china house is closing

At Bathurst and Eglinton there’s a racist-looking old-timey Chinese place. I would normally never notice such a thing because I do not like Chinese food (even though  I am a Jew) but Kevin always points it out when we drive by. Apparently his family congregated in the basement for their family functions for years. His parents even held their Toronto wedding reception there back in 1969. Anyway, we heard it was closing after 53 years, so the gang and I traipsed down for one last meal at the old China House, even though it was everyone’s first time except for Kevin.

And I don’t really like Chinese food. Even though I’m a Jew.

Sean and Cindy – our token Chinese person.

They had a list of “vintage cocktails”. I had the China House Cosmo. Nims had a Bellini. Sara had a champagne cocktail. Cindy had a Sidecar. The twins had Shirley Temples. They were $10 so I’m not surprised they’re going out of business. Tasty though.

It struck me that after all the years of family dinners-out, this was the first time I wasn’t the younger generation at the table. Now we are married, some of us own houses, have kids… When did we become the grown-ups?

We had to ask specially for chopsticks. “Canadian-Chinese Food”. I’m pretty sure Cindy was the only Chinese person there. Apart from the servers, I think.

We had egg & spring rolls; deep fried squid; mixed veg and shrimp & pork dumplings; chicken fried rice; moo shu pork; braised tofu; General Tso’s chicken; steamed whole orange roughie with garlic and scallions; baby bok choy with garlic and oyster sauce. You know, kept it nice ‘n light.

I’m pretty sure they’ve had the same mid-winter pattern restaurant-ware since they opened.

Ah, downstairs… The Phoenix Room.

We snuck down to explore the banquet hall that hosted so many Sasaki events. In the near-empty restaurant it felt very “The Shining”. Alex and Maya added to the Diane Arbus-ness of it all.

Unky Sean being entertaining.

Bye China House! We’ll miss you! Even if I don’t really like Chinese Food. Even though I am a Jew.

Transcribed by Kevin Sasaki. Unpaid.

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