Rua Dr Seixas Maia, 15 – João Pessoa
Fronting the main road, the restaurant is well signposted and looks quite nice from the outside. It’s brightly lit and decorated in a red, black and white livery, standard for a Chinese restaurant here in João Pessoa. There is a huge, supervised car park to the right of the restaurant too. Plenty of yellow plastic “Skol” seats greet you at the main entrance like a reception committee. Just as well as no one welcomes you when you get in.
Once inside, the word TARDIS comes to mind; it doesn’t look so big from the outside but inside it takes on the dimensions of a bus garage. It’s clean but sparsely decorated with a few token Chinese decorations.
We found our own table but be careful not to take a seat under the air con. units as the water drips onto the table.
We ordered one meal for the four of us (two adults and two children). As we waited, I watched the waiters taking the food to the other tables. It was quite obscene; the plates were enormous and the food was stacked as high as possible. It looked quite comical almost like something out of the Dandy or Beano. That was nothing though to the size of the plate that was brought to our table. There was enough for at least eight people on one plate. It would take a lot to shock me but as the waiter made his way to our table, I just couldn’t accept he was going to put the plate on our table.
The look of horror on our faces amused him; he had obviously seen that same look on other faces too. He walked away, wiping his hands on his apron; oh heck where did he have his fingers on our plate? We couldn’t start; my good lady wife waved him over to confirm the portion size then asked him to reduce it by half. The whole thing is made more comical because the food is piled onto the plate right up to the edges. So when you try to get something off the plate, it starts to fall on the table. This accounted for the paper table clothes and for the reason a lot of tables had spilt food on them.
There was still an awful lot of food left over when we finished which we had bagged so we could give it to the traffic light boys.
The food is cheap, portions enormous. We saw one couple with what looked like a small canoe filled with food on their table and they were just mesmerised by it. So what about quality of the food. You have to ask yourself how a restaurant can provide such gigantic portions at such a low cost. I am pleased to say that our meal tasted OK and we suffered no ill effects the following day.
If you know of any big eaters, then this is definitely the place to go. Would I go there for a candlelight dinner for two? Not without a paddle.