Kashgar and Spaghetti Bolognese

Recently, thanks to one very observant visitor, we discovered the mystery to our spaghetti bolognese dilemma. Our cafe serves authentic western food, the ultimate favorite among Kashgar residents is our pizza. Next to pizza, people in Kashgar like to order our spaghetti bolognese. It didn’t really come as a surprise to us, since tomatoes are readily found in Kashgar. In the very common local dish, lagman, tomatoes and peppers are often stir-fried with other veggies and served on top of noodles. So spaghetti bolognese somewhat resembles what they’re used to. And as we have found residents of Kashgar are most comfortable with what they’re used too.

At our western cafe we discovered that our spaghetti often came back uneaten. Time and time again the western dish would be ordered by a local, and when they were done we realized that they had barely touched the dish! Was it that they just weren’t use to western food? It didn’t seem likely, after all that’s why they chose to have dinner at a western cafe! We were puzzled.

Giving us some encouragement one couple from Australia enjoyed our bolognese and commented “we never expected that we’d find the most authentic spaghetti in China…in Kashgar!”

Then the light came when one insightful German visitor casually said “you know, one time I was watching a Chinese lady eat spaghetti with a fork, and I was so surprised to see, she couldn’t do it! The sauce and pasta were going everywhere. Someone needed to give her chopsticks! She just didn’t know how to eat pasta with a fork!” We didn’t think of offering chopsticks to our customers! Of course we have them in our cafe, but we assumed customers would ask if they were uncomfortable with a fork. The comment made by our German visitor made us realize that for many of our local Kashgar customers, it was their first time eating at a western restaurant. They were probably too embarrassed to ask for chopsticks.

The next plate of spaghetti was ordered two days ago, we gave him both chopsticks and a fork and spoon. The result? The entire plate of The Gallery Cafe’s spaghetti was devoured. When he came down to pay, we could see that he was still licking his lips. To our relief, this Kashgar resident had thoroughly enjoyed his meal.

Note: This article contributed to our blog from Gallery Cafe in Kashgar when they left from Kashgar middle of  last summer 2011. We missed Gallery Cafe!

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply