Friday, January 11, 2013

Culinary Shock! LING NAM

Hi! How you doing?
Have you ever had a favourite restaurant where the food and price is fabulous, but the service and staff are ridiculously bad ass?
Well let me introduce you to “LING NAM” the place for great food but bad services. It’s in the heart of Melbourne's CBD - China Town, the owners and staff here are mostly Chinese (from Hong Kong to be exact), they speak multiple languages ie. Vietnamese and Mandarin but mostly Cantonese (its one of those blunt heavy dialect, they sound as if they are swearing all the time – no offence to Cantonese people, hence you’d find them rude, that’s just part of their culture). Waiters are quick on their toes in Hong Kong, from once you sit down (they expect you to know what you want in 5mins), after ordering the first dish, it should not take longer than 15mins to come out. You see, to them time is money, its valuable, so they become pushy, you come in (its rare to have a meet and greet session and “what’s on the special menu tonight” kinda convo) and you finish with a full stomach having everything served to you as ordered, that’s a job well done on their behalf. 
Do you know why there are so many Asians who eat here? It’s because Crown Casino is an Asian filled place located near the CBD, once these gamblers are done at Crown they feast at LING NAM, it’s the norm (regular habit they tend to do), they become regulars and hence the staff doesn’t really care about new or old customers. Who else would know what’s good and what’s bad Chinese food, but the creators themselves – THE CHINESE! So it must be good food to be filled with Asians and customers for a very long period of time.

A few years back they were caught out by the food hygiene council, they re-opened again after they cleaned up their mess (lets hope they stay that way)
TIP: if you like Chinese/ Asian food, find Chinese/Asian friends to recommend you a place to dine, Italian food (find Italian people for tips), Greek Food (find Greek people to ask)… so on and so forth.
Don’t expect much from them, you are just there to eat their food, and it’s GREAT FOOD for the price you pay.

Lets get into the dishes I usually order (from the top of my head without the menu - yes I'm a regular here) majority are all good to the taste buds, not too salty not too sweet:

Ling Nam sign at the front door
 Lobster with XO Sauce

 Pipis in XO Sauce - gotta order extra Chinese Fried Doughnut to dip into that sauce
 Steamed Oysters with XO Sauce
 Live Fresh Water Shrimp/Prawns from their tank fastly deep fried with Salt and Pepper - its cruel to eat this because the prawns are still alive before being thrown into the frying pan, but theirs nothing like fresh prawn, its amazing (my favourite). They charge per pound, I think its $60/$80 per pound depending on the season.
 Crab & Shark Fin Soup. I prefer their sweet and sour soup (didn't eat it this time so couldn't take a photo for this post)
Mud Crab in XO Sauce... YES WE LOVE OUR XO (and its not a alcohol)
I hope I didn’t offend anyone =) It’s just a cultural shock to see such rudeness in a culinary context (but it's actually really normal), do you know of other cultural behaviours that are not normal to the majority of our population? Feel free to comment.
Enjoy the rest of your days… ladies and gents stay beautiful, healthy, wealthy and wise
xox take care :)

Ling Nam on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with anything above, everything on my blog is my honest opinions, so I am not being paid or given free products to review or promote. My opinions are of personal experience and thoughts, so feel free to comment if you agree or disagree so I can also learn more from you.

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