We went to an Italian restaurant the other day in Taipei, Taiwan. We had tried to go eat there a few days previous, but got there just as they were closing for the night. We were so disappointed! We traveled back to the restaurant a few days later, dragging a few friends, because it had looked soooooo good. We didn't want people to miss out on this chance to eat delicious Italian food. We had been in Taiwan for about two weeks at this point and rice wasn't really cutting it anymore. Jon was going to get delicious pizza, and I was going to get delicious spaghetti with tomato sauce and tuna....we looked forward to it all day.
We placed our orders and waited anxiously for our meals to arrive. At this point we were all ridiculously hungry. I about ate my menu. (In hindsight, I wish I had.)
Liv's and my soup arrived first. The minestrone pictured in the menu had beans, noodles, big chunks of tomatoes..., what you would expect out of a minestrone soup. The "minestrone" we received was red water with tiny pieces of cabbage floating in it. It was approximately a half of inch deep in the bowl. At this point Liv knew exactly how the evening would end. I was much more naive.
My spaghetti with tuna arrived. People made fun of me for ordering this, but I love mixing a can of drained tuna in with my spaghetti sauce, just as people add browned hamburger to their sauce. (Tuna spaghetti is really good, trust me.) My spaghetti looked ok, if the sauce was a little sparse. I took a bite. They had poured the red water-soup over the noodles! The tuna was obviously the type of low-quality tuna that is made from the sweepings off the floor of the good tuna canning factory....then they mixed it with sawdust. They didn't drain the tuna either, the bottom of my plate had oil a fourth-inch deep. How did I know what the bottom of my plate looked like? Yes, I was THAT hungry. I scraped off the tuna, let the noodles drip as much as I could and ate about a cup of the pasta. Every single other person's meal was just as bad.
The pictures in the menu looked so good that Jon ordered five different things- the same minestrone soup, a seafood salad, garlic bread, shrimp rice casserole, and a pizza. He said they all tasted the same- like old bread and socks.
Andrew told us that his baked rice casserole was pretty bland, so he mixed it with his also-bland soup and then his meal tasted just plain.
Never get excited about non-Asian food in Asia!