teensy weensy bit apparent by now.
I’m interested in food. Like… it does hold a bit of importance in my life. Like…my life might just revolve around it, you know…just a teensy weensy lil bit.
So the food I have does tend to alter and determine my moods, my actions, and sometimes life altering decisions.
So there happen to be a few rules, a few theories revolving around different food items in my life. The Chopsuey Theory is one very important one among them. Now I can’t go into details about it…its really top secret, and I am still waiting for the patent to come in…but it has held true these past twenty three years, and deserves due respect. And recently, to pay my respects, I have embarked upon a Chopsuey Challenge.
The challenge is simple.
Random tiny Chinese restaurants.
One American Chopsuey.
And so it began.
Location: Celebration (Authentic Chinese Restaurant, Lokhandwala Market)
Order: Pepper Chicken, American Chopsuey, Pepsi
Time Taken: Torturous
And I kid you not. I thought my watch had stopped. All time and matter stood still, not even a slight ruffle in the chicken’s feathers as it faced its last few moments in a kitchen somewhere. That’s how long it took. But there was a very valid explanation for it, as I will soon let you know.
The place was nice, the way a Chinese restaurant should be. Because in my experience, the best Chinese is not the Bercos, Golden Dragons and Five Spices of the world…even though I love all those as well. There’s something about sitting in a small, brightly lit chinki* family run restaurant, with one Chinese fan adorned on the wall to make it look more authentic and a little stained menu with at least two price revisions scratched out with a pen…it just makes the experience…well…an experience. And the food’s usually good, to boot.
So I placed my order, and waited with bated breath. And waited. And waited some more. Just when all the oxygen of my before mentioned bated breath had run out and stars were popping before my eyes, I spotted the reason for the delay. Some ten packets of home delivery.
Oh well, the food came.
I tasted the chopsuey. The crunchy sweet orangy chopsuey. I opened my mouth to comment on the taste, but the conversation on the next table proved to be rather distracting.
Two women with extremely painted and botoxed faces (I swear they couldn’t smile even if they wanted to) walked in and were greeted rather warmly by the waiter.
“Ok, show us the photos.”
The waiter eagerly bowed, ran in and came back with his fancy phone. He then showed them some photos in a rather conspiratory manner. They nodded at each other and smiled (or at least I think that’s what the frozen face muscles were trying to do).
“Oh, they’re cute!”
“They have been with me since they were babies. I have taken really good care of them.”
Awww…his little adopted chinki kids.
“They’ll adjust to our home well.”
Huh? Suddenly my full attention was with them. Lil cute chinki slave traders.
“So once we take them, do we need to give them cooked food? Or just raw food would do?”
“No no…don’t bother cooking. Just make sure you give them enough water throughout the day. That’s enough for them.”
“So your final price is 8000? Nothing less?”
Nods. Looks exchanged. Handshake.
The price of a lil cute chinki kid = Rs. 8000 wonly.
“Don’t worry…they’re very well trained. They won’t take flight.”
“Yes…I really love pets…and I think birds are perfect.”
Ok…so you knew what that conversation was about right from the beginning. But believe you me, when you’re sitting in that tiny restaurant, starved by the wait, hogging away on crunchy chopsuey, your mind does take you in weird random directions.
Well, it did come late. And for some weird reason there was no egg on it. But it was perfect.
It was just the right amount of crispy.
It was just the right amount of sweetness.
It adhered to the right gravy to noodles ratio.
And the noodles were broken just the right size.
It was really worth the wait.
P.S. It might be important to mention here that the birdie negotiations were being handled by the waiter…erm…the sole waiter. So for half an hour, all orders, all payments and all requests of each and every person in that restaurant (read: three tables) came to a standstill. After all, the raw food eating birds’ futures were at stake.
P.P.S. 8000 bucks for birds? Really??? You know the amount I can shop in that much?!?
*I hate the word ‘chinki’. I know its racist and derogatory. But I’m hoping I’ll be excused here on the pretext of creative liberties.