When it all comes out at once
"Ok, who wants soup, there's not room, so please take it," our waitress said flatly but with purpose, as she doled out ladles of cloudy broth and exactly two wontons into single serving bowls, placing them on the Lazy Susan. Hands responded, grabbing bowls for themselves, clearing space for the next landing. She left the scene to then quickly return with another server and a parade of sautéed string beans, Chinese broccoli, and bok choy.
"Woooah," she exclaimed, except it wasn't really an exclamation. Her tone revealed no surprise, only acknowledgment that the predicament remained. "Maybe stop bringing out food for now," a friend suggested. It went unheard, or at least disregarded. I laughed to myself, feeling my adrenaline levels rising. Her eyes darted around the table, then she reached for the plate of Peking duck-filled baos, sliding the remaining three onto the receptacle dish for all that didn't get bao'd, where deep gold and glossy skin was piled atop a meaty carcass. She pointed to a three-quarters eaten bowl of braised noodles. "You finish?" She meant not to ask if we were finished, but rather to suggest that we take the initiative to finish them — now. No one reacted, and so her gaze shifted to two remaining legs of crispy and bright-orange Dungeness crab. She looked up and around. I and a few others gave nods. In a second they were gone, and the bright green broccoli stubs had a home.
With the surface between us filled to the brim, the eating carried on.
Wu's Wonton King
165 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002