Back in the late 60s, when I was working for Jane and John at B&L Jewelers in Germantown, they would take me out to dinner.
We always went to the China Girl Restaurant in Downtown Dayton. It’s gone now…just like every thing else in Downtown Dayton.
Later on the restaurant moved out on Salem Avenue. That didn’t last either. Times, places, businesses change.
But, the China Girl was my first introduction to Chinese food. I was hooked immediately.
Jane always ordered for us. And we usually had a dish called Wor Shu Gai.
It is really a Cantonese dish, and I’ve been searching for a restaurant that makes it since I left Dayton in 1978.
That’s a long, long time.
Wor Shu Gai is a chicken dish, whole boneless chicken breasts breaded and deep fried.
It’s like Southern Fried Chinese Chicken over rice.
And it was great.
Oh, I’ve searched and searched for a place that makes it, and every waiter in the hundreds of restaurants I’ve tried tells me they have it and then brings a totally different dish.
Well, it happened again last week. Never mind the traffic, driving all the way to Chamblee to a ‘real’ Cantonese restaurant, never mind me that the person assured me they had Wor Shu Gai, never mind that my mouth had been watering all day in anticipation…well, just never mind.
They brought, again, a TOTALLY different dish!
Oh, I’ve found recipes on the web, in cook books, and sure I could make it, but really, it’s a comfort food – one that’s become an obsession – it’s a memory of good times with friends and mentors who cared for me and tried to broaden my horizons a bit – and making it, which I’m sure I could do, just isn’t in the plan.
I know it’s out there, after all, I found a picture of it! But where?
I want the right dish, in the right place, with the right atmosphere.
Frankly, I don’t think I stand a Chinaman’s chance of finding it.