I just spent an extended weekend in Brisbane, my State’s capital and before my sea change, my own hometown. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been surprised at my antipathy to visiting since my departure almost two years ago. Indeed, my only two visits in the last year have been for birthday celebrations – my (MUCH OLDER!) brother’s 50th in March and this past weekend for my niece’s 18th.
Both sets of grandparents and yours truly were invited to share a family celebration and when I asked my niece what was planned I almost fainted with joy.
“We’re going to the crab shop,” she said.
I initially thought she was toying with my vulnerable emotions, but no… indeed we were to go to the crab shop.
Of course it’s not really called ‘the crab shop’, but it’s a chinese restaurant her parents and I frequented WAY before her birth. And, when they lived nearby it was my niece’s favourite haunt. We still torture regale her (endlessly) with stories of her taking her fishing rod when she was a youngster – to catch some of the crabs or other sea creatures dwelling in the restaurant’s tanks.
The restaurant (the Pine and Bamboo) has been in Cannon Hill for yonks. It hasn’t changed a lot in the over 20+ years we’ve been visiting, it’s popular and renowned for its Peking Duck.
In 11 or so years I had back in Brisbane after returning from overseas ‘the crab shop’ was my favourite takeaway. When my niece was little and had sleepovers, we always dined there and it was an easy ‘family birthday dinner’ option for me each year.
After being diagnosed as coeliac I was relieved my favourite dish (satay beef) was gluten-free and therefore still devour-able. Of course spring rolls, steamed dim sims and the like were off the agenda, but… I was just happy I could still partake in the place’s delights.
Indeed, I’m a creature of habit so whenever I called I’d just give my name and they’d know what my order would be. Plus… I got a ‘regulars’ 10% discount!
And then I moved.
Although I’ve found a local Thai place I’m yet to find a chinese restaurant / takeaway which can cater to my coeliac requirements (ie. use GF soy sauce, oyster sauce and corn flour for eg) and meet my lofty taste expectations. (Actually that’s not true… I’m not that fussy – just something ‘authentic’ would be nice!)
Dining there for Miss Em’s birthday on the weekend reminded me of how much I’ve missed the food. I did ponder whether I could afford 52 takeaways and the freezer space to allocate myself one a week, but the two takeaways I ordered to take back to Hervey Bay disappeared before we even left Brisbane so…. (Moderation is not my friend!)
As we were dining I mentioned that it was my first chinese food in two years and it occurred to me – while I complain about the lack of options locally – I haven’t exactly trawled the chinese restaurants of Hervey Bay looking for a replacement for
the love of my life my old fave. Could it be that I’m *ahem* a little stuck in my ways and not open to trying something new? Or perhaps I’m apathetic and it seems just too hard to start from scratch; ringing around or visiting and asking about GF options before some taste testing?
I’m a big advocate of change and hate when people whinge about something without trying to change it themselves, and yet…. here I am – doing exactly that. But… having again broken my chinese food cherry, I’m gonna make it my mission to find a new takeaway option locally. I know I know… my goals should be less lofty – world peace and all of that… but I might as well launch into the biggies straight away.
Are you resistant to trying new things and stuck in your ways like moi?
Most importantly, can you understand my need to find a decent Chinese restaurant / takeaway?
I’m linking up with Essentially Jess today for IBOT.