by Angel Chu
Well hi everyone! I'm baaaaaack!! America was amazing, if a little uncomfortable at times, but that's travel for you. I caught up with Kitty and Lily and all my girlfriends and went to Souk, by Chaoyang Park, for dinner nearly as soon as I got back.
Souk is amazing. It's built up a reputation over time and the management and staff are certainly taking advantage of it. They know what their customers want better than the customers themselves. At least, I guess that's why they've removed more than half the items from their old menu.
It didn't start that well when I went there, or so I thought. One of my dinner companions explained three times which of the options he wanted with his order and the waitresses still brought the wrong one. Nine mistakes in fifteen minutes later and having had to wait the better part of an hour for one unchallenging order, all cooked to what my untrained palate took to be a mediocre standard, I wasn't too happy.
Then I saw the bill and realised that Souk must be a top-flight establishment after all. Why, the price of the basic house red alone indicates that this place could be operating in London, New York or any first world city. Suddenly I realised that they'd presented the bland food with its limp salad in a deliberately unprepossessing way - a calculated cold shoulder to the overblown aesthetics of so many modern eateries. A return to minimalism, you might say.
Also, a cursory glance around at the clientele, both Chinese and foreign showed me that the prices were well worth it to share in the Mediterranean cool and ambience that Souk so effectively produces. There were at least three different languages being spoken around the various tables, young office types flying by the seat of their pants with no real qualifications in the exciting world of Chinese trade, lounging on the badly designed furniture. They were intellectually daring, making their thoughts known on subjects with which they had only a passing familiarity. I mean, come on, if that's not cool, maybe they're all just aging losers who are wasting their time here.
Just goes to show you can't always rely on your first impressions or opinions.