There are many reasons why I love to travel to China as I have already written once down in this post from last year. There I briefly mentioned food and my favorite restaurants. By going through my pictures from the past years I realized that the food part fell a bit short in that post so I decided to make up for it now. I know that I might bring the wrath of some people now upon me by sharing those pictures but I just can’t help it.
Chinese consider their food to be the crème de la crème of all the world and to be honest I mostly agree with that. Mostly? Because there is always some other food which is great as well (but not in the eyes of my wife and her family…prefering to eat in some run down Chinese restaurant in Germany rather than trying some local specialities, but that is again another story). I only need to mention 小五 xiao wu/ little five in front of my wife to receive death stares from her as xiao wu is the name of our favorite little restaurant in China just 2 minutes walking distance away from her parents home. Let me just tell you that it is surely one of the best foods I have ever tried and also far far away from our current location in Germany hence the death stares. Xi’an, as any other city in China, has tons of food to offer.
Let’s take biangbiang noodles as an example. Not only do they have the supposedly most complicated character but they do also taste superb. Then there are various cold noodle dishes liangpi 凉皮 of which I sometimes even dream of and then of course rou jia mo 肉夹馍 the mouth-watering “meat bread” you can find at so many places around the city. Whenever my in-laws are taking us to a new restaurant I am all hyped, not only because it surely will lead to another weird story due to MIL’s unreasonable character but also because I can experience new food once again. Of course I sometimes face food which I am not the biggest fan of right after the first bite but usually it is something amazing again.
One risk though when it comes to going out to eat with my in-laws is that I might end up with way too much food. They know that I love noodle dishes, particularly cold noodle dishes and also rou jia mo. Sounds great at first but when you do suddenly get two rou jia mo, one cold noodle dish and then some other dish it is a bit much for me. This certain flood of food I received when going to a restaurant in the city center famous for these foods. Well, I managed to eat it all but didn’t feel all too well afterwards for the rest of the day. Speaking of over eating. It is so dangerous with dear crazy mother-in-law as she piles up food non-stop on my plate and thus I learned to wait and see where she is sitting so I can find the seat farthest away from her. The thing is, even though my in-laws always order way too much it is never enough in the end. FIL can eat much, way to much for a guy his size. To put it in other words: he eats about triple the amount of food than me which equals pretty much half his body weight in my estimations. I better come now to the rest of the pictures before I start some more rants about my crazy Chinese family.
Do you have places you love to visit due to the food?
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63 thoughts on “The Love for Food”
Yam, yam, yam! Seeing all those pictures, I get hungry! Ah, I also miss those delicious dishes that you only can get in Taiwan…
It can be really annoying when going to the average Chinese restaurant here and all you find is the same generic food which does mostly not even exist in china…
Food! My favorite part of any culture. Dim sum, that’s my favorite of all Chinese meals, either for the nai wong bao or the cherng funn. (it’s definitely NOT for the chicken feet.)
In Germany, it’s probably the cheeses.
In Vienna? PASTRIES.
In D.C.? Indian food.
And of course, you cannot beat Los Angeles for Mexican.
I have yet to try dim sum 🙂
It is all because here in Europe we couldn’t find any good place for it yet and xi’an has its own food culture without any dim sum so any restaurant wouldn’t be the real deal either
I wish we’d had your family as tour guides when we visited China! It was so overwhelming with the language and all the choices, it was kinda scary sometimes to order food not knowing what we’d end up with. To be honest, it was pretty hit and miss for us…but everything you’ve been eating there looks incredible! If we ever go again, I’ll be asking you for recommendations!!! 😀
Haha the restaurant menus can be really entertaining as well, who wouldn’t want to order a “sexy pole dance chicken” or “pig flying over river” …when eating there I am totally depended on my wife, more often than not I pointed at a delicious looking picture in the menu just to hear that it includes some intestines…
Lol my hubby would be all over the intestines…he loves that stuff. 😫 but I think I’d definitely be more interested in the sexy pole dance chicken. Hahaha…you should take pics and make a post of them. It would be hilarious!!
Have some picture about that chicken from the menu, need to find it again 🙂
I don’t know, I never got myself to eat intestines…In My youth I had to eat liver few times…didnt really like it
Yeah I can’t eat those things either, though fortunately my mom didn’t like them either, so I never had to as a child… but hubby is Albanian, and grew up in Italy, so used to eating all manner of animal parts. Eww.
I agree Chinese food is pretty awesome, what I don’t like is the people’s attitude to foreign food. In this sense, I think Chinese people behave just like Italians with that “No, if it is not food from where I come from, then it is terrible food!”. Totally zero open mindedness when it comes to accepting other food and culture. 😦
I just came back from Istanbul and Barcelona and the most frequent questions I get asked by friends are “Didn’t you starve? How could you stay alive with those terrible food? Did you not find kebab and paella horrible?”. No!! I enjoyed my food!!
It is silly when people assume that food in other countries are not good just because they never even tried it. Too often I heard from other that I will lose weight in China because the food is so bad there but when asking them when they last ate Chinese food they always tell me they have never tried…
All the food you presented in this post, particularly the noodles, look delicious.
