When westerners visit Chinese restaurants, the idea of a ‘secret’ menu that only Chinese people get is a common one – and on my last visit to Hong Kong I finally encountered one, on the popular tourist island of Cheung Chau.
After wandering along the waterfront, we chose one of the many restaurants and sat down at our table. My Dad and my extended family all took the Chinese menus, while myself and the rest of my family from Australia took the English version.
What ensued was what normally happens my family goes out to eat at Chinese restaurant back in Australia – my Dad points out something on the Chinese menu, the rest of us can’t find it on the English menu, so I ask him to point it out, we finally find it, and then repeat for every other dish. However this time there was a difference – the two menus had different prices on them!
When it finally came time to order, my Dad ended up having the following discussion with the waiter – in Cantonese of course:
- Dad: So we’ll have dishes [X], [Y] and [Z].
- Waiter: Okay then.
- Dad: And by the way, I noticed that the prices on the English menu were higher.
- Waiter: Ah, yes, the servings for the English menu are bigger, that’s why they’re different.
- Dad: I don’t care what size they are, just don’t charge me the higher price!