Last Sunday we went to have a dinner in a Chinese restaurant called Dada. Yu had chosen this specific restaurant because he has been helping there every now and then. Yu wanted me to try some traditional Chinese food so he had made the order beforehand. I learned that not all dishes in Chinese restaurants menus are authentic Chinese food. Some dishes are modified to fit in our taste. Eating in Chinese restaurant can sometimes be challenging for a vegan. That is because “vegan” has different meaning in China. They usually tend to think that vegans can eat cheese, eggs or even fish. Basically, they think that vegan and vegetarian are same thing. But that kind of thinking is changing.
Usually when I am eating in Chinese restaurant I must ask if they have used fish sauce, oyster sauce or broth in the dish I am ordering, just to be sure that the food is suitable for my diet. Although Yu was aware of what I can and can’t eat and he had told the cook that I am vegan there was still some confusion and they put eggs in my portion. I’m quite used to that kind of hustle so it wasn’t a big deal for me. After all I had my vegan portion, it was delicious and that is only thing that counts.
During the dinner, we talked about differences between Chinese and Finnish food. We spoke a bit about farming, mostly how people grow rice. Yu told some basic things about regional differences relating to food. I learned that there are four different styles to cook dumplings. And we also talked how to make noodles.
This was quite relaxed meeting. We joked and laughed a lot and planned a bit our future meetings. I promised to Yu that I will invite him to dinner and make vegan food for him because he said that he has never eaten good vegan food. Challenge accepted!