Friday, June 17, 2011

Kowloon comes up with the dish in Saugus, Mass

You know, coming from NY with its Chinatown and a take out or eat in restaurants on every other block, Kowloon is a monstrosity on the side of Route 1.  It's scary.  It's huge.  It's stereotypical of every Polynesian 1960s restaurant looked like.  The parking lot probably can hold a hundred cars easy.  And the menu is just a large.  And there isn't one vegan marked dish on the menu.

It was the noisy last night of the Stanley Cup above the general din, (we got there after the Bruins clinched it), and we grabbed two seats at the bar.  When I looked through the menu I got that "chicken stock in the vegetable dishes" feeling.  I asked the bartender if he knew what a vegan was and his, "What?!" was a combination of puzzlement, (really, never heard the word vegan before ... ok), and annoyance, (another pain in the ass special needs diner mucking up an outstanding revenue stream.  I asked him where he was from and when the answer was "Hong Kong", (no, not Polynesia silly), I whipped out my VeggiePassport and laid some kanji on him.

Immediately defensive, he said the only thing was steamed veggies with soy sauce because how could they know if they used a powder or something if there was animal product or not.  OK, that's one of the most honest answers I have gotten ... to my knowledge.  So I went with the steamed veggies and when I asked if they could do fried rice, (somehow I forgot to ask for brown rice but seeing it on the menu would have jogged my memory.  I didn't see it), and he thought for a moment and said sure, no egg.

Here's the result which aside from some of the veggies tasting a bit canned, was pretty good.  Of course, slathering it with duck sauce, mustard, soy sauce and hot chili sauce helped!  And I must say the fried rice was "shovel in your face" good.  So this proves you can always find something.  Well almost always.

Standard steamed veggies with deep fried tofu.


scotlandprincess said...

Kowloons is a local institution, it's tackiness makes it awesome. (See all of Rte. 1.) I'll have to remember to order something like this when I go there.

Marty said...

Hi princess,

It certainly is an institution and a happenin' place to be. For us though, as interesting as it is to see the hundreds of celebrity pictures on the walls, the food is our backup backup. Steamed veggies, (sigh).

Some places just don't cater to our needs, have no interest in whether we eat there or not, no interest in our veto vote, and don't have a kitchen set up to make the 1 in a hundred special requests. That's ok. At places like this I eat my steamed veggies and plan on not coming back. My money won't effect their profitability at all.

But it certainly is an experience.

scotlandprincess said...

Sadly, the further into Massachusetts you get the more places are like that. (China Blossom, in North Andover Mass, is another place where you go for the history and atmosphere, but not the food -- even if you're not vegan/vegetarian.) And that's an improvement, in 1997 when I became a vegetarian it was hard to even get vegetarian food in Boston.