Search This Blog

Saturday, January 28, 2017


The business card to a special level of Chinese Hell.

I just got back from the single worst dining experience of my life. Allow me to elucidate:
Feeling the call of Saturday dim sum, ErynDennis, and myself made our way to Chinatown, anticipating seating at the fabulous Jing Fong. What all of us failed to remember, however, is that it's Chinese New Year, so the place was so packed by the time when we arrived — around 11am — that some of the massive crowd had been waiting for an hour simply to get a shot at a seat, and the place simply stopped letting people in. Undaunted, we figured "any port in a storm," and after a couple of false starts we found ourselves at a joint called Ken's Asian Taste and were seated downstairs. 
When we arrived, the downstairs area was packed but there was an empty table near the kitchen, so that's where we ended up. We were the only non-Chinese in the place and the majority of the staff spoke little or no English, but I was able to place an order for a few items from the dim sum menu, plus a Coke. Before my friends could order straight entrees, the lady who took my order vanished, never to return, and we waited for a number of short eternities before a visibly annoyed waitress came by with random dim sum items of wildly varying desirability. We made do with a handful of those selections, mainly subsisting on so-so crystal shrimp dumplings and pork gyoza, and I'm glad we ate that stuff because the items I ordered never showed up, not even the Coke. Dennis eventually ordered the seafood lo mein, and when it finally arrived it was below the quality of what one would receive at the shoddiest of local hole-in-the-wall takeout joints.
Time crawled by as I awaited my order and my friends half-heartedly attempted to choke down their order, and every once in a while the disgruntled waitress might drop by to offer us dim sum items that were clearly the afterthoughts of what had been served upstairs. I asked for a Coke two more times, saw the order jotted down, and yet nothing ever showed. After over a half hour of waiting for anything that I'd ordered, I asked where my order was, pointing out the sticky rice that was offered o the menu. The waitress did not understand me, so she called over the disinterested waiter and asked him what I was indicating. When he twigged that I was talking about the sticky rice, he shook his head and firmly stated "No more." If I had not asked, I could have sat there all fucking day waiting for rice that would never come.
Though we tried to make the best of it, it was apparent to all that we were getting the "Fuck you, gweilos" treatment and that the excursion was a complete and utter bust, so we asked for the check. We were considerably over-charged for the amount and quality of what we ordered, but we were just glad to get the hell out of there and make on more attempt at getting into Jing Fong. Alas, when we got there we were informed that the place was simply too crowded, so they'd cut off admittance entirely. Defeated, we made our way back to Brooklyn...where the first thing I did was buy myself a goddamned Coke!