According to Lonely Planet’s China guide:

China has one of the finest cuisines in the world, and from back-alley dumpling shops to four-star banquet halls, travellers surely won’t leave disappointed


You’ve got to ask if this is yet more Lonely Planet chicanery? I’ve never been to China but if my experience in rural Thailand and Laos is anything to go by, I’ll bet the vast majority of the population have never seen the delights on offer down London’s Chinatown (crispy fried aromatic duck, pork-belly stockpot etc etc) . Far more likely for your average Chinaman the daily grind of the above menu which comes courtesy of Lawrence Meakins. Although even the presence of a translation probably means this menu is aimed at the tourist-level wallet.

Incidentally if you’re wondering what scallion is, it’s spring onion although that last sentence there is somewhat suspicious, the lack of a subject hints strongly that we are to assume some sort of entrails is going to feature along with the greens. Also of note, item 1. and item 3. on the menu have identical English translations but the Chinese lettering is different. Any Chinese speakers out there care to enlighten me?

UPDATE. The World Service’s very own Mandarin expert Fuchsia Dunlop says: “It’s because the two dishes have two different coooking methods, neither or which is translatable into English! The first dish is ‘guo qiang’, a kind of stir-frying; the second is ‘hui’, which usually means cooking slivered ingredients in a wok in quite a bit of liquid.”


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