On Friday I had lunch at a Chinese restaurant down the street, as I often do when working in the city. I seriously need to improve my chopstick technique. Some of my Asian friends can pick up a pair of chopsticks and use them so easily to pick up even the smallest and most awkwardly shaped bits of food, with an accuracy of 1 millimetre or less.
I, meanwhile, fumble and silently curse the fact that if I give up and ask for a knife and fork, all my credibility as a hip urban groover appreciative of different cultures goes out the window. I figure if you ask for a knife and fork, you might as well pin on a Pauline Hanson badge. Normally I’m okay (just okay) with chopsticks, but Friday’s meal was particularly challenging, as the noodles stuck together like someone had dumped a load of superglue into the pot.
A couple of months ago we went to a Chinese restaurant in the suburbs. I suspect that unlike in the hip cosmopolitan city centre, they weren’t so used to western-looking people going in there, especially when they gave us knives and forks instead of chopsticks. The credibility points started racking up:
- for going in there in the first place
- for not ordering food for takeaway, so you could run away and eat it at home and chuck anything you didn’t like the look of into the bin without anybody seeing
- for asking for chopsticks
- for not using the chopsticks to distribute the food all over the table, but in fact getting a fair percentage into your mouth
- for eating the entirety of the meal
On the subject of food, I have to mention that for dessert last night I had some awesome figs in liquer, with King Island Dairy ricotta cheese and strawberries. Seriously, it was like a taste bud orgasm.