Extreme Dining

A lot of restaurants in China are clean and the food is prepared quite safely. However, it’s sometimes tough to tell the clean restaurant from the cockroach-infested ones, and if you like going out to small, cheap restaurants, you have to build a mental armor and, shall we say, lower your sanitation standards. Case in point :

Last Wednesday, after a very long day, three colleagues and myself go out to a Japanese noodle restaurant near the studio. It’s not particularly classy, but they have good dumplings and decent noodles.

While we wait for our order, a young Chinese girl, sitting not far from us, and with a clear view on the kitchen, suddenly gasps loudly, and sounds terribly upset. She quickly gathers her things, and walks out.

My colleagues and I are puzzled and slightly worried, naturally. Then one of my colleagues shrugs, and recounts an experience he had on a recent trip to Cambodia. “I saw a live rat in a restaurant. Not a mouse; a rat. The tail was about six inch long. I’m not kidding.”

We all wowed and shook our heads, and patiently waited for our meals, without making any further case of what could have scared a customer away.

How’s that for mental armor? Now that I think on it, though, I’m not sure I’ll be going back.

About Daniel Roy

Daniel is a writer, backpack foodie, slow traveler, and endurance runner. He is the author of the upcoming book, "The Way of Slow Travel: A Hands-On Guide to the Best Travel of Your Life."

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