- Jeff Heller
I finally checked out Guyanese-Chinese food. Went to Murines on 183rd St off Queens Blvd. On the advice of a Guyanese guy having lunch at the bar, I asked for shrimp chow mein. This conjured not unpleasant childhood memories of jumbo shrimp, chinese celery and bean sprouts in a gloppy white sauce. Yet what I got was mostly fried noodles with baby shrimp and that wonderful Asian green bean, called bak dau gok, topped w/ tomato, cucumber, and shreds of white cabbage. Tasty enough (if a little too salty)though certainly undistinguished. I thank Robert Sietsema for his brief intro to Carib-Chinese cuisine. Just the same, I think Jen Kalb was right, in so far as one ought to stick to the more indigenous dishes. To this end, perhaps I'll go back and try their "fry banga Mary." Anyway, the Guyanese people constitutes a large ethnic community here in Queens. And so, I think, attention should be paid. I know the population of Guyana (formerly British Guyana)is fairly evenly divided between persons of African and Indian descent. All the more, why I can't fathom their singular devotion to Caribbean-Cantonese food. Nor do I think they are about to start a new retro trend here either. PS I would like to put in a plug-in-passing for another large ethnic community in the boroughs. One whose culture and cuisine is, in my opinion, far and away the most underappreciated (undiscovered?) in all New York. Yes, I refer to Haiti. More on this, at a later date.