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Finding good renditions of foreign or ethnic cuisines outside their home regions


ambra
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2 hours ago, Katie Meadow said:

I grew up eating Chinese, probably once a week. We had several places to chose from, walking distance on the upper West Side. 

The Cottage on Amsterdam? - entrees include unlimited really bad wine (maybe the longest on going promotion of it's kind to this day?)  I only went a cpl times but my wife looks for any reason to bring it up to wax how it was one of the few spots that allowed her and crew to engage in copious amounts of under-age drinking)

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That wasn't chicken

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1 hour ago, ElsieD said:

In our house, it was the starving Chinese.

 

Darienne, this is for you.  Under the La Paloma sign you can see Oval and Chinese food.

Screenshot_20201112-162454_Samsung Internet.jpg

Takes me back.  Just over 60 years in fact.  Thanks ElsieD

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Never ate Chinese food until in my 20s, after I'd moved to Memphis. It was, of course, VERY Chinese-American. I have eaten what alleges to be "the real thing" in, oddly enough, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where a professor of Oriental history took a job at the University of Alabama and, horrified there was no Chinese food to be had, implored the proprietor of his favorite restaurant in San Francisco to move to Tuscaloosa and open one. Was it American Chinese? To some extent, I'm sure. But he also told us not to order from the menu, but that he'd make sure we got the authentic item.

 

That having been 40-some years ago, I don't remember what we had, except there was duck and noodles involved.

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9 minutes ago, kayb said:

But he also told us not to order from the menu, but that he'd make sure we got the authentic item.

 

I am reminded of a similar occurrence which would’ve been in the 60s. An American acquaintance, Gabe, took me and my husband to a Chinese restaurant in Toronto’s Chinatown. I no longer remember what we ate but I do know there were two menus - one in Chinese and one in English. And I recall very specifically looking around the restaurant and realizing that there might as well have been a wall between those who looked Asian and those who looked otherwise. Gabe did not order from any menu but spoke to a server to give our order. I am quite sure he ordered nothing that we would have real difficulty approaching but I wish I could remember more.
 

The restaurant was far from posh.  It’s street presence was almost nonexistent and I remember being a little uncomfortable as we climbed a narrow set of stairs to reach it.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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My mother spoke of starving Chinese.  After my parents died my guardian, who was much older (which is saying something since my father was a child of the 1800's), referred to starving Armenians.

 

Though I must say, my mother expressed the saying out of concern for starving people and my guardian said it more as a sort of joke.  She was happy to make fun of Jews or of anyone who was not Germanic.

 

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19 hours ago, weinoo said:

I'll never forget this meal, in Rome, at a Chinese restaurant.

 

Santa Maria dei Monti Offerta Hot and Sour Soup

I've had Chinese in Rome before and it was not good! :) Actually, I've also been to a very "fancy" Chinese restaurant there that was good. Italians love hot and sour soup and love soup with chicken and corn. But the wonton soup, another of my favorites, usually looks like dirty dish water and tastes like it too. 

 

But the Chinese offerings in Milan's Chinatown are often excellent, they just don't have any of my American favorites -- mu shu pork, shrimp and lobster sauce etc. But I always leave perfectly satisfied with the offerings. If we ever get out of lockdown (Milan is a MESS right now), I will go and post some pics. 

 

I haven't really found great dimsum here, though people say it exists. I have a short list of places to try. The best Shumai I get are frozen in a shop in Chinatown. Funny, but the majority of the "local" sushi places are owned and operated by Chinese people so there is often a parallel Chinese menu and it's very good. Prato, outside Florence, is also a good place for Chinese food, if you know where to go.

 

 

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1 hour ago, ambra said:

If we ever get out of lockdown (Milan is a MESS right now)

 

If WE ever get out of lockdown, we're visiting Milano!

To your point about sushi places, plenty of the shall we say lower quality sushi places here, also tend to be owned and operated by Chinese chefs.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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In the burbs here, we have only a couple Japanese run and many Chinese and Korean sushi spots.  Unfortunately (for sushi snobs) it's a totally different experience.  The latter incorps a limited menu of cheap, farm raised, bland fish w a huge list of 'splty' rolls that pack 20 ingredients in each plus (think lots of mayo and crab stick).  Most offer no seasonal or obscure fish since no one will eat it.  I don't blame them - caterig to the masses but it sucks when you know the difference.  We were spoiled in the city. 

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That wasn't chicken

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Living where I do, I can have no complaints. "Little Cambodia" for example is down the main highway. https://la.eater.com/maps/best-cambodian-food-restaurants-long-beach-los-angeles When we had Honda and Toyota HQs here the salarymen elevated the already decent Japanese wonderfully. Limited now by CV19  https://www.maruhideuniclub.com/ I must say the best Yum Cha I had years ago was in Sydney. The impending transfer of HK brought lots of immigrants and money.

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Memphis has a sizeable Vietnamese community, and thus a good many Vietnamese restaurants. I have no clue how the cuisine matches up to "homeland" Viet food, but it's certainly good. Good Italian, too, a great deal of it from different members of the Grisanti family, who have over the years had probably 25 different restaurants in the city, all of them excellent. There was once a classic old French/Creole place, sadly now closed. 

 

Up-and-coming cuisines in the city are North African, Middle Eastern and Greek; I've noticed some of all those cropping up.

Don't ask. Eat it.

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17 minutes ago, ambra said:

The Korean food in Los Angeles is amazing. I always eat like a queen in Los Angeles. 

Oh yes even in the early 80's when I lived KTown adjacent it was special. Back then I was the blond oddity. First time a geoduck clam tried to get friendly as I passed by its bin in fish market I jumped pretty high.

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On 11/13/2020 at 12:16 PM, ambra said:

The Korean food in Los Angeles is amazing. I always eat like a queen in Los Angeles. 

 

The food in LA is pretty amazing across the board. My younger self would be amazed to hear me say this, but I think it may be my favorite city to dine out in in all of America. I can't think of many cuisines that aren't well represented, and a handful (Korean, Persian, Vietnamese in Orange County) are consistently better than I've been able to get anywhere else in the US. (I'd probably add Chinese in the SGV to that list but I haven't made it there yet.)

 

The second to last time we visited we had an *amazing* Japanese meal at Kinjiro (in Honda Plaza in Little Tokyo). My partner surprised me with reservations — I am usually the restaurant nerd, but he read something about it somewhere. Some of the best Japanese food I've ever had outside of Japan.

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14 hours ago, dtremit said:

 

The food in LA is pretty amazing across the board. My younger self would be amazed to hear me say this, but I think it may be my favorite city to dine out in in all of America. I can't think of many cuisines that aren't well represented, and a handful (Korean, Persian, Vietnamese in Orange County) are consistently better than I've been able to get anywhere else in the US. (I'd probably add Chinese in the SGV to that list but I haven't made it there yet.)

 

The second to last time we visited we had an *amazing* Japanese meal at Kinjiro (in Honda Plaza in Little Tokyo). My partner surprised me with reservations — I am usually the restaurant nerd, but he read something about it somewhere. Some of the best Japanese food I've ever had outside of Japan.

I completely agree on every count. If you know where to go, you can have amazing food. 

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