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.