Two evenings ago Anil called me up to say that he wanted me & Madhu to come out for some dinner as he has been having a craving for some real Chinese food. He seems to like the food at Chiyang, which is very close my apartment but for two reasons I do not like to go there 1) It’s really hot and I wanted to go to a place which has an air condition and 2) both Madhu & I do not like the food in Chiyang!
So I said ok as long as Madhu & I get to choose the restaurant (which would have anyplace other than Chiyang. We decided to meet up at Barista Cafe and then find a place. I told them that I could leave the office at 6 pm and would meet them there. However, since both of them left their respective offices at around 4pm, they were hanging out at Barista for quite a while and at 6 pm they called me up to say that they were heading out to get a beer and asked me to meet up with them at the Menaka bus stop. I was delayed for a few more minutes at the office due to some issue and hence was a bit late.
A little after 7:30 pm, I met the two idiots at Menaka, after I stopped at an ATM to get some cash. We stood there at the bus stop and bickered like 3 school girls over where to go for some dinner. As Madhu & I had vetoed Chiyang, Anil kept bringing up some other ideas for places to eat. Finally we decided to head out to Chinese Garden in Pallimukku and we hailed an auto and made our way there.
Now, I hadn’t been to this restaurant since 1994-95 but it used to be a favourite family restaurant for us when I was growing up. I can remember quite a few dinners with my family, cousins, uncles & aunts. The last time I was here was when I was 18 or 19 with an older childhood friend who treated me to lunch. So I was looking forward to going there for dinner. However, I’m amazed that they had an appalling flooring. It looked like it hadn’t been fixed since the 1980s and there were loose gravel and pieces of what felt like pebbles to me – couldn’t make out as they keep the lights at a minimum.
So we sat down at a corner table and looked over the menu. Anil and I were a bit disappointed to learn that they had stopped serving beer at their establishment since the last 14 months – apparently things got a little out of hand a few times and the owners decided to stop stocking up beer as they wanted it to remain a family restaurant. Anyways, atleast we really like their red lanterns that they had all over the place. We decided to start with Sweet Corn Crab soup and happy to state that they were really good.
Next we ordered two bowls of egg noodles and 1 bowl of egg fried rice along with two bowls of chilly prawns and 1 chilly fish. I must say that their food was really good, especially the noodles and the prawns, which turned out to be these huge tiger prawns. We ate and talked for a while and the food was reasonably priced. The downside was the water – they served us cold mineral water and charged ys Rs.40 for the two bottles they served at our table! What the fuck! Charging us for water is the lowest of the low. I mean, yes I understand that it is bottled mineral water but we just asked for water and not the pretentious & pompous bottle stuff.
Once the meal was done, we walked for a bit in the general South part of M G Road as Anil was looking for a bus that would take him to Thrissur where he stays. He managed to get a ride on a Greyhound that was headed for Coimbatore after a little bit of haggling – the owner said that they only take on passengers who want to alight at Coimbatore but the bus driver agreed to do an under the counter agreement with Anil and drop him off at Thrissur. Once Anil was safely in, Madhu and I got into an auto and after he got off at Menaka where he had left his bike, I went on home.