Love My Buns? I don’t think so…

February 12, 2019 — by Sofia Jones and Sandhya Sundaram

Reporters experience unfortunate communication barrier trying to order food in a foreign language

When we heard that there was a relatively new restaurant called “Love My Buns” just five minutes away from school, we were ecstatic. Setting out to try out the food, we wanted to see if we did indeed love their buns.

After arriving at the Asian shopping center and walking in, we had multiple people welcoming us … in Chinese. Neither of us knows Chinese so we nodded our heads, smiled and sat down.

At that point, we noticed the ambient decor. Pretty lanterns hung from the ceiling, and colorful mosaic tiles and mirrors lined the walls.

The menu offered a variety of foods at different prices, from entrees for a few dollars to meals at about $15. The menu included various types of buns, wraps, and rolls, with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.

Things went slightly downhill when we attempted to order. Sofia ordered pork buns and Sandhya tried to order a vegetarian bun. The waitress did not understand any English so we tried to point out what we wanted, but she still seemed confused and gestured toward other things in the menu in an attempt to convince us to buy more, despite us repeatedly shaking our heads.

We thought we had ordered, but she returned, once again pointing at more menu entrees. We weren’t sure if she had gotten confused from our order or if she was trying to get us to order more. Eventually she motioned for us to come up to the counter, but when Sofia walked up, she ended up standing there in dead silence while the waitress stared at her for a few minutes.  

We tried to use Google Translate to ask the waitress to get our order to-go. We told her that we were planning on just grabbing the food and leaving to make sure we would not be late to class. She gave us a smile and nod, seeming to understand, and walked away.

The food came pretty quickly, and although it was not in a to-go container as we had asked, it tasted very good. The bun had a soft consistency, and the meat was well-seasoned. Sandhya also tried to order, but the waitress just shook her head no; we did not know how to interpret this and did not want to take our chances with Google Translate again, so we only ordered one item.

On our way out, the manager walked up to us, and it turned out that she spoke some English. She thanked us for coming and apologized for our troubles ordering. She also said that we could talk to English-speaking employees if we came during the lunch rush or evening, which seemed like an odd reassurance, but she seemed heartfelt with her apology.

Despite our language difficulties there, going to Love My Buns proved to be a memorable experience. And if you happen to be fluent in Chinese, then this would be an better food choice. It had delicious food, and we might go again, but definitely at a time when we can communicate more easily with the staff. We would give the restaurant and the experience overall three out of five falcons and note that the food itself is worthy of an even better rating.

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