Monday, July 25, 2005

Manchu Wok: "Would you like fries with that?"

Or how about some Chinese nachos?

Now Manchu Wok has rewritten its business plan, looking outside of food courts for growth.

The chain is focusing on non-traditional locations such as amusement parks, airports, hospitals and military bases -- as well as stand-alone street level outlets.

It is also expanding its menu to include items such as "Chinese Nachos" and "Dragon Fries" (French fries) to capitalize on a hot tween/teen market that loves Chinese food.

From the Toronto Globe and Mail

Best Chinese Food in North America -- in Akron OH?

So say Spin Magizine writer Chuck Klosterman:
``Nobody will believe this, but the thing I miss most is the Chinese food. I have never had any General Tso's chicken that's as good as the $4.99 lunch special at Platinum Dragon.

``There was also that place by Summit Mall that has those really delicious pot stickers, and that awesome buffet in Montrose.

Somehow, Akron has the best Chinese food in North America. I don't get it, either.''

Read all of Chuck's spin on this in the Akron Beacon Journal

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Indian-Chinese and Chinese-Indian Cuisines

Good article in the Business Standard on the difficulties of porting cuisines between India and China

The Great Tandoori Stir Fry

Cooking Chinese on the Mississippi Delta

Stir-fried collard greens? Crawfish Cantonese? Gilroy and Sally Chow make do with what's available.

VOA News - Chinese-American Couple Mixes Chinese Food with Mississippi Delta Delicacies

Friday, June 17, 2005

Profile of Malaysian chef Justin Hor

WHEN you love to eat, you would want to know more about the food. And it's not all about Chinese food for Justin Hor Chee Keong, group executive chef and director of the Oriental Group of Restaurants....

Read more in this Straits Times article.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Why Rickey Henderson has been placed on the Chinese Food Maven Honor Roll:

After hitting a two-run pinch-hit homer, running around the bases and into the clubhouse and leaving the stadium in the eighth inning of a 14-7 Padres' victory over the Mets: "I had to get to this Chinese restaurant. They closed at midnight. Best Chinese food I've ever had."
From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Happy with his takeout in Oldbury

Just a slice of takeout life in merry olde...

He can always find another takeout here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

From the Fun Facts to Know and Tell department:

From the Salt Lake City Tribune

Mary Surratt's D.C. boardinghouse, where John Wilkes Booth gathered his co-conspirators to plot Lincoln's death, is now a Chinese restaurant called Wok & Roll.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Worth waiting the extra 17 seconds for

That would be at "1-Minute Drive-thru Chinese Food" in Anchorage AK.

But what about an extra 06:30?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Dr. Salk's Brain Food

Thanks to Yee Yuen, we know how Jonas Salk fueled his brain cells while working out a cure for Polio. The secret formula, you will find out, was "wonton soup, egg roll, rice and chicken chow mein made with homegrown bean sprouts" at the Bamboo Garden in Pittsburgh. (Well, it was 1955, after all. No General Tso's for the good Doctor then.)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

In Little Rock they're into dim sum (but not ready for tofu)

" Believe it or not, Chinese food in this country doesn’t resemble the typical fare in China." is the current wisdom in Little Rock AR.

Arkansas Times: "Cheap at Chi’s: Dim sum"

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Yo! Panda Express. Mumbai is gunning for you.

According to this article, Yo! China, a 5-outlet chain of fast food restaurants in India is planning expansion to the 100-store level in India. Panda Express is cited as a model. Meanwhile, another newspaper takes a dim view of the quality of Chinese food in India.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Quote of the Week (but I'm not sure which week).

This was cited in the (San Francisco) Bay Guardian a couple of weeks ago:
"I'm eating a Chinese egg roll. But when I eat it, I'm still Mr. Rogers."
-- Fred Rogers

Dim Sum in South Africa

Thanks to Dave Chan for this link. Be sure to read through to the part where Melissa Lai divulges an important cooking secret she learned from her grandmother

Dim Sum good eating

Monday, March 07, 2005

Penetrate seems an apt word here

From the PR Mills:

Ginger Beef Corporation Penetrates Eastern Canada Market

Mise en place Chinese takeout marches on!

Penetrate THIS, Ginger Beef Corporation.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Why Jamaican Chinese food is "irie"

A Jamaican blogger explains it all:

Chinese Food

I feel for some Chinese food now! Hey, like most Jamaicans, I-an-I love Chinese food bad bad, you know. Trust me, we doh romp with chinese food at all... maybe thats because it tastes so damned irie.

