Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Yuu Chinese, Malta

A restaurant review with no actual food!

Being obsessed with Chinese food back home, I was curious to see what their Maltese counterparts were like. I was craving succulent aubergine, chunky tofu and full bodied Szechuan- I wasn't being too hasty and getting my hot 'n' sour hopes up though! I spotted Yuu in St Julian's and thought I would give it a whirl. However, this turned out to be a complete disaster.

On the entrance stairs, a young Chinese girl was scrubbing the steps like a little slavegirl, creating a very bad first impression. My rumbling tum foolishly ignored the warning signs. Upon seeing us, she shouted something in her native tongue, sounding quite panicked and on entering the restaurant, it was empty apart from three shady-looking Oriental guys in suits, not eating but just drinking tea. The manageress/owner was sitting with the men, dressed up to the nines but with a calculating glint in her eye. Dare I say it, she reminded me of a 'madam'. She was extremely rude to us and barked 'what do you want?' (I thought it was a restaurant, not a private function!). She barked at her son in their language to find us a table, he looked equally shifty yet scared of Mum, ensuring we were sat as far away from the dodgy dudes as possible.

'The special is duck', he growled. 'Get the duck'. Sounds ominous, I thought, thinking of the ducks in the local Botanic Garden and fearing for their lives.

The menu was a poorly constructed folder of scribble, cheap printouts, hastily bound together like a much-hated school project. I chose a 'vegetarian soup' (no elaborate description) and 'Braised Aubergines in Piquant Sauce' (sounded similar to a dish in my beloved Edinburgh Wing Sing Inn.

15 minutes passed and the young boy came over full of apologies. Here is the shocking conversation that ensued.

Him: I'm sorry, I have just looked at the aubergine we have and the chef doesn't think it looks very nice to serve. It's a bit...old. We can do you an alternative, we have found some cabbage that we can fry with oyster sauce.

Me: What? No aubergine. I don't eat oyster sauce. Are there no other veg you have apart from cabbage as that is not really a meal?

Him: What would you like? We can try and make it. Cabbage? Lettuce?

Me: How about mixed veg in a spicy sauce as the aubergines were meant to come in a spicy sauce anyway? Or black bean? szechuan? sweet n sour?

Him: we only have oyster or we can give you a plain sauce and a pot of chilli on the table to season your own. And cabbage and lettuce. I can fry cabbage and lettuce in plain sauce.

Me: no thanks, that's not a meal, I'll pay for the drinks and go. Thanks.

(the bill gets paid)

Her the 'madam' : (barking) WHAT'S WRONG? HAVE YOU GOT A PROBLEM?

Me: Yes, there's no food

Her and Him: (a lot of Chinese swearing and no goodbye)

I fled Malta's answer to the set of Pulp Fiction and made my way down the street, not looking back.

People, please be warned. Environmental health, please take note of the rotting vegetables.

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