abcdefg Posted August 3, 2013 at 07:59 AM Report Share Posted August 3, 2013 at 07:59 AM These little fast food eateries/kuaican dian/快餐店 may be one of China's best kept dining secrets. I've found them in all parts of the country, but seldom seen them written up. I just returned from another excellent, filling and well-balanced 10 Yuan lunch at one not far from where I live, here in Kunming. Over the last three weeks or so, two of these places opened right next door to each other and have been battling it out for market share, to the delight of us small fry consumers. I have been living large for 10 Yuan per meal, sometimes patronizing one and sometimes the other. Each is trying to win repeat business by serving the freshest and choicest ingredients and the most generous portions. They are on a small street behind a 好友多 (Trust-Mart) department store, around the corner from Friendship Inn/友谊宾馆, and just across from the Pan Long Quarter 盘龙区 fire station on Small Dragon Street/ 小龙路。 The way these places work is that they cook up several vegetable dishes 素菜 and several dishes with meat 荤菜 and you pay for a selection of each. They are usually just open for lunch. I have been splurging my 10 Yuan on a 三素/三荤 combination, which means I get to select three of each. You can pay less and get less items. You can point to things if you don't know how to say them. All choices are accompanied by a bottomless dish of rice (free refill) and some clear soup 清汤 plus a small dish 碟子 of small 泡菜/pickled vegetables, mainly cabbage. Today I had 四季豆/green beans, 茄子/egg plant, and stewed 冬瓜 squash as my vegetable items; and 青椒炒肉片/pork slices with spicy green peppers, 竹笋炒肉丝/pork slivers with bamboo shoots, and chicken cubes 宫保鸡丁 as my meat items. It made for quite a nice feast. I try to arrive early, because there's always a line consisting of workers on their lunch hours and the place only has about eight tables. It's a family operation: Mom serves the food; Dad scoops out rice from a big wooden tub, and two kids of about 10 or 12 clear away dishes the minute people finish their chow. Today some diners wore yellow construction worker hard hats, some wore uniforms from a bottled water delivery service, three girls were wearing white lab coats from a nearby pharmacy. As I finished, two 保安/security guards squeezed into my spot at the table. There are often a couple of local elderly/老人 chowing down on what may well be their main meal of the day, which strikes me as a sensible plan. 4 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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