If you want to find good Chinese food in the United States, go to a NON chain restaraunt ---first, then go there on a Sunday--- if there are Asian people eating there, you've probably found a fairly authentic restaraunt.
Think Dim Sum, forget fortune cookies & General Chiang's Chicken... that stuff is strictly for the round-eyes.
Chinese food in Japan seemed fairly authentic to me, or, at least as authentic as I've had at restraraunts in the United States that were popular with Chinese.
Chinese food in the United States, Westernized-Chienese food, is typified by stir-frying, Wok-cooking, quickly prepared dishes that are less centered on vegetables & seafood.
Fried rice is eaten much moreso than plain white rice, and, what I've experienced is that many dishes are served cooked with a rather oily sauce that makes many of the different tastes indestinguishable.
There are a great number of chicken and pork dishes that use a rather sweet sauce, sometimes almost orange in colour---- I've not had anything like this outside of the United States...
And of course the fortune cookie--- it goes without saying that at the end of a Chinese meal there is the ever-present slightly sweet cookie folded not unlike a dumpling you would find in soup.
The funny thing about fortune cookies is the fortune themselves... depending on where you go, even pan-Asian restaraunts in my city have fortune cookies oddly enough, the fortune can be anything from light hearted obvious statements like "Try and you will succede!", to downright depressing, "Man was born to live, but not prepared to live."
I've had Chinese food in chinatown, a restaurant in which I think only us and another family there were the only non-asian...or maybe even non-Chinese in the restaurant. It was very, very, very different from chinese I've had that has been westernized.
I'll have to admit, I dont ussually go to a themed resturaunt with cultural authenticity in mind.
When I go to an Istalian or Chinese resturaunt I expect good tasting slop hehe.
Theres a new Japanese resturaunt opening up soon here in my town so, since the S/O is over from Japan we'll prolly mozey on over and try out their authenticity, nothing like a Japanese national pick apart a westernised resturaunt.
I wonder if they'll do real Japanese food or just be a glorified westernised sushi bar.
I don't know how the term " egg rolls " came about in America,the 2 Chinese characters for this appetizer literally means " spring rolls ". Vietnamese have their native version of non-oil-fried spring rolls in rice wrapper stuff with vermicilli,lettuce,pork slices and halfed-shrimp.
Most of the Chinese food I've had has been iffy. Of course, before I moved to Arizona I lived in a town where the people running the only Chinese restaurant were Japanese, but the places here are good if a bit expensive, not a chain.
I have a favuorite chinese restaurant in munich, and i like the food there more than in other chinese restaurants here. By reading this thread I remembered that it's the only one where I can meet chinese people.... Sometimes there are 50 chninese people and just me is non-chinese
Mm.. The general rule of thumb when looking for a 'good chinese restaurant' is looking into the restaurant and seeing if there are any foreigners in there. If it's all/mostly Asian, then most likely it's authentic. XD
But about eggrolls and orange chicken... they're incredibly westernized to suit the Western tastes. That's why most foreigners think of those two when it comes to Chinese food.
Well, i'm a Chinese in England and the Chinese buffet in a number of Chinese restaurants here can only show the way of cooking and seldom the good taste based on my limited experience. The real Chinese food is far more than a non-Chinese can expect.
mmm...I like Chinese food. Westernized is ok with me. I had some really great Chinese food in Yokohama. Also, they had dessert there, not a fortune cookie or almond cookie like here in the US. It was kind of like a white coconut pudding with fresh fruit and lychees (spelling ?) it was so refreshing and not too sweet or heavy. I wish we had that here.