I am one of those people who enjoys eating cereal for dinner…not eyeballs. Tonight, I had Special K and a banana and loved every bite. Everyone always ask me if I love the food here in China. For a “foodie”, China would be paradise. For a non-foodie like me, it’s challenging. But not only do I really, really not like eating weird stuff, I get sick so easily. So, travelling all the time, I am constantly invited to go to business dinners where I get to watch but not eat the food because I know, without a doubt, that if I do try it, I’ll be projectile vomiting into the nearest potted plant like that unfortunate airport incident that haunts me to this day. So. Not. Pretty.
Thus, one general rule I embrace is that if the entrée is staring me down, I’ll stare right back at it but no way in Hell is that going into my mouth. Mmmmm…..eyeball juice. So at a recent fancy business dinner, I was lucky enough to have not just one course giving me the stink “eye” but several different ones, all attractively presented but all with eyes. DAMN. Amazing how those little eyes pop out when boiled..ughhhh! At a beautiful restaurant with great service, we were offered a “set” menu to choose from with five options. Since all reflected selections were not my cup of tea, I let my dinner mate pick my menu and I gave him my food when he finished his selections. I appreciated the smoke emoting from one of the dishes and the bark/coral/flower decorations. Fancy! Now slap that on a turkey on whole wheat bread with tomato and mayo and I’m in.
The poor wait staff was so concerned with my lack of embracing their cuisine that, while they had informed me earlier that they only served bottles of wine and not just a glass, they took pity on me and brought me a glass of Cabernet to enjoy. Bring that lady some alcohol! Then, maybe, just maybe, she’ll eat our food. Sorry but no amount of wine gets me eating eyeballs but I appreciated the thought. So, between everything either having eyes or being raw, I ended up with an all liquid dinner. My first course was sake followed by a carafe of iced spice punch with a Cabernet chaser. Not bad but damn I was hungry. I even sampled the dessert out of desperation but it was hot red beans with taro ice cream-pretty presentation but it tasted like putty.
Finally, after consuming my lovely liquid trio, I got to leave and try to navigate an unfamiliar subway station to find my way home, all alone, late at night. Surprisingly, I actually made it home in one piece with no damage and didn’t get lost at all. First stop at home…enjoying a boring raisin roll and a glass of milk because I was starving. YUM. Good Times in Shanghai!