(One good sign that it is a Chinese restaurant is red lights and tang-lungs on the inside and on the outside. By the way, Chilly in Iran means Chinese)
From day 1 after we had arrived here, we have been looking for a cheap Chinese restaurant and thus far, we have been unsuccessful.
Some of our colleagues who have been in this part of the world had recommended us to visit one Chinese restaurant which is located about 2 kilometres walk from our apartment. But once we reached the place, we found the gates to the front doors were locked and no one on sight. At first, we thought we came on the wrong day or the wrong time (perhaps it was still too early). So we went to the same restaurant on different days and time and yet it was still closed.
We were unable to eat Chinese food but what the heck, we got plenty of exercises – just imagine 4 kilometres walk to and fro. One day we saw someone coming out of the restaurant – we asked and were informed that the restaurant was undergoing renovation and will be opening in 2 weeks time. Unfortunately, that 2 weeks was almost a month ago and the renovation is still undergoing. I guess it will take another 2 weeks from the time of writing this post for the ‘official’ reopening.
(It looks big on the photo but in reality, the servings are small and expensive)
So, we dropped our hopes for Chinese restaurant until one of the taxi drivers mentioned another in the city. But once again we had to abort the trip to that Chinese restaurant as we found that it will cost us at least USD35 for meals for each of us.
Last week, however, we got a breakthrough. One of our colleagues had found another ‘chilly’ restaurant and after a long tele-conversation, it was found that the price was very reasonable – about 20,000 Rial for a plate of fried rice.
With 4 of us who have decided to go and share out the cost, there were plenty of dishes that we were able to order. The restaurant was not easy to find for it was tucked away from the usually busy roads and given the roads were jammed, the taxi driver took some time to locate the restaurant and that too, after getting lost several times and had to stop and ask people.
(A close-up of all the dishes in one plate…my plate)
The restaurant, when we walked in, was empty with no one in sight except for the lonely restaurant manager. Later we found that we came too early to the restaurant for the crowd only came in when we about to leave after spending almost one hour in the restaurant. The manager remarked that the foreigners would usually come in early before the locals come in. Coming in early was also a blessing in disguise as the chef was not busy with other orders and had time to cook our dishes without any necessary rush (no half-cooked dishes were found).
Admittedly at the end of the day, the price of the dishes and the taste can never come close to what we have back home in Malaysia but it was a relieve to see something that we’re very familiar such as ‘taugeh’, ‘onion leave’, ‘noodles’ and etc.
At the end of the day, 3 bowls of different types of soup, 2 bowls of fried rice (with different ingredients), 2 plates of mixed vegetables, 2 plates of noodles with different ingredients and a free flow of green tea, cost us about 500,000 Rial for 4 of us.
(To be continued)