There are many memorable meals which come to mind.
But one I remember with particular clarity, is a meal in a Chinese Restaurant, with 2 friends, a husband & wife. I really liked the wife, but was less than impressed with the husband. He was somewhat of a loudmouth. I say was. He has passed away, though not from eating mustard.
The husband had been taken to this particular Restaurant by his boss. He was insistent that we try it, & assured us the food was very good.
So we put on the glad rags, & got gussied up, & off we went. And the Restaurant was nicely decorated, & the waiters very attentive. We looked at the menus. We chose wine to drink while we made our choices for dishes.
Our friend was insistant that we try a particular dish, of Prawns & Mustard. I had never thought of mustard as being a Chinese sort of condiment or seasoning, but our friend assured us it was a wonderful dish.
He did the ordering, & kept stressing, loudly & insistantly,
The Entrees duly arrived, & we sampled them all. Then the main dishes began to arrive, & as is our custom we all share the meals. Our friend's wife decided to try the Prawns & Mustard. She is a woman of small stature, with large blue eyes, & white hair.
She took a mouthful, & proceeded to have a siezure of sorts. Her blue eyes bugged right out of her head, & tears sprouted down her cheeks. Her pretty white hair stood on end! I honestly thought she was going to die, & watched in horror, as she clutched her neck, & tried to breathe. Her hands clawed out in pleading motions, & she grabbed her wine, & tried to get enough breath to take a sip.
Her husband was laughing like a hyena, & I dont think he realised how close she came to dying. She finally managed to get her breath back, but was unable to speak for several minutes. We had summoned a waiter, & asked for water.
Finally the wife was able to speak. She was shocked & horrified. She told us the mustard had almost killed her, it was so strong. She had thought her head was going to explode, & could not get a breath. We could see that she had almost expired.
We risked a sampling of the dish. It was horrible. Mustard is unlike Chilli. It is not so much the heat of it, as the sharp tang, & it goes straight up the back of your nose, & almost blows the sinuses out of your very head. I like mustard. I rather like hot mustard. But this was just inedible.
I swear I heard sniggering from the direction of the kitchen.
I felt all the staff had been lurking behind the curtain, waiting to see the reaction once we tasted the dish. I think they were a little disappointed it had not been our loudmouthed friend who had taken first taste.I was disappointed he had not been first to taste. I never quite forgave him for that.
We don't get to eat out so much these days. We still like our Chinese food. But would never choose a mustard dish. Not that I can remember seeing one on any other Chinese Restaurant Menu.
Chris Izaak, I Wonder