Chinese restaurant

In North America, a Chinese restaurant is a place which serves food which is purportedly similar to fare served in China. Often these places are established by people of Chinese ancestry, who may only speak English as a second language. This frequently results in poorly-written menus with humorous, bewildering, or even disturbing text.

Various claims made by Chinese restaurants in their menus and Yellow Pages advertising:

An astute reader will note the common trend of exclamation points. This is a simple yet effective way to identify a good Chinese restaurant in an unfamiliar town: gather as many take-out menus as possible, and order from the restaurant with the most exclamation points.


Fuck the ginger water, I'd rather have a Pesi.

Chinese food is rarely easy to describe to those not yet familiar with it, and the vague Engrish descriptions aren't much help. The Happy Family is a fairly common Chinese dish, which few have been bold enough to try based on the name alone. The description doesn't offer much encouragement either: Shrimp, scallop, beef, chicken, mixed vegetable in Chef's special sauce. Additionally, typos such as "Human Shrimp" and "Kung Poo" are common.

Some other items include:

Sizzling Scallop and Shrimp
Fresh scallops and jumbo shrimp with mixed vegetables in white wine sauce. Served in a hot sizzling plate.
Mongolian Beef
Beef, prepared in Mongolian Style.
Chow Mein (White Rice or Fried Rice)
Vegetable, Pork, Chicken, Beef, Shrimp, House Special Shrimp Chicken Pork
Moo Shu Pork
With 4 Pancakes.
Seafood Deluxe in Bird Newt

Chinese restaurants in popular culture

The opening verse of Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London mentions a Chinese restaurant. This is the earliest known example of a Chinese restaurant in music.

I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand
Walkin' through the streets of Soho in the rain
He was looking for the place called Lee Ho Fook's
Gonna get a big dish of beef chow mein


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Good work, but guess what? You won't find any of this shit in Trivial Pursuit. archive