Actually, you know what I've found? I have had chinese food at a number of places, including New York, Philly, Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles and probably a few more places that I don't remember, and nowhere else has it tasted as irie as it does back a Yard. Anybody else agree with me?

I know a couple of people who agree whole heartedly, and one of them offered his hypothesis as to why this is so. He said that the Chinese tend to use ingredients local to the area where they are making the food. By that, I mean that they may introduce some of the seasonings which they find in their current location into the menus they offer, thus changing the taste of the meals somewhat. Also, he felt that they might even adapt some of the local cooking methods and blend them with their own methods, and in many of these cases, the synergy of the two methods of cooking just stands head and shoulders above what either method could produce on its own.

It sounds plausible to me...

This is from The Mad Bull's blog. WARNING: This site is, as advised, NOT WORKPLACE SAFE, or parental control-safe.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Quote of the week

From Rebecca, on "The Amazing Race", 2/08/05:

“If we eat Chinese food in China, it won't be Chinese food, it'll just be food.”

It's just food to me, too, Rebecca.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

The path to West Liberty, Iowa

An interesting article in the Muscatine Journal gives an account of the decision process which brought a new Chinese restaurant to West Liberty, Iowa, thanks to a Chinese immigrant living in New York. Factors included desire for a post-9/11 lifestyle change, and the presence of a built-in market in the form of a large Hispanic community.

New Yorker picks West Liberty as place for new Chinese restaurant

Friday, February 04, 2005

Finding the real stuff in Yokohama's Chinatown

The Japan Times goes In search of the real flavor of Yokohama's Chukagai and finds four restaurants worth seeking out. They conveniently provide a map, too.

Here's where I would head first:

It's easy to overlook Togenton, tucked away on the side street known as Shanghai-dori. It is currently celebrating its 45th anniversary and, frankly, it does look its age. Even so, it remains one of our longtime favorites, precisely because of its homey appearance and the cramped intimacy of its few tables.

This is one of the few places in the area where you can eat Chinese style congee (kayu in Japanese) complete with you-tiao, those long, deep-fried dough sticks that are an essential part of breakfast to countless millions in Shanghai and northern China. So what if Togenton doesn't open till lunchtime? That thick, smooth, stomach-warming rice porridge still tastes just as comforting in the afternoon.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Jamaica's love affair with Chinese food

Several Jamaicans explain their love of Chinese food and pick their favorite Kingston Chinese restaurant in this article in the Jamaica Observer.

A sample:
Dolores "Dolly" Bloise

We all love Chinese food and the portions allow a family to choose different dishes and share some of each. Another reason why I like it is that most Chinese food is low-fat. For my son's birthday we chose Dragon Court (South Avenue) because I have been there before and like the variety of dishes and ambiance; the service is excellent and the price is reasonable. My husband's birthday is today and we are going to order take-out Chinese food to celebrate.

Tasty Food in Dhaka

A new Chinese/Bangalees restaurant becomes the talk of the town, according to a review in the New Nation.

The restaurant is neatly tucked away at a quiet corner on the road and the interior has a cosy feel to it. From the outside it might look like a small place but they have plenty of space. At least, 70 peoples can take seats in this bistro. The décor is very simple and, thankfully, there is no disorganized mess. Indigo walls, crimson chairs and the tables are covered with green chequered tablecloths while the food is served in clean white dishes.

Needless to say that the menu includes mainly of Chinese food and Bangalees food. I believe that some of their mouth-watering menus come to there again. Some Bangalees dishes are plain rice, spicy meat, varieties vegetables curry, fry fish, kabab, kopta, chicken, beef, mutton and some of our local and sea fish.

The menu boasts some exotic dishes such as fried rice, different categories soup, wonthuns, fried chicken, spring rolls, burgers, fried chickens, chicken roast, fried prawn, meat boll, spicy less vegetable and some others lip licking menus.

In their grill section you will find all types of grilled meat. But the range of price is not high. A middle class family easily goes there and leaves the place with smiling face.

Their have another section comprised only of ice cream, coffee and fruits. Price range of this section between Tk50 to Tk100. The bill is reasonable and the waiters in their black bow ties were most genial. This eatery is now a talk of the town for its verities menus and reasonable prices.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

AP reporter has 376 jiaozi in 6 days in Harbin

It's all in a week's work. But he found out that he liked them.

