Last night, we took an American friend from our of town to Peking Garden for dinner. One of those must-go touristy restaurants in Hong Kong (even though it is not really “Hong Kong” food, but hey we are a multi-cultural hodgepodge!), complete with a side show performance of making hand-pulled noodles. Despite being a “touristy” restaurant though, the food is pretty good. As a local, I find myself going there quite often. As he expounded on the best places to have peking duck in Beijing (I personally prefer the peking duck at Peking Garden, Hong Kong because I think they’re less oily), I thought he was a pretty Chinese savvy American.
When the performance started, I was only mildly surprised when he got up and started taking pictures (or was it videos?) using his Blackberry. Even I occasionally like to stare at the performance and wonder how they make such fine noodles without a knife, and why the dough doesn’t break from the stretching. Afterwards, we offered to order a bowl of the noodles for him to try, but he refused. I assumed he knew what it was, and didn’t care much for it. So when the waitress came around with a sample of the noodle dough from the performance for each table, and he immediately reached over for it, I thought he was just very eagered to play with it. But lo and behold, he very quickly stuffed it into his mouth!
Once we recovered from our momentary shock, we immediately told him to stop and that what he was trying to eat was raw! Uncooked! It just never occured to me that someone would not know what it is. It’s like… the Chinese version of freshly made pasta. One does not eat uncooked pasta! There were lots of flour used in the performance. Surely that was obvious? Even from just the picture I randomly grabbed off the net (above), it is obvious it is dough, no? Who eats something so man handled just like that?
Maybe it’s because I’m Chinese and I already have a preconcieved notion of what it is. The same thing would probably happen to me if I were to have …. Ethiopian food or something. But being PC aside, it was definitely had a good laugh 😛