My sister isn’t one for Asian cuisine. The most she’ll “do” is sushi and even then she “must be in the mood”.
If you push her, she’ll back away. I learned my lesson during her last visit to Melbourne. I took her to Chin Chin and Mamak and, without a hint of desperation, begged her to try the food. She denied at first. And tried to cancel plans. But it was a group thing and everyone else agreed so she was suckered in. At Chin Chin she only tried a bite of the calamari before setting it aside to focus on her cocktail. I kept an eye on her. When she also set aside the fried chicken at Mamak I couldn’t hold it in.
I stood up and whispered loudly, “You try this mee goreng and you try it now!”.
“But I don’t want it.”
“You have a mental block. You haven’t even tried .”
“It scares me.”
“Listen! We are in my city, at my favorite Malaysian Restaurant – you will try it and you will like it.”
She sat down, tried it, love it, moved to Australia and we lived happily ever after.
Okay no. It didn’t happen that way. I gave her my best stink eye from across the table but she got her way – as little sisters do – and left for the US without the fiery love of Asian cuisine I wished to instil in her.
Before her recent trip to Melbourne, on a viber call to schedule our eating outings she requested that no Asian restaurants be included. I said that was fine as long as we went to the Night Noodle Markets.
“Noodles?” she asked.
“Not just noodles – that’s only the name. It’s a outdoor food festival near the city with decorations and a nice view and music and drinks and you’ll love it. It only happens once a year! N2 Gelato and Gelato Messina will be there and there’s much more seating than at Smorgasburg.”
“Okay fine! That sounds like fun!”
It’s hard to not be wooed by the Night Noodle Markets, especially on a warm afternoon when the cotton candy sky is going down over the city skyline and as fairy lights start shimmering. The Asian food frightened her but the ambiance lured her in! I advised she eat something simple: a fried rice, a steamed bun, etc. The group dispersed and everyone was left to their own devices.
Eat the Chicken’s pineapple fried rice was calling my name. When we gathered back at the table she was the only one without food. Nerves got the best of her, she couldn’t perform. She took some time to regroup before going out again. She was offered a try of everyone’s dishes but she declined – she would do this on her own. After a sip of beer, she marched on.
Five minutes later she came back with a pork floss doughnut thing. Yes, a pork floss doughnut. I tried to pretend like I really wanted some but couldn’t. I was scared of it. The texture and look of the pork floss is out of my comfort zone. I thought she was self sabotaging – order the most unappetising thing at the market and they won’t make you eat it.
When I started to accuse her I realized she was actually eating it. With a smile on her face. She loved it and I couldn’t believe it.
Maybe I’m the one who has the problem with Asian Cuisine.