I'm going to China--but I don't like Chinese Food

Like the title says; I am one of those fussy eaters who is very picky and narrow on what they eat. Basically Beef, Pork or Chicken, but not to seasoned or mixed with ‘other’ stuff. Don’t like hot (spicy) foods.

Now I will be in a tour group with other Americans/Canadians so I’m sure they are used to folks like me, and I can live a long time on rice and multi-vitamins, but are there any suggestions from out China-located or previous visitors there on what I might try that would be good for a fussy eater (The late George Carlin once defined ‘fussy eater’ as “Big Pain in the Ass”, which I admit to).

As noted above, I am on a tour, so suggesting places to see is appreciated but time is limited. I will have 2 days in Hong Kong pretty much on my own and any thoughts are welcome–I don’t think I’ll be getting back to that part of the world anytime soon and want to see as much as I can.

If I don’t starve first…:cool::wink:

One of my sisters is an *extremely *picky eater. She went to Poland with my mom, and pretty much subsisted on McDonald’s - burger, plain - no nothing - just burger and bun.

I have no advice to offer you - just felt compelled to share. Hope you have a great time before you starve to death!! :smiley:

No advice, but your user name is perfect! :slight_smile:

Have fun.

Firstly, you’ll be staying in a Western style hotel so eat a big breakfast which will be very familiar fare.

Secondly the Chinese cuisine you’ll have offered is very different to what you’d expect stateside.

You can often find simple, steamed fish dishes which rely on soy, garlic and ginger and won’t scare the horses too much.
Couple that with simple steamed rice, fried rice or veg (steamed or stir-fried) and you should be fine.

But, yeah, as has been said the traditional chinese cuisine can be a world away from western versions and you can into deep, entrail-laden water if you veer too much into the exotic. Or even not particularly exotic, chicken feet and duck hearts are not looked upon as particularly out of the ordinary.

I spent several weeks in China, and saw very little food that was familiar from USA-style Chinese restaurants. Which makes sense. You wouldn’t expect an entire country of two billion people to subsist on one genre of restaurant food! Of course, it was still pretty exotic, and not the type of fare to enthuse a “picky eater.” It also varied wildly by region, so if you are traveling around, you’ll get a new set of options with each move.

But - I also saw plenty of McDonald’s restaurants, and even more KFCs. Also a few Pizza Huts and other western chains. Also lots of street food that didn’t look too different from the Halal Huts you see in NYC.

That’s a bit of an understatement.

I wouldn’t worry. In China, it’s just called “food”.

In one of Anthony Bourdain’s last tv appearances he was eating a rabbit head on a stick in Hong Kong. Local delicacy

Where in China are you going? That can make a big difference in terms of spicy vs. non-spicy food.

Ooooh, did he do it Easter style & bite the ears off first?

lucky for you there they just call it “food”.

Much thanks, I perhaps wasn’t clear, I never have eaten in a “Chinese” restaurant in the USA, so I doubt that I will be much tempted by one in China. And I concur with the Hotel breakfast, I have done that on a lot of trips.

Ah, McDonald’s and KFC; I think for all of McDonalds’ reputation, KFC just might be more popular world-wide (don’t have any statistics). I survived four years in the Middle East with those (and a few others), so three weeks in China won’t be too bad…:eek:
As for travel, I’m doing the normal tourist shuffle, Peking/Forbidden City/Great Wall/Terra-Cotta Warriors/3-Day Seven Gorges Cruise on Yangtse River/Shanghai for a couple of days, and then fly to Hong Kong. All escorted up to Hong Kong.

The term “Chinese food” is overly simplistic. There are eight major cuisines, some of them radically different from the others The mModern “Eight Cuisines” of China are Anhui, Cantonese, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Sichuan, and Zhejiang.

It would be like shunning pizza because you don’t like “American food” after tasting grits.

Someone else must have beat him to it, they came earless.

I did the Yangtse River cruise, but it was on a very downscale vessel. The only food was very native stuff, or cardboard bowls of “just add hot water” ramen. I ate a lot of the ramen. You will most likely be on a more upscale vessel with more international options.

And Shanghai is a VERY international city. You’ll find cuisines from all over the world.

So, you have never had any Chinese food and you don’t intend to try it in China?


Note that from what I’ve heard (never been to China), KFC over there sells food tuned to local tastes. So it might not be exactly what you’re used to. And as others said, you’re hardly going to be the first foreigner who doesn’t want to eat Chinese food. I’m sure there will be options.

The OP admits right off the bat that he’s a fussy eater and quite picky with a very narrow range of what he eats. Why would anyone expect that to change just because he’s travelling? Sure, it’d be nice if he was able to indulge in a new dining experience while on the road but it doesn’t sound like he’s wired that way. Kudos to him for making plans ahead of time for how to cope.

Picky eater can mean “I only eat sweet and sour pork with plain rice, and I pick out the bell peppers.” At first that’s what I thought he meant. Not even trying Chinese food at all, then jumping into a three week trip there, is quite an example of jumping into the deep end while not wanting to get your head wet.

I had been thinking of a few Chinese foods that are less exotic than a peanut butter sandwich, but it sounds like the thread was more a commentary on an odd situation than a solicitation for advice.