Saturday, 16 July 2011
Two faced restaurant
The decor certainly looked Japanese. They had the rice-paper screen thing going, and they were playing Japanese jazz on the stereo that sounded like a good imitation of Frank Sinatra. The menu had the usual sushi items, so we ordered shrimp tempura and a plate of 10 unagi (barbecue eel.)
The first hint was the tea. "Do they usually serve Chinese oolong at Japanese restaurants?" The next hint was the chef who came out of the back wearing a red cap and Tangzhuang jacket. When he spoke to our waitress he said, "Xie xie" (shay-shay) which means thank you in Mandarin.
So, the tempura was... ok. The batter was a bit greasy and tasted more like fish-n-chips batter than authentic tempura batter. Then the unagi. Generally when you order barbecue eel at a sushi bar, they serve it warm. This was kind of limp and room temperature and certainly didn't taste barbecued. All in all, the meal was mediocre and not very authentic.
The clue that put everything together was when I got up to use the restroom after the meal. When I walked to the rear of the restaurant I was surprised to see that it was linked with the back of another restaurant! This one had red wallpaper with auspicious symbols printed in gold, paper lanterns and Chinese style decor.
We had been duped into thinking we were eating at an authentic Japanese sushi restaurant. 10,000 Restaurant has a Janus-faced exterior: On one side of the block the shop front is a Chinese restaurant, on the other side of the block it's a Japanese sushi joint. Oh look, they're hiring too.