“Do you have a reservation?” was the abrupt question in broken English mixed with a strong Chinese accent.
“Uh, no,” I replied meekly.
“Then you can go sit in the corner!”
The 4 of us shuffled slowly, heads down to our designated seated area in the He Sheng Chinese restaurant that sits on the edge of The Artum Centre on Main Rd, Sea Point. We sat down wearily and silently, afraid to speak or giggle in case we got scolded by the Sergeant Major type restaurant owner.
This restaurant has a reputation for serving the best Dim Sum in the world – give or take a few restaurants in a few countries around the world. Not that we cared as we were here to carbo load after an afternoon of intense, extreme-competition-driven…putt putt!
The story of Helene-Marie and my eating experience in restaurants that line Sea Point Main Rd continues and this time includes good friends – Caroline and Louis – who had challenged us to a game of putt-putt.
The very first shot…not putt, of the game, set the tone for the level of enthusiasm between the 2 couples. It cleared the whole of the 1st green and slammed into the ankle of an unsuspecting 8- year old who was probably dreaming of winning a future US Open Championship. It was a shot that Tiger Woods would have been proud of if it was a 300-meter tree-lined fairway at Augusta and not a mini-golf course in a suburb, and yes, we just avoided a lawsuit. Gifted ice-creams can do that to calm the screams of a wounded child whose dreams were
shattered by a shiny red trajectory. Not much more to say except all shots thereafter trickled gently along the carpeted greens, as we had no more money to pay for ice cream bribes.
It was a brutal game with the lead changing many times. I now understand why golfers have caddies. It’s quite something for a 30…40… ok 50-year-old to carry 1 club around a course of 18 holes while walking all of 200 meters in total. I think I actually broke into a sweat. Oi vey, my heart. But it doesn’t end there. There are many obstacles, water traps, and slopes that challenge the waning mental faculties adding anguish, self-doubt and hunger pangs before every putt. I would have killed for a whiskey-filled hip flask. God, I love putt-putt, especially when I’m winning – which I didn’t. The end result equaled the groups tying – saving the friendship.
After the 1-hour physical workout that is mini-golf, the 3 vegetarians and I, the 1 carnivore, all suffering from low blood sugar struggled to decide what to order off the menu. Besides the Dim Sum which was a definite, everything on the menu looked blurry, but that could have been from post extreme sports exertion, exhaustion. Taking the initiative I leaned over to the couple sitting next to us to inquire what they were eating. The response was short and curt. I think I interrupted his marriage proposal.
The owner who is actually very friendly and describes herself as the “everything” in the restaurant meaning – owner, hostess, waitress, and I think the chef, helped us out.
“You’ll have, spring onion pancakes, egg roll cakes, and veggie Dim Sum.”
We added some stir-fried greens.
Slurping on beer, and sipping on Jasmine tea, we took in the eatery.
No elevator music playing in the background with just a gentle murmuring drifting from the local and Chinese patrons who were filling up the place. The seats are comfortable too.
The food arrived quickly, Louis and I tucking in hungrily-the women politely.
And it was fantastic. Sure we would have eaten anything appreciatively after our marathon cardio workout – but this Asian tuck is light, tasty and interesting. Go China!
The 4 of us poked chopsticks into the 4 dishes before us – like we knew what we were doing. As there was no rice we managed to feed ourselves without making too much mess. The dishes filling but leaving enough space for ice cream later.
There are many Asian restaurants lining Sea Point Main road, offering group specials to the tourists filing out of the packed coaches that consume the limited parking bays. He Sheng is intimate enough, allowing us to park right outside so that we didn’t have to drag our weary legs too far.
Are the Dim Sums the best in the world?
They’re to die for Dahling!!!
But my suggestion is to try them yourselves.
If you want to relive a childhood memory of being sent to the corner – don’t book. But if you want to eat later you’d better make a reservation first.