Friday, December 7, 2012

Lemon Chicken

Last night we had dinner at Nesara, a restaurant on the IISc campus. We sat down, perused the menus we were given, and ordered some thalis. "No", the waiter said, "only Chinese food". OooooK. So we looked at the (short) Chinese menu and, with feeling of trepidation, ordered garlic chicken and lemon chicken.

Actually, Robert ordered the lemon chicken. I had ordered lemon chicken exactly once in my life, back when I was a college student in New Mexico. I got a pile of thickly breaded fried chicken lumps swimming in a sea of canned lemon pie filling. And somehow, it was even worse than that description makes it sound. From that time until last night, lemon chicken was dead to me.

Apparently I'd never told Robert that story. I didn't tell it to him last night either, because what we got was a plate of sliced chicken stir fried with green peppers and tons of garlic in a bright yellow, vaguely lemony, but not at all sweet sauce. It wasn't the most fantastic food, but it was perfectly fine, and more importantly Liel's delicate palate could handle it, because it was not at all spicy. Just in case you're the type, like me, who wants to hear about all the food, I'll add that the garlic chicken was delicious, and the jamun we ordered for dessert were the best I've ever had (including those we bought at a place in Queens that was declared to have the best jamun in the city).

I'll save the story of our day today for another blog post (soon!) and skip to tonight's dinner. This time we purposely went to a Chinese restaurant, mostly because there's one across the street from us, and it seemed more appetizing than our other across the street options (Pizza Hut, Subway, and a coffee shop called Cafe Coffee Day that has, hands down, the worst samosas I've ever encountered). At any rate, Chung Wah won the toss up tonight. We were all pretty tired, so after staring blankly at the menu for a while we ordered General Tao's chicken (a favorite with the kids), with pleas that it not be spicy, for the children. The waiter gave us a deeply disapproving look at this request, shook his sadly, and left.

The General Tao's chicken was, in fact, totally un-spicy. A little too un-spicy, honestly, but I couldn't fault them for that as they'd followed our instructions to a T.

But the lemon chicken. Oh, the lemon chicken.

It came on a plate, and you'll just have to try to picture it because we didn't bring a phone with us so there's no actual picture. A big plate, with 4 deep fried toast points on it. The deep fried toast points are surrounding a thick neon yellow puddle, with slight lumps that apparently indicate chicken. The whole thing is topped with sliced lemons, just so you know what you're getting. The sauce was so thick that when I prodded it with my spoon none of it actually came away on the spoon. I tried three times and finally managed to get a bit to taste. It tasted mostly of buttery cornstarch, which I guess is better than lemon pie filling, but not by much.

At this point I told Robert about the lemon chicken I'd had in Albuquerque and we agreed that henceforth there shall be no more lemon chicken in our lives, except maybe from Nesara if Liel really wants it.

So there you have: beware the lemon chicken!

1 comment:

Kristofer Young said...

Honey, I don't know why I never warned you about the lemon chicken. Bad parenting.