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Bowwow chow chow in China

Published:Saturday | June 28, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

There are many streets in Songyuan, China, that are punctuated with restaurants serving local cuisines. While most of them offer reasonably priced barbecue, porridge, eggs and noodles, there is one that plates out dog, and dog only. A few days ago, I ventured inside to have a first-hand experience of their unusual entrees.

Overhead the cashier's counter were framed photographs of the restaurant's most delectable fares. From these, I was able to identify the prominent parts of a dog. The head was seemingly baked and honeyed over with a shimmering sauce.

The feet appeared barbecued and daintily embellished with shreds of lettuce. In addition to this, the meaty parts of the dog seemed to have been shredded and garnished with a dollop of exquisite sauce. There was also a dog pizza that looked equally delicious and tempting.

Of course, many people were seated and conversing in between mouthfuls of their succulent feast. Not wanting to appear odd, I joined the crowd and settled at a table close to the exit. Seconds later, I was warmly welcomed and served a menu card. The waitress waited patiently while I perused their offerings.

REASONABLY PRICED FOOD

Sweeping my eyes across the Chinese script, I saw the cheapest meal for JMD$224 (US$2) and the most expensive one for JMD$896 (US$8). I thought the price was quite reasonable and beamed at the waitress to convey my delight. I didn't want her to think I was wasting her time, so I took out my phone and clicked on the translation app. I typed 'chicken' and showed it to her.

As she tried to discern my request, I eyed the room furtively. At one table, I saw some persons drinking a bowl of dog soup. On the counter of another, I saw ground dog bones swimming in a watery brown sauce, and to the back of the room, I saw some men anxiously getting settled to enjoy the fare.

I quickly refocused and continued feigning interest. The waitress then indicated that she had no chicken, only dog meat. With that said, I smiled, waved goodbye and left the restaurant.

Moreover, an aroma from the kitchen was already wafting through the room, and I didn't want to be tempted.

Perhaps one day, I will be bold enough to try and live to tell the tale.

SHAWNA KAY

WILLIAMS

Songyuan, China

Shawna201@gmail.com