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Old 08-31-2017, 02:15 AM
 
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That's a pretty cool goal. You should eat the local food of each province and compare.
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Old 08-31-2017, 09:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeinChina View Post
That's a pretty cool goal. You should eat the local food of each province and compare.
Yes. We love trying local food as well. I have some personal opinions on where the best food is and where the friendliest people are.

I'll make a broad stroke, I like northern Chinese cuisine a lot more then southern Chinese cuisine. The worst food I've eaten is in Yunnan and Hainan. The best was Henan and then Shanghai. We spent 10 days in Yunnan eating local food every meal. I didn't have a single meal that really stood out as great. I tried some new things that were okay, but I'd rank their food at the bottom. Hainan food was pretty bland. I didn't spend as much time there, 5 days. We had a couple good meals, but nothing spectacular. In Shanghai and Hunan, it's easy to find amazing restaurants or street food. I've had a few bad meals here and there, but most of the meals I've eaten are really good. I just like the spices, more meat, and more wheat based foods in the north. I like spicy, but I don't want every meal to be spicy.

I think most Americans will like northern Chinese cuisine more. There are some regional southern Chinese cuisines that are really good, I really like spicy hot pot with lamb for one. But there are too many bland vegetable only dishes eaten rice. Some of the spices they use just don't agree with me.
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Old 09-01-2017, 09:54 PM
 
653 posts, read 581,841 times
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Yeah I can see how Americans would like northern Chinese food, I think the whole bread and wheat/noodles thing is more like what were use to eating, instead of the south always being rice. I like spicy but not a big fan of hot pot or soup in general. I actually think Shanghai has the worst food in China and is many times too sweet. Guangdong, Hunan, Sichuan and I also like Dongbei food as well. Beijing has amazing food and might be my favorite. Good luck on your travels!
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Old 09-04-2017, 12:41 AM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
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Well, I've been here nearly four years now.... Happy with my choice of GZ. it's an interesting place with its own, strong cultural orbit, no matter what anyone wants to say about Jiangsu or whatever other place.

I find most Cantonese food to be repulsive, tbh... The best Chinese cuisines for my palate are Xinjiang, Hunan, and Sichuan. Everything else I've had was bland, bland, bland, at best, and pungent/bitter/just plain gross at worst. After having spent as much time here as I have, I would actually put Chinese food near the bottom of my favorite cuisines. No comparison at all to Thai, Mexican, Indian, Mediterranean, etc, or the variations of these you'll find in the US. I will also note that I'm exceptionally opinionated on food... I own a restaurant here, and the highlight of any trip I take is eating the local food.

the expat scene in GZ is good, though this year has seen a lot of Westerners leave compared to previous years. There are still large African, Middle Eastern, and Central Asian populations here, though those have gone down as well. The outdoor seating for the main bar street, Xing Sheng Lu in Liede, was shut down last year and now that bar street is dying off, meaning that the expat nightlife scene is sort of floating and doesn't have a nexus like it did.

Most foreigners live in the CBD, which is by far the nicest area to live with all the modern amenities, but I think that the older areas around Haizhu Square are more interesting.
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:14 AM
 
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I just came back to HK from Shenzhen.


I saw a western man eating Chinese dishes with rice in a restaurant. He used his left hand to hold chopsticks which is very odd in Asia. He also picked out all the very mildly hot red, yellow and greenchili pepper from the dishes. Most people in Shenzhen including the Cantonese don't mind the food a bit hot. Most dishes in Shenzhen have some chili pepper in them. For example the dish Mapo Tofu is not hot in Hong Kong, Japan and the West, but it is mildly to super hot in Shenzhen. Many Chinese in Shenzhen came from spicy provinces and have very spicy appetite. When they come to HK, they are often seen adding spicy sauces by themselves to the Chinese food in HK. HK food is mainly Cantonese food, Cantonese food is not usually made spicy. In supermarkets in Shenzhen, there are more hot and northern Chinese food sold in supermarkets than in HK. There are many different spicy vegetables similar to kimchi and wheat food like steamed, baked or fried buns and pancakes. And many people prefer rice grown in northeastern china similar to Japanese and Korean rice instead of Thai, Vietnamese or Southern Chinese rice in HK.


In Shenzhen you have to be ready for the chili pepper, hot sauces and northeastern rice.


Cantonese food originated from mostly Guangzhou therefore the locals eat Cantonese food and those from other regions eat their own food, mostly hot if from other parts of Southern China, Chaochow people like seafood, northern Chinese food less spicy and have more wheat.


In SZ, I see most people have spicy soup when eating noodles in soup, only mainly the Guangdong, Fujian, Hainan, HK, Macau and Taiwan people have plain soup.


Nowadays, northern Chinese also eat rice, rice growing was brought to Manchuria by the Koreans and Japanese when Japan ran a puppet state in Manchuria during world war two. Southern rice can't grown in Manchuria but the Korean and Japanese rice can, the climates are similar.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeinChina View Post
Yeah I can see how Americans would like northern Chinese food, I think the whole bread and wheat/noodles thing is more like what were use to eating, instead of the south always being rice. I like spicy but not a big fan of hot pot or soup in general. I actually think Shanghai has the worst food in China and is many times too sweet. Guangdong, Hunan, Sichuan and I also like Dongbei food as well. Beijing has amazing food and might be my favorite. Good luck on your travels!

