Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A small green thing......

...... immediately caught my eye the other evening in my New Favourite Muslim.

It was sitting atop the dish of spicy fried green beans I'd ordered. I thought - hoped - at first that it might have been part of the dish, some innocuous vegetable detritus: a piece of stalk, perhaps, or some of the fibrous lining of the beanpod.

But no, it wasn't. It was a little caterpillar. It was at least dead. In fact, it was deep-fried to perfection. Perhaps it was intended as a garnish?

No, I did not eat it. One has to draw the line somewhere. I have been modestly adventurous in my eating out here - daring to try scorpion, snake, and jellyfish tentacles - but one has to draw a line somewhere, and on Sunday I drew mine at accidentally crisped caterpillars.

I set the demised creepy-crawly aside, and tucked into my beans with barely a moment's pause. I had thought briefly of trying to bring the matter to the laoban's attention, but what, really, would have been the point? I'm sure he would have just laughed, and failed to appreciate that anything was amiss. Ah, China.

And it's still my favourite local restaurant, even if it is a bit shit in some ways.

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