33 flavors at Dumpling Kings - The Washington Times: Travel - January 29, 2005

Yao Ming to get some home cooking

Here's one way to make sure you get food from home - buy your mother a restaurant. The restaurant will be handicapped-accessible, too, as in the handicap of being 7 feet talll. - News - Yao Ming's Parents To Open Restaurant

The Manila Times goes on a Chinese food trip around the metropolis

" To count the number of Chinese restaurants in Metro Manila today is next to impossible. Much like trapping that darn fly between a pair of chopsticks! For even Aling Nena—if you please—serves her version of the chopsuey and chicken mami at the neighborhood turo-turo. And that would certainly affect the final tally......."

The Manila Times Internet Edition | LIFE & TIMES > Chow!

Indian Restaurants adding Chinese dishes to the menu

The Telegraph - Calcutta : Metro:
"The popularity of Chinese cuisine has forced many non-Chinese addresses to either hold a food festival or introduce the cuisine on a permanent basis. The latest in line is the Indian speciality restaurant Manthan on 3 Waterloo Street, hosting a 20-day-long Chinese food festival ending February 10."

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Leon Redbone live at a 100-year old Chinese restaurant

Where? Woonsocket RI, that's where. Read about the fascinating history of Chan's Fine Oriental Dining in the Woonsocket Call.

The Chan Dynasty

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

New Mecca for Chinese food;: Concord NH

Concord, New Hampshire, with a population of 40,000, now has 13 Chinese Restaurants. Why so many? It's explained here, more or less.

Thanks to David Chan for the link.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Passionate about Chinese food in Thermopolis, WY

From the Casper, Wyoming Star-Tribune police blotter:

A Thermopolis police officer arrived at a house on the afternoon of Jan. 9 to settle a dispute between an unmarried couple about whether to drive to Worland for Chinese food. The woman thought it was unsafe to take their toddler out of town on the snow-covered roads, says a brief in the Thermopolis Independent Record. It is unknown if they decided to go out for Chinese food.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

A Denver Chinese food fan's lament

From the Rocky Mountain News' Dining page:

Reader mail

Dear John: "I have just about despaired of finding a place that has good (or even bad) chop suey in Denver. Why do the Chinese restaurants here eschew chop suey? You would think I had asked for poached horse (stuff)!"

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Message board thread on Taiwanese Night Snacks

Found this while Googling for information on Taiwanese snacks. It's a thread in the Japan Today forums, and contains some good photos.

Taiwan Night Snacks

Friday, January 21, 2005

The state of Chinese Food in Hong Kong

The Financial Times brings us an excellent article by Fuchsia Dunlop summarizing the current dining situation in Hong Kong.

China serves up treats for HK

Here's one quote:

"It used to be the other way round," says Rose Leng, businesswoman and gourmet, "but these days the food in Shanghai is so good that Hong Kong people go there for the weekend, just to eat. And now Shanghai restaurants like Xinjishi and Lulu are opening in Hong Kong, and introducing new dishes." Hong Kong also has branches of the famous Beijing lamb hotpot restaurant, Donglaishun, and the Sichuanese Tan Yu Tou. This new wave of restaurants, with chic design and modernised regional cooking, (sanitised, say their critics), are fast eclipsing established haunts such as Lao Shanghai, whose traditional eastern cooking is more popular with the older generation.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Been sprouts in your cow mains?

From an on-line Five Star review of Ho Ho Restaurant in Greenville, RI (thanks to "katya"):

This restaurant is a real gem. I grew up living just outside of Boston's Chinatown. For as long as I can remember I've been eating Chinese once or twice a week; that for about 50 years. I know good Chinese. Ho Ho is great Chinese, especially if you like Cantonese. Here been sprouts are rarely seen; unlike many places that make most cow mains and chop sueys with mostly bean sprouts and use them as fillers in all but the most expensive dishes. Here all the dishes have their own distinctive flavors as well. However, be prepared for some unexpected twists, like the pickled beets, cole slaw and french fries that they serve with each menue choice. Strange (maybe a Rhode Island thing), but nice.

If the waiter says "You won't like it," listen to him.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Wine with Chinese Food? Hold on a minute..

I've finally found a visible supporter of my theory that "beer is the wine that goes with everything -- especially Chinese food.

Wine lovers beware; sometimes, only a beer will do

01:00 AM EST on Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Bloomberg News

Too many wine lovers find it hard to fathom that not every food in the world should be accompanied by their favorite beverage.

