The Daily Diary of a Wandering Restaurateur
When a restaurant serves seafood, it is always alive and swimming before it is cooked. Some of the tank arrays are pretty elaborate.
We saw a lot of the hot pot style of cooking. You select what you want to eat, toss it in the pot and stop when you are full. They were very big on plate presentation, even though the guest was doing most of the work. Meals seemed to be invariably accompanied by copious quantities of Chinese beer!
Labor did not seem to be a big concern. There were always three or four women at the door. All restaurants had a main dining room of varying size, but the unique feature (by US standards) was dozens of private dining rooms. The Chinese do not entertain at home, so restaurants become the place to get together with friends and family. Many of the larger PDRs have karaoke systems ... very popular here. If I can do it, anyone can ... including Marv and Miao ... before they knew they were going to be an "item"
Another popular cook-your-own format was the in-table barbecue. This was common in Korean restaurants (where dog was always a menu choice).
Restaurants in the city tended to be large, multi-level affairs.
Get outside of the city and the restaurants became a lot more basic. Here is an example of real "down home" dining. You walked through the first building to get to the second, where we ate.
But no matter where we ate, there was always a lot of food ... and plenty of beer!
© 2002 Restaurant Doctor