November 28, 2018

Food for Thought

This restaurant has received a lot of mixed reviews, so, I was a bit wary of going there but two other restaurants we tried to go to were closed. To be safe, I ordered what @wendalicious888 ordered: Whole Fish with Hot Bean Sauce and Dry Sautéed Tangy Crispy Beef, as well as the sesame noodles they are famous for. They were all good. The photo of the beef is missing because my friend @springmanstefan is blissfully unaware of the protocol of food Instagrammers; he was too hungry to wait.

Speaking of protocol, I learned something interesting from their service. They are not “bad” as in rude or inattentive waiters; they were awkward. It was clear that they meant well but were not experienced in the protocol of Western fine dining. Some, for instance, stood awkwardly by our table listening to our conversation. Our main waiter aggressively interrupted us as if he wanted to join our lively conversation, just to ask if we wanted more beer. In fact, I would have felt better if they had indeed joined us and eaten with us.

I realized it’s better to have no service at all if it’s not on point. In-between is awkward. Most of my favorite Chinese restaurants have no service to speak of. I can walk up to their refrigerator and grab a beer as if it’s my kitchen. They don’t care as long as I pay for it. A friend recently lamented that Chinese people don’t believe in forming lines while waiting, but I don’t mind it as long as I know that their protocol is no line. I just have to embrace the chaos. In fact, it’s more annoying to have countless, perplexing, often irrational, protocols like Japan does.

I would personally prefer that Hwa Yuan drop their attempt to adopt the white European protocol. I’m fine with grabbing my own beer.

#sichuanfood #chinatownnyc #nycfoodie #nycfood #chinesefood