Thursday 7 February 2013

C-Culture Chinese Restaurant

437, High Street, Preston, VIC 3072

C-Culture on Urbanspoon
This place scored 85% on Urbanspoon but if you read the reviews - it's not all good, a number of negative posters have not bothered to vote. Be warned - this is not a happy review. The food is fine but it is completely let down by rude, ineffective and downright racist service. If you are not Asian, do not speak Mandarin or Cantonese, you are clearly a second class citizen here.

The Place
This place is similar to many Cantonese style barbeque houses, with Roast meats hanging in the window up the front and a full kitchen in the back. So, it's a pretty no frills place and can get a bit noisy.

Other things to do close by: Preston Market (crazy on Saturdays but that's part of the fun)

The Food
This place serves the usual south Chinese fare (mainly Cantonese). To be fair they are no worse than many of the Cantonese barbeque houses around town. Their roast meats (char siew, crispy pork, soy chicken) are all good.

The Service
Cheap, Rude and Racist. They bring out free soup for Asian tables and will tell you quite blatantly that that's just for the "Asian Peoples". I was told that clearly - though I am Chinese - I made the mistake of going with Robbie who is clearly white and I didn't order in Cantonese - I have clearly committed a sin.

Their service was brusque at best, but after that experience - I am NEVER going back again.

I won't recommend this place based on two simple principles. In this day an age - the racism is ridiculous PLUS 4 doors down, Hung Sanh Seafood and Barbeque Restaurtant serves similar food, with a smile, still cheap, just as good and free soup (they ask if you would like it, whoever you are).

A Cultural Moment
Reverse Racism - there is no such thing. Racist is racist. It's not the domain of white people against everyone else. Asians who are racist are not reverse racist - they are just racist - duh!

The experience I had at C-Culture harks back to the very old days of the 19th Century and mid 20th Century when there were restaurants in Hong Kong that had 2 menus - one in Chinese and one in English. Nothing wrong with that really - except the same items in English were more expensive than if you ordered the same dish from the Chinese menu.

Such practices still happens in developing nations where the wage and wealth differentials are really stark. For example, if you are visitng the Taj Mahal - a foreign tourist would pay more than 30 times what a local would be charged. I don't think there's anything wrong with that given the wealth divide between the 2 likely groups.

The service and attitude at C-Culture doesn't qualify for this exemption - it's in Preston,Vic, Australia - these would be the people to cry foul if they go to an Italian Restaurant and were not given complementary dry bread with butter at the start of the meal, and everyone else did. UNacceptable.

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