Monday, December 11, 2006

Too much MSG

Yesterday we had Eggs Benedict for brunch at Black Cherry, a bar near our flat. We tried to have it Saturday but we got up too late and by the time we got there it was 2:30 in the afternoon. (Black Cherry serves brunch till 1pm.) It is embarassing how difficult it is for me and Mr K-E to get there for 1pm, considering the place is only 10 minutes from our front door. Well, we managed to get there on Sunday and it was yum.

We were both feeling v lazy so we ordered a takeaway for dinner from our local Chinese restaurant. I won't name it here, for reasons which will soon become clear. We had squid in salt and chili, sweet and sour prawns, egg fried rice, singapore fried rice noodles (or bee hoon) and prawn crackers.

Delicious and good value, as there was more than enough food.

However, we then suffered all night with MSG-itis i.e. a raging thirst, tossing and turning all night in bed. Not good.

I don't know why some Chinese restaurants use so much MSG (monosodium glutamate) in their food. A little is OK; too much and you feel like you've just eaten a packet of salt. The problem is worst in the over-the-counter type takeaways, where they tend to use cheaper ingredients to control their prices. That's why I prefer going to restaurants, where the prices are higher but the food also tends to be better. But ugh, it seems my local restaurant in not immune. From now on, I'm sticking to the restaurants in Chinatown.

I have always been sceptical of people who say they don't eat in Chinese restaurants because they are allergic to MSG - after all, it is not only naturally occuring but also found in most prepared foods. Don't they eat crisps? Don't eat parmesan? Don't eat parma ham? Don't use stock cubes? Is it a thinly veiled criticism of the Chinese catering industry, and by extension, Chinese people? (OK, I can be prickly, I know that.)

This morning though, I'm feeling a bit more sympathetic. Maybe (like me last night), they've just been eating in the wrong restaurants.


baz said...

u shud try italian once in a while... that was my fav night outs in london when i was there in the early 1990s but its rather expensive :)

btw, hav u been to liverpool street and shepherds bush, i had to go there all the time before goin back to brunei to get my souvenirs and jaguars...

Katie-Ella said...

Baz: Yep, I've been to both those places; but unfortunately "no budget" for jaguars yet (both the cars and the animal)