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Why do chinese restaurants insist on having "secret" Chinese menus their English-Speaking customers can't decipher?

It's much more common in Guangdong (and possibly the Northeast, though I'm much more familiar with the former). Leizhou is apparently "the" city for 狗肉.

about 13 hours ago
BuildingMyBento in General Topics

Spelling & grammar errors on menus

When some Chinese menus are translated into English, the resulting words are either egregiously uninformed, or particularly amusing: http://buildingmybento.com/2012/03/06....

Otherwise, yep, spelling errors bother me just a bit, though it's not offensive enough for me to leave the restaurant.

It's Christmas in August!

This may not surprise some, but during a visit to an Angeles City, Philippines department store in September a couple of years ago, I thought the same thing...well, at least they had a special deal on (what turned out to be awful) polvorón.

Who would you like to dine with?

Francis Ona, William Walker and Miyamoto Nobuko.

Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray could drop by as well, even though I've met the latter once before.


Iconic CT foods

Scamorza on pizzas in Bridgeport.

New incarnations of foods?

I make ful with avocados these days. To make it even more thrilling, I'd liberally add some Trader Joe's "Everyday Seasoning."

A few things to get off my chest ...

Clams and bacon was a regular order when I was able to get to Pepe's in New Haven.

I'd dig kimchi on hot dogs too, as long as it's not the kimchi drowning in its own (albeit delicious) juice.

Leave the gun, take the cannoli...

Only because, no matter what movie I typed in on Youku (China's Youtube, somewhat), it showed up, here's one from Under Siege:

"Get my pies out of the oven!"

Favorite Bread(s)

The cardamom-cinnamon one, is that semla?

Japanese food in Beijing

When I think of eating Japanese in China, Shanghai would be number one.

For Beijing, why not get Korean? I think Wudaokou (in Haidian district, where many universities are located) is known for that cuisine.


Do you like ramen?

How about Ohanajaya's (Tokyo) coffee ramen?: http://buildingmybento.com/2014/08/12...

Though, on a different note, I'm much more likely to eat ramen in Japan and China than in the US. It might be because I'm in NYC and many other cuisines are much easier to find here.

NYC's Underground Japanese Eats

The sushiya in Fukuoka was called "Gin." It was strategically placed in his favorite neighborhood...

Aug 12, 2014
BuildingMyBento in Manhattan

NYC's Underground Japanese Eats

A 60-something fellow in Fukuoka who wouldn't have been out of place in Goodfellas invited me to sushi and a スナック ("sunakku"- a place to chat with women while sipping mercilessly expensive tipple). In the sushiya, he kept uttering "unmei" (fate) to me and "garufurendo" (girlfriend) to the young woman at the neighboring table.

Before going to the スナック, we walked into a karaoke place. They didn't have the song he wanted, so he gave the guy the equivalent of 80 bucks and left.

This bizarre saga started at one of Fukuoka's famed nighttime yatai, or food carts.


Aug 10, 2014
BuildingMyBento in Manhattan

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - August 2014

Time to whip out the fried mantou

Aug 10, 2014
BuildingMyBento in Chains

Underappreciated Cuisines & The Dishes You Would Choose To Spotlight Them

I'm a big fan of Turkish food too, though there's plenty of it here in NYC.

The eggplant imam dish you name is called (in Turkish English) Imam Bayildi, but in Turkish, İmam bayıldı (pronounced "bayuhlduh"). Good stuff indeed.

music to chowhound by

Les préludes by Liszt is a regular for me. I have Tampopo to thank for the recommendation.

I hate it when I don't know how to pronounce a food's name in a restaurant

Even if you can pronounce a word, will you always know what it means?

If one would use his/her phone to try your app, simply doing an internet search for that word would bring up phonetic pronunciations and definitions.

I'm not ashamed though, so there's no problem in asking a server on this end.

Chocolate: What do you look for?

I've eaten an assortment of chocolate from around the world - special (dubious) mention goes to Caesarwave, China's fake Toblerone. At the end of the day though, just like with many other foods, if the base isn't good, it won't matter how many/which extras are added.

Take Silver Queen, an Indonesian brand. Not a treat at all, even if the bar is loaded with cashews. So, melt the chocolate and use the cashews in a korma...


Need New Pizza Topping Combos

Clams and garlic. Kalbi.

Lay's Potato Chips' New Flavors -- Seen or Tried Them?

China has Lemon Iced Tea Lay's, as well as Lime and Cheesy Lobster.

Kuala Lumpur - A&W: The First Fast Food Brand in Malaysia

The first place I saw an A&W outlet was Springfield, Virginia.

Years later, I noticed them a bunch while living in Jakarta, but only caved in last December for a meal.

My burger was not good- it had a coarse, salty square of beef bacon on top of a sad circle of more beef. Indeed, the root beer was heavy on the sweet.

In Malaysia though, I'd probably err on the side of satu teh tarik and dua roti canai...


Chipotle is going seatless...

Recently, I noticed a lot of McDonald's take-out only windows on various Chinese pedestrian shopping streets.

Bad news for my taro pie addiction.


Jul 28, 2014
BuildingMyBento in Chains

Fancy Food Show-next week

Did anyone try the lablabi in the Tunisian section? It's a chickpea stew, if you're interested.

Jun 30, 2014
BuildingMyBento in Manhattan

Help me identify these fruits

have you tried the purple flesh ones too?

Why do chinese restaurants insist on having "secret" Chinese menus their English-Speaking customers can't decipher?

My former boss hired a driver in Shenzhen for a couple of days. When we invited the driver out for a meal - in the expat gulch called Shekou - I remember hearing him ask staff at the Mexican restaurant if there was anything on the menu suitable for Chinese people.

On a side note, our next driver didn't care what we fed him, and he introduced us to some delightful Zhanjiang-style chicken.

Foodie or Gourmet?

I got carried away with truffle'd brie at the fancy food show in NY today, but I'd be loathe to slice street food and holes-in-the-wall out of my travel routine all the same.

I'm no fan of either word - if you've been to Manhattan, have you ever noticed that many of the lunch buffet-by-the-pound places include the word "gourmet" in their title? riiiiight - so I'll carry on doing what we can all relate to, that is, eating.


Best Sandwich at Subway?

Although the odors at the US outlets disgust me, I'll chime in and say that my favorite has been the shrimp and avocado in Japan.

Jun 27, 2014
BuildingMyBento in Chains

Which restaurants/stores have rewards for repeat customers?

Do you know if Potbelly has one too?

Jun 25, 2014
BuildingMyBento in Manhattan

Why do people like sea urchin?

I used to hate it, but then for some reason just a couple of years ago I forgot that I hated it. Something like that.

At that time, I bought soy sauce from Narita Airport (Tokyo) and had some uni from a restaurant in New York, and the two had a blast.

Then, a brief trip to Sicily introduced me to uni and pasta, and it has since become a regular take-out item (at least in gunkan form, it's more palatable with soy sauce than by its lonesome).


Which restaurants/stores have rewards for repeat customers?

Doesn't The Palm have a member's card in a similar vein?

Minamoto Kitchoan on Mad in the low 50s and Woorijip in Ktown do.


Jun 24, 2014
BuildingMyBento in Manhattan