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Old 12-31-2018, 09:46 AM
Mahaloth is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: 地球
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Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
My brother spent a little over a year living in China. According to him, what we think of as "Chinese Restaurants" are not what exist in China as "Restaurants".
I lived there two years and this is only somewhat correct.

China is obviously as diverse as any nation in the world and their food is:

1. Insanely diverse. Like, many hundreds of thousands of things. Most of which we do not have here. Many oils used in cooking and methods are just not done or available here.

2. Insanely good if you know what you are looking for. If you make Chinese friends and tell them to get you "the real stuff", you can get some incredible food. It has been 15 years and I still think about my meal at a Hunan restaurant there and also about my meals at Quanjude(Beijing duck fit for royalty).

My comparison of China restaurants to American-Chinese:

1. You share everything there and I love that. Why order separate dishes when you can all share everything?

2. 90% or more of the food has been deemed not appreciated by Americans and is not served here. Much higher, since seafood is an absolute must in China and it is not a major feature of Amerian-Chinese restaurants.

3. There are, however, many things that we have here that you can get there. Sweet and Sour is identical(it made the trip over the ocean for some reason). Many chicken dishes do exist there and here. Most beef things here are pork there, though. I hardly ever had beef in a regular restaurant there.

My wife and I talk about the people there a lot. It would be dishonest of me not to admit that we talk about our favorite restaurants almost more. We went out to eat there often and the food in a "hole in the wall" was incredible.

Zimmern is right that a lot of Chinese restaurants in the US-midwest are bad, but there are some quality ones, too.