I’ve had an interesting few days following my parents all over Manchester’s Chinatown.
And for two days (well, evenings) I have followed them to two main kinds of places:
– Chinese restaurants. Before the last couple of days, I had no real idea where the good places to eat in Chinatown were, beyond the vague reputation that Yang Sing has. After this, following my parents, I have deduced that an awful lot of Chinese people prefer to eat outside Chinatown, in restaurants conveniently placed above Chinese supermarkets. Places like Tai Pan, Tai Wu or Glamorous.
While all three of them are just like eating in a Hong Kong restaurant – down to the excellent food, trolleys serving dim sum/yum cha and standoff-ish service – Glamorous just has to be seen to be believed. It’s a mixture between Hong Kong cuisine and Blackpool glamour. Anyone with an allergy to neon lighting – and fish tanks full of live lobsters and crabs – should steer clear.
– But by far, the most popular place appears to be the local casino near Chinatown. My Dad has spent a good few years there and I’d always imagined it to be almost akin to Las Vegas in its setting – why else would you want to spend till 3am in there?
But I got there and it was just a run of slot machines (which my parents would occupy), bored croupiers watching Chinese men throwing down 50-quid notes as if it was paper on the roulette table and the Chinese equivalent of Granny from The Kumars at 42 flirting with another blonde croupier on the blackjack table.
It was highly amusing watching my Dad walk around the casino showing me the cool bits. Such as the FREE tea, coffee and soft drinks. My eye was more on the free Chinese cakes that were being handed out around the casino, although you were supposed to tip the waitress.
Having said that, I managed to win £40 on the virtual roulette table. While my Dad was content to sink money into the slot machine all night.