How to Order Chinese food
from a Chinese
So you want to
have some delicious Chinese Food
but don't know what to order..
Here are a few tips from people who owned
and operated a Chinese restaurant
for 50+ Years in Canada
The best and easiest way is to ask your server
or person who answers the telephone when you call for
"take out" or "take away" suggestions to order.
The main question to ask is "what is fresh today and ask them
tell you what they suggest you should eat based upon
the number of persons eating,
the freshest vegetables, meats and fish that are seasonally available".
If they can't answer those questions to your satisfaction, then
get yourself another restaurant.
Now here are a few bits of information that a server should
think about when you ask this question.
How many Adults and Children would be eating the meal and are
there any favourite dishes?
Are there any food allergies to be considered?
1. A good Chinese meal consists of a balance between Yin and Yang
2. A person who is physically well usually eats a balance of
these two types of foods at every meal.
3. There are basically the following types of food - Meat,
Poultry, Seafood (Fish and Shellfish), Vegetables, Eggs, Rice,
Noodles, Tofu (bean cake) and the types of tastes consist of sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, spicy,
4. The complete Chinese meal consists of Appetizers or Soup,
Main Courses and Desserts with Green Tea, Beer, or Wine as
beverages with steamed or fried rice or noodles as a side dish that is shared
among the people eating at the table.
5. The common sauces found are sweet and sour, oyster, soy, and
6. The optimum number of people eating around a table is
between 6 - 10 adults
7. The following table will give you an indication of how
many different types of dishes that should be ordered
Note: this does not include dishes of steamed
rice which should be about a 1/2 dish for every person
Note: Some restaurants do not provide half dishes
7. The meal can be served - separate entrees being brought out
then eaten separately or entrees being bought usually 4 - 6 different ones at a time
Large banquets are served usually with main entrees being
brought out one at a time. For meals up to
about 10 people all the main entrees are brought out as quickly as possible
after the soup or appetizers.
8. For what to order - there should be at least one vegetable
dish and several different meat and poultry dishes.
Ideally for a table of six... one vegetable dish, one chicken
dish, one beef dish, one noodle dish, one seafood dish, one pork
dish plus some steamed rice.
What to Order
The intention of information on this page is to supply
information on how choices
should be selected
and as written before
"A good Chinese meal consists
of a balance between Yin and Yang type foods"
Yin foods are bland and watery and are cooked using steaming,
poaching and boiling methods.
Yin represents dark, feminine, damp, mild, and cool elements.
Symptoms of someone in excess of yin include dizziness,
paleness, tiredness, weakness, diarrhea, fear of cold weather
and stomach upset. In summer, when weather is warm, more yin
foods should be added to meal to get rid of the “heatiness” and
“dryness” in the body. It is no surprise that people in South
China lean more toward yin food. Ingredients that belong to yin
or ‘cooling’ element are bean sprouts, cucumber, bok choy,
watercress, winter melon, watermelon, bitter melon, coconut,
tofu, celery, oranges, pears, rock sugar, oyster, bamboo shoots,
lotus, soybean, mung beans, and etc. Steaming, poaching and
boiling are yin cooking methods.
Yang, on the other hand, represents bright, masculine, dry,
strong and heaty elements. Predominance of yang causes
indigestion, pimples, feeling hot, sore throat, constipation,
high blood pressure, nose bleed and fever. More hot and spicy
food (yang) are eaten when weather is cold especially in
northern China, to offset the yin element (weather) because as
mentioned before, the environment changes one’s property.
Ginger, chocolates, onion, garlic, chili pepper, red meats,
chicken, turkey, crab, shrimps, peanuts, mango, longan, brown
sugar, pineapple, etc are ingredients that are classified as
having yang or “heaty” properties. Yang cooking methods include
deep-frying, stir frying, grilling and roasting.
Balancing Ying and Yang ...
The ideas of yin and yang are used in the sphere of food and
cooking. Yang foods are believed to increase the body's heat (eg.
raise the metabolism), while Yin foods are believed to decrease
the body's heat (eg. lower the metabolism). As a generalization,
Yang foods tend to be dense in food energy, especially energy
from fat, while Yin foods tend to have high water content needed
to flush out the body.. The
Chinese ideal is to eat both types of food to keep the body in
balance. A person eating too much Yang food might suffer from
acne and bad breath while a person lacking Yin food might be
lethargic or anemic.
Ordering... Determine how many people there are to be
fed... check the menu for ying and yang items,
order according to the number of people who will be eating and see if you can come up with a balance
of yin and yang
and you won't go wrong!
Their Web Site Address
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you must enter data in all fields of the above form.
We Get Letters:
Name: Lai Lai
eMail: No Email
Website: No Website
City: Kitchener, Ontario
Comment: While they have no website or email address that I'm aware of,
If you look up reviews of Lai Lai you will not see a single rating that
is below four out of five stars.
They have been in the business for decades in Canada, obviously started
up in China. One of the servers was a friend, she came from Hong Kong to
go to school here. Family is very important in her culture, and when her
sister's wedding came up in Brazil, she flew to Hong Kong to pick up her
grandmother, and flew with her to Brazil and back, and back to Canada.
All of these expenses were out of her own pocket, and it put her back a
year in school. These are very good people.
Don't bother to go anywhere else in the KW area for hot and sour soup.
Everything will be a disappointment in comparison with the hot and sour
at Lai Lai.
They specialize in four different styles of cooking and there is
something for everyone, with many vegetarian and tofu dishes, some
dishes comfortable for the less-adventurous North American palate, the
authentic hot pots, fish and smoked duck, all types of meats and
vegetables, all delicious.
They do take-out, and delivery in the area, but also will book a private
dining room for 60 people if required.
You will be surprised how small the bill is. I've been going
there for ten years and I'm never dissatisfied, the value is excellent.
Bring a group so you can try a bit of everything, and they will seat you
at a round table with a rotating centre to pass dishes around the group.
I see in the letter posted below that they mention the best Chinese
foods being available in Vancouver and Toronto. Kitchener/Waterloo is
the third-most-likely landing spot for people who move to Canada from
China, because of the two highly respected universities, and entire
families will move here to send one or more of their kids through theses
schools. For what are comparatively small towns next to Toronto and
Vancouver, the South East Asian population in the KW area is pretty
large, and they wouldn't return to a sub-standard restaurant claiming to
know how to cook the best of their native foods. I have no doubt you
will enjoy it just as much as everyone I know does!
" Reference our continuing discussions on this group
line about food, specifically, where to get the best restaurant food for
the best price. That is to say, where is the best value for food in all
of North America. Following is an article from The Toronto Star
newspaper, dateline was today, 14 January 2009, about the food available
in New York City Chinatown. After having had the opportunity to review
the contents of this article, my posse and I still believe that the best
value for this classification of restaurant food will be found in
Toronto, closely followed by Vancouver. The food in NYC and Boston and
Chicago and LAX and San Francisco is not so good when compared all what
we have available in Oh Toronto und Oh Vancouver. We are having better
Peking Duck in Toronto than the Beijing Ducks in Peking. Reference our
recent patrol to the Diamond Banquet Hall in Markham, I received a
second report from an agent pal who patronized the same place and he is
reporting the same things that we observed; namely, Nice presentation
and very good service but the food was nothing special nor was it
With Respect To, the prices. The little Thailand “Hole In The Wall”
place on Eglington Avenue West, is next on the agenda, as soon as we get
Round-2-it. The End Agent -