What's better than a man who can cook? A queen who can bust a move.
Shanghai Restaurant is Chinatown's first restaurant, according to Ottawa writer Phil Jenkins. I met Jenkins at a writing workshop for the Canadian Authors Association and have secretly admired his work for a while.
Now that's out in the open, I'm glad he's letting everyone know about "the karaoke phenomenon that is China Doll, the singing drag queen/chef" at Shanghai in his article on Chinatown.
I'm not sure if it's possible to be gay in Ottawa and not know about Shanghai's parties. I love the karaoke, the DJs — even bingo!
But most of all: I love China Doll. My suspicion is that the laws of attraction are bent by the powerful sex appeal of drag queens. What I love most about them is their emotional generosity, seemingly endless energy and contagious enthusiasm.
It's not easy embodying the femme fatale: high heels, short skirts, fancy hair and pounds of makeup. Hard work. Radiating transformation.
I think I've seen drag shows all over town: Mercury Lounge, Lookout, Swizzle, Centretown Pub (only once, not my scene), Edge, Flamingo (before it closed) and, of course, Shanghai. I once saw a private show with all the usual suspects at a friend's house, but we'll leave that story for another day.
And while I honestly adore all of them, China Doll is my #1. Why? Because to really get to my heart, you have to go through my stomach. Wow — the crispy tofu. I think my heart skipped a beat.
Not only are you beautiful and talented, Ms China Doll, but you also know how to awaken the taste buds. You have me as your loyal customer. And drooling fan.