Yesterday was Rekha`s birthday. Phew! Am glad it is over – was on my toes the whole day.
As part of the winding up process, I was forced to have dinner at the Wang`s Kitchen (in Velachery). Chinese has never been my cup of tea, though I have heard they serve the best tea.
An Indian opened the door for me. He was dark and had a huge mustache. He did not look Chinese to me. Since when did the Chinese start wearing tika on their forehead?
“Rekha, are we at the right restaurant?”
“Yeah, I have checked. But why do you ask?”
“Just wanted to be sure before we entered. Coz this guy doesn`t seem like a Chinese to me,” I clarified.
She nodded. In my eight months of marriage I have realized that it means she is in the snob mode.
Once inside, we saw some red danglers hanging from the roof and some red, intricately designed dragon free-falls hanging from the walls. I knew this was Oriental, thanks to my taste for Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan movies. Besides that, there was nothing else.
“What is so Chinese about this place?” I ask Rekha.
“Didn`t you read the name outside? Didn`t it say ‘Wang`s Kitchen – Delightfully Chinese`.”
I did not say another word and we took our table. The problem with these restaurant guys is, the moment they see Rekha and I enter they think we will want to spend the next two hours coochi-cooing in a corner. And invariably, all the guys give us a two-seater in the corner. They don`t realize that when you come out with your wife…you just want to finish your dinner and get the hell out of there.
The menu arrived. I was a little scared. I did not know Chinese…and I knew Rekha did not either. How were we going to converse? Maybe..we could point at the item on the Menu. And take our thumb to our lips, whenever we wanted water. What about napkins? How would we indicate that we wanted new plates? Spoon? …it was a crucible out there.
“Sir, what will you have?”
I looked at Rekha, “That`s not Chinese!”
Rekha pointed at the front page of the Menu and said: “Check it out here…it says ‘Wang`s Kitchen – Delightfully Chinese`.”
I looked around, and realized all the waiters from either from Kerala or Tamil Nadu. As if somebody had warned the Restaurant Administration and a Kerala-Tamil Nadu couple would be coming in to dine. I knew I was being fooled.
I turned away upset and left Rekha to deal with the impersonator. Shortly, our food arrived. I am quite a foodie, but when the whole World gangs up and tries to fool you …there is little you can eat.
If you thought I turned away some good quality Chinese food…I tell you the food they gave us could have been from any of these countries – Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Mangolia, Taiwan, Laos, Philipines, Vietnam – but not from China.
BTW, Rekha had a gala time. And that is what mattered to her.