Gold Coin Chicken and Hong Kong’s frugal side

I became obsessed with the history of Gold Coin Chicken right around the time I became obsessed with the idea of Hong Kong. For much of my life I’ve had a romantic image of the city. I’ve been there four times over the course of my childhood and each trip left me wanting more. I ate up the city’s history, a fascinating juxtaposition of new … Continue reading Gold Coin Chicken and Hong Kong’s frugal side

Tracing globalization with noodles

Nearly all of the restaurants in the Asian immigrant business districts of Southern California’s San Gabriel Valley will serve some kind of noodle dish. Hong Kong-style cafes, the ubiquitous jack-of-all-trades diners of the SGV, serve macaroni in soup and spaghetti in cream sauce as well as traditional Cantonese noodle stir-fries and the occasional Thai-inspired noodle creation. In Vietnamese restaurants, found all over the middle portion … Continue reading Tracing globalization with noodles

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Chinese Eatery Names, by the Numbers

by Frank Shyong INTRODUCTION It is not too bold of an assumption to say we have all eaten at a Chinese restaurant named Golden Dragon or Hunan Garden at some point in our lives. The English names of Chinese restaurants are notoriously unimaginative and often totally reductive. They typically contain one of the following: bland sentiment (Nice Time Cafe), callous boasts (#1, Supreme, Top, Super, … Continue reading Chinese Eatery Names, by the Numbers

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What Yelp misses about Chinatown

by Frank Shyong LOS ANGELES—You’ll hear a lot about how the Chinese food sucks in L.A.’s Chinatown. The Yelp reviews for restaurants there are like foodie dog piles, with pages of commenters complaining of dry chicken, gristly dumplings and MSG headaches. They’re not wrong: L.A.’s Chinatown is only a culinary destination in the pages of clueless New York Times travel books and the distant memories … Continue reading What Yelp misses about Chinatown

Thanksgiving, immigrants and Kentucky Fried Chicken

By Vivian Ho In a beat-up, rust-colored sedan, my parents sat bundled up against the cold, their breath turning to frost. My mother held in her arms a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken, a splurge for them at the time. My father, taking a break from his studies, eased their used car down the icy roads, out of the student slums and into a part … Continue reading Thanksgiving, immigrants and Kentucky Fried Chicken

Christmas* in China

By Zoe Yang The porchetta sparkled. Its skin, lovingly crosshatched, was like some exotic mineral deposit of burnished brown jewels. Raisins, minced pork, pine nuts, and herbs spilled out of its sides – a cornucopia manifest. It smelled like winter in Piedmonte. Joanna, my boss, regarded my quivering, seductively-steaming twenty-pound mass of pork belly and wrinkled her nose. “It smells like Chinese medicine.” It was … Continue reading Christmas* in China

Chicken Tikka Masala, the Foreign Press Corps and ‘Chinese’ Food

by Reno Ong HONG KONG—One of the supposed perks of being a journalist in Hong Kong is membership at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC), an establishment equipped with two bars and a couple of restaurants specializing in Chinese and Western cuisine — all housed in a red-brick building with the equally old-school interior. There, members of the city’s press corps do what they love and do … Continue reading Chicken Tikka Masala, the Foreign Press Corps and ‘Chinese’ Food