Friday, 19 December 2008

Shopping Malls

One place where you can always find good places to eat in Asia is in shopping centres. This is due in fact to the seriousness that Asians take shopping. It's not a simple fact of popping into a mall for an afternoon of browsing. It's a day out, it's a family day out, and half way through their shopping expedition, nourishment is needed. Shopping centres are seen as an elitist thing in Asia, people expect there to be good places to eat, and there are. 

This is the opposite of how things are in the UK. All you normally find in shopping centres in England are cheap and cheerful jacket potato, fast food and a multitude of chain restaurant. Pilling out cheap and dour food. It may fill the belly, but it certainly does not nourish the soul.

We ate at several good restaurants in malls in Asia. The best ones were in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Mainly because the food there is so good anyhows it spills over into the malls. But even these countries have some cheerful food for the masses who can not afford to eat in the higher end places. Fast food Asia style. Noodle soups, curries and the like, all good belly filling stuff. 

I have found that working in a restaurant in a shopping centre in London, where we cook everything from scratch even our own bread everyday. The chain restaurants around us are packed to the hilt, where we are busy but not over filling. I am wondering if this is because people are unwilling to pay a little more for their food in these economic downturned times, or as I more suspect people are more happy with bland fast food. As many of us were brought up on this. I blame the microwave and the supermarkets for pushing those ready to eat meals at us. Thankfully my family never brought that many of them, although my mum is kinda living off them now, but she always disliked cooking. 

I wonder if we as a people will accept good restaurants in shopping centres. A good place to get a good cooked fresh meal in good surroundings. Instead of badly rushed cooked processed food. Maybe when we are told times are better we may start to eat better food in these centres or maybe get more of a better choice, as it isn't that good there.