I first posted about Shaw on the Edmonton Public Library website where I reviewed his Turning the Tables book – for posterity’s sake, here’s my review back from a year or so ago:
Great little book. A quick read, packed with great behind-the-scenes info on restaurants, the food industry and the service industry too. Learned much about how restaurant management works, might try the tips to “become a regular” and get better perks. Best part has to be the step-by-step guide on how to make an impression at a sushi restaurant: hilarious!
The new book that I just finished reading by Shaw is called Asian Dining Rules, which, had I not seen that he was its author, I would have just left it on the shelf. I have to say that its cover, with the title in huge font, with a rising-sun like red design, is kind of embarrassing to be seen with in public!
Anyhow, on to the content! I would consider this book to be useful for folks who know very little about Asian food (here defined as Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Korean and Indian) but have tried “something” at a restaurant and weren’t sure what it was or where to go from there. The “you can do it, don’t be shy!” encouragement Shaw offers may be what tips the balance for some people who aren’t sure how to approach “ethnic” food. Not particularly helpful for me, having had this kind of food for many years (or my entire life!), but it was an enjoyable and I learned some names and cooking methods. Shaw also has a quirky enthusiasm that carries well in this type of semi-instructional book. A quick read, which, thanks to it’s well-organized format would serve as a good cary-along guide.
What I took away most from Asian Dining Rules – was that yes, Asian dining does rule! And, we are very lucky in Vancouver to have a plethora of great restaurants with truly authentic offerings – pretty awesome city!