Some foods, like artichokes, which contain cynarin, are chemically antagonistic to wine, making them taste oddly sweet. Others, like chile peppers, obliterate them. And no matter what enophiles may say, Cabernet Sauvignon is absolutely awful with chocolate desserts.

I was reminded of this while having dinner recently at a very good Indian restaurant in New York, Khyber Grill. I was struck, not for the first time, that wine and Indian food have little natural affinity.

One might argue that a crisp, acidic Riesling will help cut the heat and spices of, say, mulligatawny soup or a creamy chicken korma dish. And since tandoori dishes need not be particularly spicy, a simple merlot might work.

Others contend that Gewurztraminer, which is itself spicy, with a little sweetness beneath it, is a credible match for milder curries or with the sweet, milk-based desserts in Indian restaurants.

To which I say, why bother? Such recommendations are certainly not ideal; they are merely a way to get wine on the table.

Beverages like beer or tea go much better with the incendiary heat and spices of Indian food. Simply put, there is no wine I know of -- not Cabernet Sauvignon, not Zinfandel, not Syrah, and certainly not a complex, expensive Bordeaux or Burgundy -- that does anything more than quench thirst with Indian food.

During my visit to Khyber Grill, I was accompanied by two winemakers and a restaurateur from California; we tried to make reasonable matches with the restaurant's highly aromatic northern Indian cuisine.

The restaurant actually has a pretty substantial wine list, with several dozen wines from many countries. We chose a Patz & Hall Chardonnay from California.

With its well-rounded fruit and balanced acids, it seemed an ideal match with aloo papdi chat (crispy crackers topped with chickpeas), tangy yogurt, sweet tamarind, and chopped coriander.

The flavors were mild and tropical, the wine adding its own lushness. And that was that.

The parade of wonderful dishes that followed -- spiced ground lamb (seekh kabab); tandoori chicken marinated in a pickling brine (achari kabab); lamb morsels with the complex spice mix called garam masala; chicken vindaloo in a hot chile paste; Goa fish curry made with red chile sauce; and black lentils cooked with garlic, spices, and butter -- completely blew away both the white wine and a big-bodied Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel that followed.

If any wine could have held its own with Indian seasonings and chile peppers, this massive, plummy Zinfandel should have. But it came up short.

The wines didn't compromise the food at Khyber Grill in any way, but neither did they complement it. There just didn't seem any good reason to match wine with such highly seasoned food.

Indeed, if an enophile were to insist on drinking wine with Indian food I would recommend an inexpensive white wine of almost any varietal. After a taste or two of red chile paste, which has a searing heat to it, no wine can go the distance.

This would be just as true of matching wines to hot Thai food, Korean food laced with the incendiary chile pickle called kim chee, and most Chinese food, which contains assertive spices, high salt from soy sauce, and a good dose of sweet flavors, as in Peking duck or dishes made with hoisin sauce.

Cantonese cuisine, which is far more delicate, is not so much of a problem. Many dishes in that repertoire, like clear chicken soups, many dim sum items, pan-fried noodles, and steamed fish with scallions would be enhanced by white wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Pinot Grigio or light reds like Beaujolais, Bardolino, and Red Sancerre.

Traditionally, the Cantonese drink tea or beer with their meals, occasionally rice wine or brandy. Still, as Eileen Yin-Fei Lo writes in her book New Cantonese Cooking (Viking, 1988), "Wine selection can be tricky. The problems inherent in pairing wines and Chinese foods is that the sweet, sour, tart, salty, steamed, fried, roasted, stewed, and blanched all may be included in a single meal."

So, if my wine-loving friends and colleagues will excuse me, I prefer to revert to my Joe-Six-Pack persona at Asian restaurants. For me, an ice-cold Eagle beer from India, or Tsingtao from China, or Singha from Thailand is not just a better choice, but one I don't have to think too hard about to have a good time.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

How's that again?

"If the Irish, in fact, had invented Chinese food, Korean would be the result."

So sayeth the Sunday Times (UK) and explains it, sort of, thusly:

Korean food is not dissimilar to Chinese, if less psychedelically flamboyant. If the Irish, in fact, had invented Chinese food, Korean would be the result. It’s aggressively carnivorous and stew-based, with a violently spicy edge. To the untrained palate, it has two basic ingredients: dead animal and napalm.

Read it in depressing context in The Times Online.