kinabolle - oslo, norway
Rating: 5 / 10
Based on the name alone I should have given this a hard, hard pass, but I was floating around town meeting up with old friends and certain decisions were not of my making. I reluctantly agreed, wanting to appease rather than to kick up the dust of stubborn routines. I walked the streets knowingly walking into a lions den that would rob me of money and leave me feeling wanton and lost.
At least the sun was out, partially improving my mood but not managing to quell the distinct fear brewing in my belly. My fears were not further relieved arriving, seeing the plates on other peoples tables, the menu and the set up in the kitchen. It reeked of inauthenticity. Like going to a place called Pasta Hut in Rome.
Neither of us had been here before so we both ordered different dishes, but in the forgetfullness of covid times, we realised that sharing from plates after having tasted your own was problematic. So the other plate was left to mysteries unsolved in the rubik's cube of lifes missed chances.
First off: the ordering system was that pesky QR code where you are encouraged to pay for service even tho they don't leave the confines of the kitchen. We both chatted, wondering why the food was taking so long, until we realised they had sent a text message for pick-up. Ok, I get it. Covid, etc. But, if the food has been sitting for 5-10 minutes and your customers are sitting 5 meters away, then maybe it's an idea to inform them?
My plate of food was rather miserable. The noodles had a chew but not the right kind. The "spicy cumin lamb" had barely a touch of seasoning and I needed a lot of chilli oil to pump any sort of life into it. The obscene mound of raw garlic on top was a mistake that kept regurgitating in my system for 4 hours after. To be honest the best part of the meal was the cold coke.
You may call me a grump, but look at some of the reviews on this blog. I literally weep at the majesty of food regularly when entranced in honest and true flavours. This is not a worthy representation of anything Chinese, and having lived in China and travelled it's vertical length in cramped busses and trains, I feel I am qualified to pass judgement on this shambolic mess of a restaurant.
If you want true Chinese cuisine, head for Szechuan Chengdu. If you want something authentic in the neighborhood, cross the street and eat at Lahoree Dera.
These recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
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"Tastes are subjective, so take everything with a pinch of salty tears"