I was in an excellent take-away in Newcastle the other night, when it was impossible not to listen to the fraught discussion going on over the phone between the chef and an angry customer. It was all over the hotness of a curry and what the customer ordered.
'I wanted the sweet one, not the hot one,' said the customer.
'But you ordered the Punjabi.'
It ended in an impasse with no action on one side and the promise of further action on the other.
It is reason for all the foods sold such as Chinese, Indian, Italian and even Sushi have to be toned down to an acceptable English taste. Therefore Lemon Chicken is bland and would not be found on a menu in China because they historically don't grow lemons in that part of the world. The most popular Indian curries tend to be Korma or Chicken Tikka Masala which are mild and buttery. Balti is an invention of the Bangladeshi community in Wolverhampton and the faux Chicken Parmesan or Parmo was first thought up in Middlesbrough. Sushi is far bigger in the UK and there is too much rice used which is due to European mouth sizes being larger than Japanese and possibly the supermarkets profit margins.
Of course the language barriers will always exist ..... especially when ordering liver pizzas -