Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Kickin' It Old School at the Wing Hing

An entry by my husband, Jason:

Chinese restaurants have terrific names. As a "Westerner" they amuse me, so I have to wonder if these names are comical to the Asians as well. Or are they traditional restaurant names like Joe's Cafe or McDonalds. We ate at the Wing Hing today, and yesterday there was speak of the Hung Phat restaurant in Ottawa. Again, are these normal Chinese eatery names, or do they have a good laugh at our expense? Anyways, in case you haven't been to the "Hing", it is an all you can eat buffet. For those who have never been to an "all you can eat" here are the basic principals:

1. You sit down and someone takes your drink order. They have wine, although who would be caught dead drinking wine in a place that has paper napkins?

2. They say "enjoy your meal". They can't say anything meal specific either, I mean, you could be there for the whole buffet, or maybe you are just there to eat $6.75 in ice cream or sweet and sour chicken.

3. You have to leave your table to get the food. Poor ladies always have to stay behind or go first. You don't want to leave your purse unattended in a place like this, again the paper napkins.

4. The buffet has traditional Chinese food kept warm by traditional Chinese heating lamps. Now I want it to be clear that not everything you will see in this buffet comes from old world China. They have pork, egg rolls, and fried rice, but I can't imagine little Asian families in their homes cooking pizza and cut up hot dogs. I think they take a few liberties in the whole buffet concept. Who knows, maybe it keeps the kids happy?

5. Word of caution, the plates are not regular size. They are sized to make sure you don't take too much food. The trick here is to stack your food, egg rolls make a good base and always finish off with veggies on the top, they're light. I say stack because they try to discourage you from going to the buffet too many times. After two plates, they usually ask if you want coffee or tea, that's the Chinese signal for "are you done yet?"

6. The bill comes, do you tip? That's for you to decide....

Those are the rules you need to have a fine dining experience, I have to go now though, I'm hungry again.

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