Monday, March 19, 2012

Why I Prefer Chinese Restaurants over Pakistani

In Toronto we are blessed to have such high quality Pakistani and Chinese restaurants, that too halal, in a major Western city. Over the last few years though, I find myself saying "Chinese" whenever someone asks my vote for a restaurant to go to. The other day I was at a Pakistani restaurant, and I found myself (much to The Wife's chagrin) mentally composing a blog post on why Pakistani restaurants suck and why Chinese restaurants rule.

Here's the top three reasons:

1. Where's the beef (or chicken, or lamb)?

I was at this Pakistani place and we ordered 'butter chicken'.


The dish cost something like $8 and there was 4 pieces of small boneless chicken in it, and the rest was the gravy. Yes, four. So, in essence, I paid $2 for each nugget-sized chicken piece.

Now compare this to what you get when you order a chilli chicken dish (around the same price - $8).



Not only do you get ALL THAT chicken, but most of the time they also give you a plate of rice to go with it!

2. No Tension Eating

The acute problem of portion sizes makes itself keenly felt when you are eating at a Pakistani restaurant. At one corner of your mind, you have to remind yourself that you have approximately x2 area of naan left. This has to go with y3 volume of butter chicken gravy remaining, divided by z number of people, so eat accordingly.

At a Chinese restaurant, you just eat. There's enough for everyone. Hell, there's enough for everyone PLUS you get to take some home AND have it for lunch at work the next day.

3. Chinese food is something different.

You see this food?


I have no idea what this is, but I know it's halal, and tasty. Pakistani food, well, while exotic, it's something I can make at home.

Yes, the taste may not exactly be the same, but Shaan Masala Zindabad. With that, you can make ANY thing. Chinese food, no matter how much you try, is good only in the restaurant. Plus, I did try to make chilli chicken at home once. It costs more to buy the meat and ingredients and factor in my labour cost than to just drive to the restaurant and order a take out (the concerns that raises might be a post for another day).

So, bottom line, why would I pay more, to eat less, of what I can make in my kitchen anyways? That's why I love Chinese restaurants.

14 comments:

Mamundo said...

Whats the best chinese place in town right now? Last time I was in toronto, my parents took me to this new place on Danforth, I think the names Hakka chopsticks. Anyways, with the falling standards at Lucky, Lin Garden, Wok with u etc, I found the quality of food at this place really good. Their Bombay chicken is really good, and even though I am a 'meat'atarian, my parents forced me to try a eggplant dish which was AWESOME!!! As for indian/paki places, yea I got the same thoughts as you, why go there when we can have better fresher quality at home.

Mamundo said...

Whats the best chinese place in town right now? Last time I was in toronto, my parents took me to this new place on Danforth, I think the names Hakka chopsticks. Anyways, with the falling standards at Lucky, Lin Garden, Wok with u etc, I found the quality of food at this place really good. Their Bombay chicken is really good, and even though I am a 'meat'atarian, my parents forced me to try a eggplant dish which was AWESOME!!! As for indian/paki places, yea I got the same thoughts as you, why go there when we can have better fresher quality at home.

Mamundo said...

Whats the best chinese place in town right now? Last time I was in toronto, my parents took me to this new place on Danforth, I think the names Hakka chopsticks. Anyways, with the falling standards at Lucky, Lin Garden, Wok with u etc, I found the quality of food at this place really good. Their Bombay chicken is really good, and even though I am a 'meat'atarian, my parents forced me to try a eggplant dish which was AWESOME!!! As for indian/paki places, yea I got the same thoughts as you, why go there when we can have better fresher quality at home.

Mamundo said...

Which place do you think is the best chinese place in toronto at the moment? The last time I was in toronto, my parents took me to this place on danforth, I think its called Hakka chopsticks. With the falling standards of Lucky, Lin Garden, Wok with u etc, I found the quality in this place really good. I will highly recommend their bombay chicken and even though I am a 'meat'atarian, my parents forced me to try this eggplant dish and it was amazing!! As for Indian/paki places, I have the same thoughts as you. Why go there when we get healthier and fresher food at home.

Azra said...

I read all that and all I can think about is how hungry I am :) That chilli chicken looks divine. I can't for the life of me understand why Asians always overdo the butter. There's more where that came from.

mezba said...

Mamun, I would say there's not one Chinese place that's good in ALL the dishes, but different dishes are good in different restaurants.

Personally, I like the haka chow mein and chilli chicken from Federicks, the Manchurian and ginger chicken from China Cottage, the rice dishes from Lucky's, the crispy beef from Bombay Chopsticks, the 3-meat noodle from Lin Garden.

If I have to take visitors and friends out, we usually go to China Cottage - has a nice setting and ambiance. My personal favourite comfort food (and my go-to place) is Federicks. But Lin Garden has really fallen in standards and I don't go there any more.

mezba said...

azra, it's 8.43 am in the morning as I am replying to these comments and already I cannot wait till lunch!

'liya said...

But Indian or Pakistani food just tastes better! Okay well I'm biased.. I really just don't like Chinese food :D

Safiyyah said...

Chinese food doesn't stay with you; Pakistani food does :)

mezba said...

Liya, you don't like Chinese food?!!! *gasp* *shock*

Safiyyah, I could eat Chinese food every day! :-)

'liya said...

Yup, can't stand it really :D

Now - if you're ever in Mississauga don't EVER go this tiny little place called Reyan (on Dundas) I just had a really bad experience there. It's a Middle Eastern falafel place. And I bought lentil soup and the guy didn't even fill my bowl halfway - so cheap!! I went back inside after to complain to him (nicely) and he was really rude so I informed him that he shouldn't have misleading advertising (in the picture it shows a full bowl of lentil soup and he told me that the special price didn't include a full bowl, what crap!). I will never go there again and now I'm determined to spread the word (and I was probably his best customer before too).

nadia said...

Liya, you don't like Chinese food?!!! *gasp* *shock*

Haha! I second that. She's probably the first person I know that does not like Chinese food.

There's one Chinese place here in the Dubai Internet City that I can't get enough of. Your points are valid, but there are times when you need to eat restaurant nihari, kababs or haleem, etc.

'liya said...

Yup just don't like it. Everyone is always surprised but actually my parents and siblings can't eat it as well. Just don't have the taste for it and maybe it runs in my family?

mezba said...

@Nadia, @Liya, I think my wife is sick of Chinese food because whenever she will ask me what do I want, the answer will be Chinese :-)