We have a favorite restaurant for lunchtime dim sum and they never disappoint. Although, I must say that after a few years we have found ourselves in the Rut of Favorites. Not that the RoF is a bad place to be, it's just the nagging feeling that we're missing something very tasty that's not currently in the rut. We need to widen the rut.
Sometimes we do that deliberately. Like the time we ordered the Sausage with Rice that turned out to be this little glass bowl full of sweet rice, Chinese sausage and "bits." Very tasty, but very tedious to eat with chopsticks! Then there was the "grey paste" and I don't even remember if it had a name, although our waitress cast us a glance and said, ominously, "Are you sure?" We should have taken the hint and answered, "No, we are not sure. Perhaps we would better have the pork egg rolls, yes?"
Sometimes we do it by accident. This happens because when you order dim sum you fill out a questionnaire that has all the selections on it and you mark a number next to the one you want. All the selections are numbered. Of course, each number has the dim sum clearly described so there's no confusion unless the customer is blind or illiterate. Or careless.
I'll pick Door Number 3 for "strange food," Alex!
That was me today. I meant to order "crystal shrimp dumplings" and when the guy pushed his cart to our table with the pan of dim sum it was anything but crystal shrimp dumplings.
Nope, it looked for all the world like "parts." As in "from parts unknown." Mind you, there was a perky slice of jalapeño perched on top of the parts, but, really, it didn't look to happy sitting there. Doing its best to be perky, though.
We said, "No. Not crystal shrimp. Not our order."
Minutes later our patient waitress came by with the "parts" and our original order. Sure enough I had marked "parts" with a big, blue "1" and I noticed that the delectable non-parts crystal shrimp dumplings were exactly one line below.
Well, the rule is to accept responsibility and that's what I did. Did I want to change the order, yep I did, but did I change the order, nope I didn't. I ordered parts and we were going to eat parts. Honor the perky pepper I say!
"Parts" turned out to be "pork bone and gristle in spicy black bean sauce." True there were a few black beans swimming in a little sauce supervised by the perky pepper. And in the middle of the sauce was a collection of "parts" that only a veterinarian would appreciate. If there was anything to eat amongst, in or around the "parts" it eluded me. But, not deterred, I picked through the parts and did my best to nibble on whatever part of the animal (who knows what animal) this was. I must admit the flavor was good and a little spicy thanks to the perky pepper. In fact, KUDOS to the Perky Pepper!
After we were done gnashing on the parts our waitress came by and asked us how the "parts" were and we told her truthfully, "tasty."
The lesson hopefully learned is to double check the order next time. But, you know, we've never tried chicken feet and they are located right below our favorite chive pancakes.
Too soon, though, too soon.