Customer service is not the strong suit of The Lucky Shamrock at Beijing International Airport, where each time I ordered the staff nervously took away the menu.
The name evokes a dark interior with a sturdy old bar, chunky wood tables, maybe a fire snapping and crackling in the corner where weary travelers can warm their dampened clothes and chilled hands. Memorabilia would hang hodgepodge from the walls amid old photographs of bearded men with fishing poles and ladies in hats and Calico. There is probably a lyrical or literary quote or two to inspire you.
At this other Lucky Shamrock a round bar is lined with empty, dusty wine bottles. Diners sit in low purple office chairs at white Formica counters fitted with outlets and LAN cable ports so that weary travelers might charge their various electronic devices. Plastic sunflowers and tulips add a feminine touch while diners squint out at the airfield through the floor to ceiling windows arching overhead.
Two inset TV screens on the half-walls are… off.
Large block letters wrap the bar: PASTA BEER BURGER CAFÉ … or so you think.
The menu offers so much more, delicacies like “Grilld sausage germany,” “Tuna fish pizza,” and its close cousin, “Tuna Fish Spaghetti: spaghetti, tomato sauce, black olive, tuna.”
On the menu there are even two types of coffee. There is “Sheet tastes coffee.” That is: Colombian coffee, Mocha coffee, or Charcoal coffee. And there is “Fancy coffee,” which includes a dizzying range of upscale choices: Shamrock coffee, Regular coffee, and American-style coffee.
If you’re wanting help deciding among the exotic choices, large photographs support the text. This is very helpful to the foreign traveler. But don’t be fooled; these are just representations! To ensure you don’t end up disappointed, The Lucky Shamrock has added a small clarification at the bottom of each page: “This picture is for reference only, in order to prevail in kind. 2 (RMB) Disinfecting wipes production cost.”
Thank you, The Lucky Shamrock. I hardly miss the faux Irish rendition of same.