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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Chinatown, San José, Costa Rica

On Tuesday, June 10, 2014, the informal Atenas Men's Club organized a bus trip to San José to have lunch at Restaurant Dragon Oriental and then shopping at the Asian stores. This time, ladies were included. I was on the bus, so I passed the "ladies" qualification.

Our group gathered at the central park in Atenas at 10:00 am and away we went. Our bus was an air conditioned tourist type vehicle with a personable driver (they are always really nice). I brought a small cooler with me in case I purchased frozen dim sum, which I was hoping to do.

We ran into some road paving delays, but nothing serious, and lots of time had been allowed to include any such eventualities.

Restaurant Dragon Oriental is located on Avenida 2 between Calles 7 and 9 (200 meters east of CAJA) on the second story of the building, and there is an Asian mercado below. The hours are 11:00 am to 10:00 pm.

Our group filled up three very large round tables. Those of you familiar with Asian dim sum restaurants know what that looks like. The table tops here spun around a la Lazy Susan style. I asked to see the dim sum menu but was stymied by the Chinese symbols and the Spanish words so we ended up ordering from the regular menu which had English translations. Also, the prices had been blacked out on the dim sum menu so we didn't know what anything cost.

We decided on Szechwan prawns and Peking duck. Both were very good although the Peking duck was different then what we are familiar with. It did not come with pancakes in which to wrap the duck pieces and green onions which are used to brush the hoisin sauce on the duck. Instead, it was served with steamed rice and an excellent sauce. Portions are very large and we had lots left over for take away.

In addition, we each ordered a Tsing Tao Chinese beer. Big bottle but low alcohol content - nice and cold though. Service was friendly.

Lunch over, everyone headed off to do some shopping. I splurged on different frozen dim sum items, some condiments, a bamboo steamer, sticky rice wrapped in leaves, kitchen towels and so on.

While waiting on the street with another lady from our group for our bus home to arrive, we were approached by a group of businessmen - Asian and Tico - I suppose in their mid-50's. They chatted us up, asked where we were from - and one Tico said to me, in English, "Are you married?". I had spied Lance approaching us and pointed at him and said, "Si, mi esposo!". My bold Costa Rican friend said "Never mind!" and we were all laughing.

Nothing like a little ego boost to end an excellent day.

Many thanks to Tony for organizing this event. Unfortunately, he was unable to join us so further thanks go to his lovely wife, Rose Mary, for taking up the reins and to my husband, Lance, for helping out also.


  1. O la la, Diana! Not just a lady, but a charming & flirty one to boost. High time I return to CR to keep an chaperonly eye on you :-)

    1. Get here soon ... before I turn completely bad!