Diamond in the Rough

The concert tour has begun.

We left Adelaide for Perth on Thursday afternoon. As one of the goals of this tour is to take the music to rural areas and regional country towns, from the airport in Perth, we rented a car and drove three hours into the bush.

Our destination Thursday night was Katanning, a small country town, just three hours from the even smaller town of Jerdacuttup, where the first concert was scheduled to take place the next day.

We pulled into Katanning at 8 pm and needed to find a place to eat. Both the night and the town were already dark. We passed on Chicken Treat and the take-out pizza shop that looked as though it were about to close.

Then we saw a neon sign for Chinese food.

The sign hung outside an adorable stone chapel. We shrugged and opened the peaked front door. Sure enough, it was a Chinese restaurant. Big chinese lanterns hung from a beautiful wooden ceiling.

 The walls were papered with stylized figures.

A little organ stood in the corner, and the stereo that sat atop it played Enya-like music.

It was a bit trippy, but the food was tasty. It came out sizzling in wrought-iron pans. I enjoyed the strip steak chow mein. The veggies were crispy and fresh. The cabbage was a little browned, giving it a sort of robust flavor. Mixed with the chow mein noodles were crunchy noodles I often see as a salad topper. I enjoyed the extra crunch.

It was a good meal after a long day of travel, and I think we were all relieved to find some decent food in such a small town, however unusual the atmosphere.

Have you ever stumbled upon such unexpected satisfaction? What's your story?

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