I went to my usual Saturday night dinner with J. We tried a Chinese restaurant that we haven’t eaten in awhile. It was packed and they squeezed us in one of the 2 remaining tables. Nearby was a table of 12 with a ton of food and wine on the table. The folks were toasting each other regularly. A few of the guys were already red faced. We got through our soup and waited for the first dish. The service slowed down considerably. The big table was still having fun toasting each other but one person was starting to slow down. After awhile, another person had his head down on the table. Our first dish shows up with my beloved bowl of white rice.
After we were almost with the first dish, we waited for the 2nd dish. All the tables around us are looking for the serving staff. A couple of tables got up to get hot water to refill their teapots. The big table has slowed down their drinking but people were still filling each other glasses. The guys paired up to go to the washroom as they had to support each other. One person stumbled on another table knocking over a chair. The only sober person on the table helped his friend get back to his feet and offered apologies. 4 other people were slumped over on the table. One guy held his head in his hands.
Our last dish eventually shows up. It’s a steamed sea bass in sweet soy sauce with green onions. The meat has been separated out prior to steaming. The meat was so tender and it wasn’t over cooked. It was worth the wait.
By the time we’re finished, the big table is leaving. Most stagger off in pairs again. The sober guy kept going back and forth helping his friends. The last guy took about 20 minutes before he could stand up. As they were leaving, the waitress came by with their last dishes … noodles and rice. She looked at them and put them in styrofoam containers.
Those guys wasted their night. They probably don’t even remember what their meal was like. I don’t have a problem with people drinking too much. But seeing so much food not being appreciated and wine left over on the table was disappointing. They were out to celebrate some event. This morning, most will just remember the hang over. But I remember that yummy fish meal very well.