Last edited by HSrights; 09-04-2017 at 02:24 AM..
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Old 09-06-2017, 04:30 PM
 
Location: When will Hell Freeze Phoenix, AZ
287 posts, read 780,728 times
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Wow what type of restaurant do you own? How was that possible? Profitable? I'm intrigued!

I lived in Beijing from 1985-87, and didn't return to China (Shenzhen) until 2015. In a couple of weeks I travel to Shanghai. Shenzhen has always been a step ahead of the rest of China, due in large part to its proximity to Hong Kong. The points I found most different on my most recent trip (30 years is a long time) was how Mandarin has overtaken Cantonese in Shenzen (in contrast, Cantonese was still spoken in Hong Kong). And strange also how many children seemed to cross the border from mainland into Hong Kong just to go to school by themselves. But the thing that blew me away was the high end shopping and just how many Chinese could afford it!! Back when I lived there many people weren't even allowed into the foreign hotels unless they came in with foreigners or on official business! Glad to see that has changed.
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Old 09-07-2017, 02:24 AM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
9,779 posts, read 13,349,751 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HSrights View Post
I just came back to HK from Shenzhen.


I saw a western man eating Chinese dishes with rice in a restaurant. He used his left hand to hold chopsticks which is very odd in Asia.
Sounds like you saw someone who was left-handed using chopsticks to eat (like me). I can't tell you the number of times that people have mentioned that they noticed that I use my left hand to eat, write, etc, because it's so uncommon in China, where many parents, grandparents, and teachers still try to force left-handed kids to use their right hand instead. I only had a couple left-handed kids in the entire time I taught English here.

Early on in our relationship, my now-wife felt uncomfortable that I wear my watch on my right hand, put my wallet in my left back pocket, and counted money with my left hand, because these were all being done "the wrong way" in her eyes. No one in the West ever batted an eye, but people here are so ingrained into thinking that there's one single right way to do things, that she actually noticed and cared.

The funniest thing is when people are extra-astounded that I'm able to use chopsticks with my left hand, as though it should be borderline impossible... I'm a foreigner, and it's my left hand! No one seems to realize that it works the exact same for a left-hander than a right hander.

Quote:
He also picked out all the very mildly hot red, yellow and greenchili pepper from the dishes. Most people in Shenzhen including the Cantonese don't mind the food a bit hot.
This is an interesting one, too.

I remember one of my friends shared a passage from a book written by an Asian-American chef in which he lambasted white people for eating the chilis in the dishes that he made and then complaining that they were too hot, because you're not supposed to eat the chilis themselves. Whenever I eat at a lanzhou lamian place here, most people will eat their noodles and the meat or potatoes in them, but leave all of the fresh-cut chilis on the plate. I've had people in restaurants instruct me that I'm not supposed to eat the peppers when I do - my ability to handle spice is legendary and I don't think of Sichuan food as being "hot" - and I've also had my (Hunanese) wife try to stop me from eating the peppers in dishes because it's "not what you are supposed to do."

Quote:
Most dishes in Shenzhen have some chili pepper in them. For example the dish Mapo Tofu is not hot in Hong Kong, Japan and the West, but it is mildly to super hot in Shenzhen.
Mapo tofu is generally spicy here in GZ, and it was hot about half the time back in the US, in my experience... mild (and gross) in the Northeast, but generally spicier (and better) in California.
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Old 09-07-2017, 04:32 AM
 
102 posts, read 48,375 times
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It is common to see westerners using chopsticks with left hands. The same westerner may use left hand to hold chopsticks and forks, and use right hand to write.
But it is not common in East Asia.


The Chinese will also tell foreigners to drink bottled water, don't drink the tap water.
Some Chinese believe intravenous is the best way to take medicine.

There are some common views shared by the Mainland and Overseas Chinese such as good and harmful food in traditional Chinese medicine.


Shenzhen and other southern cities were developed earlier in economy than Shanghai and Beijing. Local people got rich earlier than the rest of Mainland China. There is no border into Shenzhen, as it develops, it attracts many non Cantonese speaking Chinese moving into Shenzhen. The population growth is quite big. 10 years ago, there were only 1 or 2 subway lines. The busy areas also expanded into new districts. No smartphones, using QQ instead of WeChat, no high speed rails 10 years ago. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, Chinese were a lot more conservative and poor. Modern technology from foreign countries also changed China. Electronic shopping, food ordering and payment, smartphones, internets, high speed trains...Development and usage of modern technology is nearly the same pace as the West.


Quote:
Originally Posted by once-upon-chicago View Post
Wow what type of restaurant do you own? How was that possible? Profitable? I'm intrigued!

I lived in Beijing from 1985-87, and didn't return to China (Shenzhen) until 2015. In a couple of weeks I travel to Shanghai. Shenzhen has always been a step ahead of the rest of China, due in large part to its proximity to Hong Kong. The points I found most different on my most recent trip (30 years is a long time) was how Mandarin has overtaken Cantonese in Shenzen (in contrast, Cantonese was still spoken in Hong Kong). And strange also how many children seemed to cross the border from mainland into Hong Kong just to go to school by themselves. But the thing that blew me away was the high end shopping and just how many Chinese could afford it!! Back when I lived there many people weren't even allowed into the foreign hotels unless they came in with foreigners or on official business! Glad to see that has changed.

Last edited by HSrights; 09-07-2017 at 04:58 AM..
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