I had suggested to Fahim about a week or so ago that I wanted to do something special for Christmas day. I suggested doing, instead of turkey and stuffing, chicken and stuffing. Turkeys are available here, but they’re expensive – 3000 Rupees or more ($30 USD) for a small turkey under 10 pounds. Hardly worth it. And I was talking about doing yams if we could find them – sweet potatoes are easy to find here but not yams – and cranberry sauce – again, if cranberries could be found, which I’m really doubting – and whatever else struck my fancy.
Fahim in all practicality said, uh, why go to all that bother? Why don’t we go out for lunch instead?
Huh. Okay. Why not?
So Fahim dearest went onto the internet and did a search for local restaurants. Phone books here are lacking. Shall I explain? I probably have already.
Every phone company puts out their own phone book. There are no central phone registries. So there are who the heck knows how many phone books? Makes it hard to find things.
We looked through the listings and we shortlisted it to a Muslim Halal Chinese restaurant – Eastern Dragon – or a Pakistani restaurant – that was my top choice – or . . . There were a few other choices, but I don’t remember them anymore, and it’s only two days later that I’m writing this. How sad. 🙁
Fahim called around, trying to find out things like hours and would they be open on Christmas Day. The only restaurant he could get ahold of was the Eastern Dragon – so, by default, that was where we ended up going.
We took a trishaw – the restaurant was in the general direction of the church. We arrived, we were seated, and they set the table. With plastic dishes. Placed by a trainee’s shaking hand. Under the stern eyes of his trainer and the head waiter.
The food was good, but not inspired. Unfortunately.
See, Fahim and I love – and I really mean LOVE – the Chinese food at the Flower Drum Chinese Restaurant. But it’s not Halal. Fahim used to think that as long as he stuck with the seafood dishes there, it would be okay, but the more he reads up on Halal foods and the practices in most restaurants, the more he concludes that there’s likely cross-contamination between Halal and non-Halal foods, and he just doesn’t want to take that risk.
Personally, I can understand it completely.
Unfortunately, the food at the Flower Drum is really really good. The food at the Eastern Dragon was merely good and uninspired. We’re going to have to hunt for Halal restaurants.
While we were there, my friend Estere called (Hi Estere!!!) and we chatted for a few minutes. It’s good to hear from friends from Canada. I miss talking to her and other friends and assorted relatives. Estere calling brought Canada closer to Sri Lanka.