10 Steps to Remember When Eating at a Chinese Restaurant

Introduction

Chinese food appeals to many of us because it is tasty and relatively inexpensive. We are also under the impression that Chinese cuisine is healthy as it includes large portions of vegetables and low amounts of fat. That’s true when the dishes are prepared the traditional Chinese way in China. But American-Chinese restaurants have modified their food for American tastes and as a result, it is not as healthy as the traditional one. Western Chinese restaurants offer appetizers, fried rice, meat rolled in butter, and sweet sauces among their “goodies”. And to top it all, the portions are much larger than the ones served in mainland China. That’s why, having all this in mind, if you want to eat healthy at a Chinese restaurant, you have to choose wisely.

1. Start by choosing a good restaurant

When you are in the mood for Chinese food, avoid the typical Chinese restaurant where you can eat as much as you want for a fix price. Chances are you may not want to leave the restaurant until you feel you got your money’s worth. Unfortunately, if you do so, the restaurant will get your money but you will get the calories. Not a win-win situation. Instead, go to a restaurant where the waiter takes your order.

2. Start with a soup

A smart move when eating at a Chinese restaurant is to order a soup. Two advantages: first, less overall fat in your meal and second, the soup broth will fill you up. This translates into eating less when the waiter brings the main course.

By starting your meal with an appetizer you may ruin your goal of calories, carbohydrates, fat, etc. Pork ribs, egg rolls, fried wonton and any other fried foods are high in fat, sugar, and calories. If the waitress brings Chinese fried noodles to keep you busy until the food is served, put them aside or ask her to remove them from the table. Instead, you can kill time while you wait for the food by drinking Chinese tea. No calories there unless you add sugar.

3. Choosing the main course

When choosing the main course look for dishes that are abundant in vegetables and have small portions of meat. You can reduce calories by choosing seafood or chicken instead of choosing beef, pork, lamb or duck. You can also order two dishes: one that has meat as the base and one that is mainly vegetables such as green beans or spinach and mix them.

4. Avoid fatty dishes

Read the menu carefully and avoid for the fattiest dishes. Some words will give you a clue: beef rolled in butter or breadcrumbs, crunchy pork, etc. Find out if the meat was fried before being sauté with the vegetables. If that is the case, ask if they can sauté the meat you have chosen instead of frying it.

5. Watch out for hidden carbohydrates

Sweet and sour sauces as well as other typical sauces of the Chinese cuisine are full of carbohydrates and if you are diabetic, they can raise your blood sugar. Sugar and starches keep adding carbohydrates to many main dishes. You will also find carbohydrates in the corn flour used to thicken sauces and in the ingredients used to marinate the meat. Read the small print and ask a lot of questions to the waiter.

6. Be careful with the rice

You know that at a Chinese restaurant, you are going to be served a big bowl of rice and as you may be aware, rice contains many carbohydrates. Avoid fried rice and regular soy sauce to flavor it; you will end up with a lot of fat and sodium in your meal. If possible ask for brown rice which is rich in fiber. If they don’t have it available, hold the rice. Remember that a cup of rice has at least 45 grams of carbohydrate.

7. Reduce the salt

Order dishes with light sauces, not too thick. If you need soy sauce ask for the low sodium version and mix it with steamed brown rice, not with fried rice. To add flavor to your meal you can add some hot sauce; it has less sodium and less calories.

8. Share the dishes

If you have company, order one main dish, a soup or aperitif and some rice. Then, share it.

9. Eat with chopsticks

Eat your meal with chopsticks. If you are as skillful with them as I am, they may slow you down. But don’t worry because as everything in life, it has a positive side: you will probably eat less. Don’t fall into the temptation of asking for a fork and a knife; you may regret it.

10. And for dessert…

As for dessert, order fruit and never mind the ice-cream with sugared walnuts which I know by experience it is hard to resist. But if you have followed the above recommendations, you will feel pretty good about having eaten a healthy meal. So, why ruining it?

[Chinese Restaurant Review] Cho-Sen Island, Lawrence

It was time for us to return to their roots. Two of our last three Quests took us to Flushing, NY. We had to find our selves again. Center our being. Get back in to the ‘hood.

