Tuesday, September 4

Eating Out.

Eating out used to be such a pleasure, when we were younger. We would go to different Restaurants, with a group of friends, usually 4 to 8, & we would do the 3 course meal routine. Unless we were too full for desert, of course.

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, brayingin that stupid way some people do, when they think the person may not speak perfect English, to the waiter, that he wanted the Prawns & Mustard, & he seemed to harp on about it. The waiter looked a little puzzled but assured our friend the dish would be served.

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


Lee said...

I haven't seen mustard served with Chinese before either. More Indian I would have thought. Certainly the strong mustards are dynamite, though I like the gentle seeded ones.

Catalyst said...

Hot (Chinese) mustard on the side as a dipping sauce for egg rolls but in an entree? I don't think so. Did the S.O.B. every try his and what was his reaction?

meggie said...

Lee, I have never seen it again. We love the seeded mustard too.
Cat, The SOB claimed to have eaten it with his boss. It was a main dish, & the mustard was not a dipping sauce, it had been included in the meal.

anne bebbington said...

Shame that one back-fired - and got the wife instead of the deserving party - bet you never bothered going out for a meal with them again, can't say I've ever seen mustard on a chinese menu - it always seems quintissentially French to me

bluemountainsmary said...

Oh buggar it I really wanted the husband to get the mustard. J can always tell when I am eavesdropping as I get a very fixed smile on my face - esp if we are out to dinner - almost as good as people watching!

Hann said...

Poor lady, it sounds like wusabi that comes with Sushi, I can't even smell that and starts to "cry" LOL.
We are 50/50 when it comes to Chinese food, some times it's good and other times it's very oily :-(

joyce said...

I love Chinese food but that mustard dish would have been the death of me. I can't eat hot food without coughing. I wonder if the staff would have been laughing if she had expired?

fifi said...

I love chinese food: the proper sort, dumplings and so on. YUM!! But prawns and mustard-ew.
it must have been a kind of wasabi, so horrid and burny? I wished the loudmouth ha eaten it first.
There is a guy who eats at the little chinese near here, he is exactly the same, like he has an invisible megaphone on. he bellows at everybody, such an attention seeker!

Thimbleanna said...

Oooh, ick. I hate that chinese mustard. But what of your "Perfection" tease from the last post? Inquiring minds want to know....

T*mmy said...

Hi...I'm here from Ancient One's place...I saw you in comments and thought I would stop by.

The man you decribed sounds so much like my FIL but he and his irritating ways is still with us!

Last summer I had my first bite of Chinese "General Tso" chicken...there were red peppers in there that I mistook for bell peppers...I had my first ever "hot flash" and it wasn't funny, so I sympathize with your friend!

I've enjoyed reading several of your entries...you have a great blog here!

Ian Lidster said...

Once went to an Indian restaurant with my sister in law and husband. He professed to be a connoisseur of Indian cuisine, and when asked if we wanted mild, medium or strong curry, he immediately opted for the strong. Not to be outdone, I went in the same direction. To say it was fiery was to state the case mildly. At one point I slopped some sauce on my trouser leg. It literally blistered my skin.
Great story.

sheoflittlebrain said...

Out here in the wild, wild west it's a contest of who can eat the hottest chili pepper and still live to breathe again.
I've had the hot mustard in a Chinese resturant too, but only as a condiment. A little goes a long way!

ancient one said...

I don't like "hot" on too many things. I can just feel for the wife trying to catch her breath. Terrible Joke! (by staff or husband?)

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

What a cruel sense of humor. That's appalling behavior, I hope you didn't have to pay for that near-lethal dish.

meggie said...

Hi All,
I think the worst thing about it was watching that Galah braying with laughter, while his poor wife was on fire. I dont know how she stayed with him. Her parents loathed him. Gom & I were so horrified.
I also agree, the staff had no right to serve a dish like that, even if he did ask for it.

jellyhead said...

Good grief, the poor woman! What a horrid man she was married to.

meggie said...

Jelly, my mother detested him! We took her out to dinner with them when she came of visit. Mum had the utmost admiration for the wife for her tolerance. He was a geniune 'Ocker Pr!ck.' The wife didn't drink alcolhol as a rule, so her husband used her as the 'designated driver'....then proceeded to criticise her driving. Prat!!.