I don’t mean a big lunch that necessitates a belt-loosening. I mean a lunch that makes you feel like a monster.
Cafe de Coral (which I was always mispronouncing as corral, probably because of the feeding frenzy), a Hong Kong-based fast food chain with outlets here, offers a delicious and fat-dripping roasted chicken lunch—a whole, beautiful, reddish-gold skinned chicken– for RMB 35 (about $5). It comes sitting pretty and sizzling in a basket, the paper doily underneath tantalizingly translucent. It also comes with two plastic gloves, a half-cob of corn, and a drink. It should come with a Patrick Bateman axe-murderer ensemble, or at least a bib and some screens for the people next to you.
Ripping into this is all kinds of guilty pleasures, but you must be careful lest a patch of skin be catapulted through the air, hitting anyone who is unluckily sitting next to you. And there’s always someone next to you in this place at lunch. Airplane manners–and I mean cattle class—are the order of the day.
I crave this sometimes. Not just the food but the act–the brutality of it. I feel like grunting. It’s food to be eaten naked. It’s regressive, eating this or foods which declare their animal origins outright. Wile E. Coyote found out you can’t tofu your way to a whole chicken (well, he had sand, but it’s about the same). Oddly, but thank Godly, for here, it doesn’t come with the head or the feet.
It’s satisfying on so many levels.