We’ve tried a mix of other styles of Chinese food. Cantonese, Szechuan, Singapore style. But, never Kosher Chinese food. There are plenty of Kosher Chinese restaurants in Manhattan. But, our Quest, as yet, isn’t to find the best Chinese restaurant on that little finger of an island that they call Manhattan. Our Quest is to find the best Chinese restaurant on LONG Island.

So, we had to find the most densely populated Jewish area we could possible find. The Five Towns. Destination: Lawrence, NY

And when we got there, we nearly missed it. It sure looked closed and out of business from the outside. But, we’re smart Jews. We’re literate. We know how to read. The sign said “Open for Business”. That must mean that they’re open for business.

So in we went.

For anyone who wants to follow in our footsteps, the restaurant is located at:

Cho-Sen Island

367 Central Avenue

Lawrence, NY 11559

And, oh what a schlep it was to get there. Oye vey!

The number of yarmulkes in the restaurant outnumbered the number of chopsticks by a ratio of 40-5 (or, 8-1 for those of you mathematician who like to bring their fractions to the lowest common denominator (Jews AND Chinese will love that reference!)

The restaurant was packed. And it was a Wednesday night. I can only imagine what the crowd is like on the weekend. Hmm… Shabbos. Perhaps Wednesday IS their busy night of the week. Dunno. Can anyone verify what crowds there are like on a weekend for us please?

There’s a sushi bar in the restaurant. We didn’t order. In fact, the fact that there was a sushi bar nearly disqualified the restaurant. However, we did some research and learned that sushi didn’t come from Japan. It originated in China. (check wikipedia if you don’t believe Mee). So, Cho-Sen Island was back… and we were there.

The restaurant also has a full bar (though no one was sitting at it, but they do serve a full slate of drinks). The mai tai’s, I must say, were fabulous. OK, was fabulous. I just had one. Could have had another… but, we did some pre-gaming of another sort prior to walking in.

We wanted the full Chinese food experience. An authentic meal. It’s a little hard with the restaurant being Kosher and all. No pork for example. D’oh!

But, what we saw on some other tables made me shake my head. Steak and potatoes. Really? It was seen at quite a few tables. Clearly THAT was NOT for the Mee’s.

So, what did we eat? We ordered:

  • Wonton and Subgum Wonton Soup
  • Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Veal Spareribs
  • Dragon and Phoenix (tender chunks of prime-rib steak and succulent chicken sauteed & served on a “garden” of choicest Chinese vegetables. perfect for a prince or princess!)
  • Double Delight (seafood & veal)
  • Shredded Crispy Beef
  • Chicken Chow Mein
  • Vegetable Fried Rice

Some observations if I may. First it’s Glatt Kosher. Some of the dishes were extremely expensive (yet paradoxically, our bill was way lower than we expected. Mee’s do love getting a bargain. And, good food!)

And the food WAS good. Surprisingly good. A LOT better than some of the other Chinese restaurants we’ve been to.

A few complaints… the sauces tasted exactly the same on a few of our dishes. And, our taste buds detected a lot of sodium.

We left full, bloated in fact (none of us were hungry an hour later… I purposely waited not to wirte this review for 24 hours just to see when we’d get hungry again). There were left overs as the food was very filling. But, we didn’t fight over who was NOT going to take it. It was taken home gleefully.

Humbly submitted for your consumption,

–Lonnie Goldman aka Mee Magnum (“Chop! Chop!”)

Buy Chinese Restaurant Supplies at Wholesale Prices

Running a Chinese restaurant is a big challenge. Once you are through with the basics of setting it up, there is the job of attracting customers and keeping them interested. Authenticity is important as people come to a Chinese restaurant looking for a special ‘Chinese’ experience. So it matters a lot as to where you get your supplies. It is also essential that they are reasonably priced. Online stores are a great option when it comes to buying Chinese restaurant supplies at wholesale prices. Reliable dealers maintain a wide range of these products, most of which are sourced from suppliers based in China. Buying in bulk would help restaurants to get what they need at reasonable rates.

