Saturday, May 26, 2012

An Untimely Farewell To North Park On Valentine's Day

North Park Dishes

Lapu-Lapu Fillet with Soft Tofu - Php 268

Boneless Honey Lemon Chicken - Php 195

Salted Garlic Squid - Php 178

North Park Special Toasted Noodles - Php 238

Yang Chow Fried Rice - Php 138

For this year's Valentine's Day, we decided to have early dinner at North Park. This restaurant has long been a favorite of our family because they have plenty of Chinese comfort food in their menu, and the dishes are reasonably priced. With clean and comfy interiors, it's really a place where you would love to visit especially during special occasions. We decided to have our usual order, so I figured that there was nothing really special with that!

When they served their complimentary soup, hubby warned us not to have it because it may contain too much MSG. I just took a few spoonfuls and that was it! When the food arrived, I was happy that the food is still very flavorful - the very same trademark that we have been going back to North Park for. But the fried noodles didn't have as much meat or even vegetables as before. It used to be so loaded with shrimps, meat, etc..but I guess this dish seriously got affected by the crisis. Anyhow, I was very pleased with the fish fillet, lemon chicken and even the seasoned squid. S loved the lemon chicken, which also happens to be our staple during most of the well celebrated traditions every year. Everything was going fine - or so I thought!

The short drive home didn't actually go so well. I felt my mouth going uncomfortably dry, and I suddenly felt really dizzy - the feeling that you badly want to go sleep that's really hard to put off. And to top it all off, I had throbbing headache and a racing heart! I drank lots of water, but the uncomfortable thirst was still there. After a while, I was alarmed because I suddenly had chest pain! Then it all sank in - I think I am having an episode of Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.

Chinese Restaurant Syndrome is a reaction after the intake of too much MSG. The symptoms include headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, a feeling of facial pressure, tightness of the jaw, burning or tingling sensations on the other parts of the body, chest and back pain. Too much MSG may also cause arterial dilatation (widening of arteries). While this syndrome may have been discovered in the late 1960's, many Chinese do not believe that it exists. It is presumed that it may just be a hypersensitive (allergic) reaction.

Whether I had Chinese Restaurant Syndrome, or an allergic reaction, it really didn't matter anymore. Hubby vowed never to eat again at our well loved Chinese restaurant. It's sad, but I guess I just have to find lemon chicken elsewhere.


Hannah said...

oh noooez... as much as I also love North Park, it's undeniably true that their food has lots of MSG... my favorites are the Pinsec Frito and the braised beef soup (not sure if this is the name) ... I'd probably go back again... but won't eat as much.. or go for the plain rice instead of yang chow... nice post :) Happy Valentine's day

Izzy Bizzy said...

I really think that settling for plain rice is a wise idea. Hubby just loves their yang chow, which is why we always have it. I learned my lesson though. Happy Valentine's Day to you too.

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