The following guest article, was submitted by Richard Brody, aka Mee Rich Yee. The Chinese Quest welcomes original articles pertaining to the Chinese dining experience. Your article should pertain to Chinese restaurants, Chinese food, etc. For more information, please contact us.
About a year ago, my close friend of over 41 years, Andy, and I decided we would embark upon a great adventure to Scotland, where we could combine our curiosity, historical inquisitiveness, and probably, most significantly, our deep appreciation for Scotch Whisky (note: There is no ‘e’ in Scotch whisky). Andy found this great trip that specialized in all of these endeavors, and in retrospect, they truly outdid our best expectations (for your information, that company’s name is Scholarly Sojourns). There were only 15 in the group, and we visited over 17 distilleries, took courses about whisky, visited nearly the entire country, had over 100 expressions (that’s the proper way those Scots in the know about their whisky refer to having different types of drinks), visited three castles, took the two hour ferry from the mainland to Islay (known to me now as the land of the Peat), visited numerous Lochs and even took a boat ride on one (Loch is Scottish for lake), plus several whisky pairing dinners, drew our own cask samples, and even blended our own unique single malt blend (from casks from one distillery). If I believed in a Bucket List, this would have to be included!
We stayed in several different hotels and inns during our recent 10 day stay. Two evenings were spent at a magnificent converted mansion in Elgin, and it was there that I merged cultures between Scot and my personal go-to food type! That’s right, one night in Elgin, we had to find somewhere for dinner on our own, which, in and of itself, can be somewhat challenging in this small, but beautiful hamlet.
We ventured on a stroll, and after finding most places closed, stumbled upon a rather innocuous sign that said Chinese restaurant. We entered, not anticipating much, and found a rather plain looking, very quiet restaurant. They had a menu that had a choice between selecting a la carte, or opting for their Buffet. Since I am not generally a buffet fan, this was not that pleasing to me, and somewhat confusing, since there was no Buffet table or area. It turned out that this buffet merely meant that it was all-inclusive for 16.95 Pounds Sterling (about $24 inclusive). We could select as many appetizers as we wished (they listed about 15), a soup of our choice (from 6 different options), and as many entrees as we’d eat (more than 75 to choose from). Then we could choose a dessert from about 6 options. Interestingly enough, each dish ended up being made-to-order, fresh and quite tasty, and each of the three of us on this little adventure, were quite pleased with our choices. It was a filling, tasteful meal, and while not necessarily the best one I ever had, nor one that I might travel a great distance to visit, was a good, easy, convenient meal. For some strange reason, while I was eating, I kept thinking that the Mee’s of the Chinese Quest, would be proud of my selection and finding a Chinese restaurant in such a small hamlet in Scotland.
So, what is the moral of this story? Maybe it’s when in Scotland, do as the Mee’s would do, and find some Chinese food. Or, perhaps, when you drink a lot of whisky, you want Chinese food even more. Or, probably, there’s no particular moral to this story, but I figured, it would make an entertaining article. But that’s merely Mee opinion!
–Mee Rich Yee nee Richard Brody