Quality Restaurant Supplies

Cooking and serving authentic Chinese means using the right kind of cookware and ingredients. For instance, Chinese woks distribute heat evenly and are important for preparing stir-fry dishes. They can even be used to deep fry. Non-stick woks reduce the use of oil. The essential Chinese supplies that all Chinese restaurants must have are:

• Chinese woks
• Soy sauce packets
• Chinese soup pails
• Duck sauce packets
• Chopsticks
• Fortune cookies
• Bamboo skewers
• Chinese to go boxes
• Food pails

Quality Chinese food pails are a preferred option to meet the take-out needs of customers. Attractive takeout boxes imprinted with the traditional pagoda design with or without handles are widely available. Take-out boxes without wire handles allow the customers to microwave the food without even removing it from the box. On the other hand, to go boxes with wire handles are not microwaveable, but they are easy to carry. These exclusive food pails are ideal for both cold and hot food.

Soup and deli containers play an important role in Asian restaurants. Restaurants should stock compostable, biodegradable soup containers and deli containers to serve soup take-out needs. High quality plastic soup containers come with safety lids to prevent spillage and leakage. Made of clear polypropylene plastic they ensure that the hot food stays delectable. They are safe for use in microwaves, freezers and dishwashers.

Bamboo skewers are essential when it comes to barbecuing meat and vegetables. Chopsticks play an important role in this food culture. Bamboo and wooden chopsticks are a popular choice in Chinese restaurants. They have matte surfaces, do not conduct heat, and make it easy to hold the food. Bamboo steamer sets are another must-buy for these restaurants. Chefs use the tiered steamers to steam vegetables, fish and chicken.

And then there are the fortune cookies. These delicious, crispy, crunchy cookies are served as dessert in many Asian restaurants. They come with a single fortune and a set of six lucky numbers, and add a special touch of charm to the dining experience.

Large Inventory of Premium Supplies

Most reputable online restaurant supply stores maintain a large inventory of premium Chinese restaurant supplies. You can browse their inventory and source the supplies for your restaurant after comparing features, brands and prices.

Affordable Prices and Attractive Discounts

Established distributors work directly with Chinese suppliers of restaurant products, and offer Chinese supplies that excel in quality. Besides providing their customers with branded products at wholesale prices, these dealers offer attractive discounts for volume purchases. Moreover, they provide convenient, free and prompt product shipment facilities for purchases that exceed a specific amount.

Purchase from an Established Distributor

Restaurants looking to buy the quality Chinese restaurant supplies at wholesale prices should take care to select an established online supplier of restaurant supplies. With a wide range of online resources available, it is now easy to locate a reliable distributor. Using search engines, web-directories and the yellow pages would help you to get in touch with leading distributors. Newsletters, articles, blogs as well as forums are the reliable resources when it comes to locating the right suppliers.

Danbury Chinese Restaurants

For those that live in the Danbury area may be asking themselves, what choices do I have when it comes to Danbury Chinese restaurants? There are plenty of options for Chinese food, but for those that are curious as to how Chinese food came to this country, let’s take a look at just how Chinese food arrived in the United States. Americans were first introduced to Chinese food in the 1800’s. A Chinese immigrant named Norman Asing opened the first known Chinese restaurant in North America in 1849. How did the Chinese first come to America? Because of the discovery of gold out in the western part of the United States, Chinese workers were brought to help build the railroads. They brought their culture with them which included Chinese food. Little did they know that the Chinese and their delicious food would take America by storm. Here is a list of the Chinese restaurants that are considered the best in Danbury.

Great Wall: The Great Wall is considered the best restaurant in the whole city for Chinese food. The food and the service were both considered exemplary and it is ranked number one. Anyone who wants to eat Chinese should consider the Great Wall.

Good Taste: Though it is running a very close second place, this Chinese restaurant also has a very high ranking for good food, a clean restaurant, and great service!

Jeffrey’s Chinese Kitchen: Don’t let the name fool you, Jeffrey may not be a Chinese name, but he still serves some of the best food in all of Danbury.

Panda House: No it is not a section of the Danbury Zoo, this little place packs a big bite and ranks high among its fellow Danbury Chinese restaurants.

China King: Attention all royalty! The China King is open for those of you with a royal palette and a craving for Chinese food. This place is known for its great food, so it is definitely open to those that are royal and otherwise.

Chinese food is the best ever, and has been in this country for over one hundred years largely due to the Chinese immigrant population that came to work on the railroads. There are many excellent places to eat, some of them ranked very high among Danbury Chinese restaurants, and are definitely worth the time to go check them out. Hope you enjoyed the review, have a hearty appetite!