I was once like your wife [a very picky eater] and then I moved to Taiwan and that changed everything. I am willing to try most things now [I still haven’t have the nerve to try stinky tofu], but I have to be careful as I am allergic to shellfish. And although I love Taiwanese food, out of all Asian cuisine my favorite has to be Thai.
I also learned more and more to try out new food ever since I got together with my wife. Before I was very picky ad well and had most of the time just standard European food
Great post. I just returned to Beijing for a holiday and have eaten eggplant at nearly every meal and ma po dofu – love it. Re-tried stinky tofu. Reminded myself why I think it’s disgustjng!!!! Love the green beans here too and the garlic broccoli.
There surely are tons of egg plant dishes in China. Before I had never even tried it but now I just love it. Besides in China I mostly prefer vegetarian dishes whileas in Europe I am more of a meat eater
It all looks delicious, though I admit to being conservative when it comes to food, I don’t like offal and when eating meat I like to stick to beef, lamb and chicken. I’m sure this would hold me back in China. I love the food in Ghana, but the same squeamishness does stop me eating lots of things. I’m game for anything vegetarian though 🙂
Thus far I have mostly encountered the “standard” meat in China and to be honest I prefer vegetarian dishes there as well. Not because the meat doesn’t taste but because there is such a huge vegetarian food variety which is so delicious
Chinese vegetarian food is great 🙂 & so diverse.
Indeed there is a huge variety but sometimes you need to watch out as the chef might smuggle in some meat :p
Thanks for the tip 😉
I had luckily eaten my breakfast before reading this post, so it wasn’t as torturous as it could have been 😀
Great post! It must be so comfortable for you to have a Chinese family because they can take you to the best places to eat in China and of course translate stuff for you! I am a big time noodles lover as well. My mum says that’s all she felt like eating when she was pregnant with me so maybe that’s the reason 😀 China would be a perfect place for me to travel due to my love for noodles. I don’t think I am that adventurous when it comes to trying out new foods though, especially if it’s with meat. I eat chicken, fish, mutton and occasionally pork, beef and seafood if they are prepared really well, but anything other than that (which China is notorious for), I think I would hesitate a little. Have you tried anything *weird* in China?
Thus far we had usually always only normal meat such as the ones you prefer. However most of the times we go out eating it is mostly vegetarian food with only few meat dishes.
In China I have never really tried any “weird” food but I tried camel and sea slug/worm…
Mouthwatering post, Crazy. Thankfully I just ate dinner and had a good mouthful of chocolate just before I read this post 😀 When you say you eat too much and don’t feel good afterwards, do you mean you feel too full, or because the food didn’t agree with you?
I am not one to suss out a place just because of the food. Food and me and have a bad relationship because if I eat the wrong thing, I will get stomach ulcers. Nevertheless, I like eating popiah (薄餅, veggie spring roll with soft wrapping with peanuts all over) at the hawker centres in Malaysia. This is something you can rarely find in Australia, but I think you can in China.
Nearly every time it is because of eating just too much. Rarely I have troubles that the food didn’t agree with me. Seems I have a pretty strong stomach as I never got any “running tummy” because of the food unlike many other tourists fave sometimes.
I know what you mean about getting stomach ulcers, not because I have it myself but some of my Asian university friends had similar problems and never could gain weight unlike me who gains easily 8kg within a few weeks in China 😮
Maybe it was your metabolism back then, or your swimming made you bulk up. Hence your body just is okay with what it can get 😀
I has always bad metabolism, I just get fat as soon as there is too much food :p
GAAAH, looks SOO good. I can’t wait to be back and get some biangbiang noodles
Haha I know what you mean. We might be back in China next month already in case everything works out well 🙂
“This certain flood of food I received when going to a restaurant in the city center famous for these foods. Well, I managed to eat it all but didn’t feel all too well afterwards for the rest of the day. Speaking of over eating. It is so dangerous with dear crazy mother-in-law as she piles up food non-stop on my plate and thus I learned to wait and see where she is sitting so I can find the seat farthest away from her. ”
🙂 🙂 So funny! You certainly have become at least a regional conneseouir (I need a dictionary) of Chinese food. I think some of those dishes are not Cantonese which is why I don’t recognize them. Of course, Mandarin is not my dialect either…
I really think world gourmet cuisine is sometimes too heavily focused on French cuisine as high gourmet or epitome of cuisine. I seriously would rank the long, diverse Chinese cuisine that pathenon. There is a long, long tradition of chef worthy techniques, spices, stories and ingredients both simple and complex that match French gourmet cuisine. I suggest anyone read:
Shark’s Fine and Sichaun Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China. By Fuchsia Dunlop.
Serve the People: A Stir Fried Journey Through China. By Jen Lin-Liu. She is Chinese American but lived in China for several years, learning Chinese and cooking techniques.
Both books really in an entertaining but highly educational way show how strong Chinese cuisine ranks as a highly influential cuisine to neighbouring countries of Japan and others. This sounds like a Middle Kingdom mentality…but China does have one of older Eastern cultures.
The food looks delicious. I guess all the mum in the world like to feed their kids , especially Asian ones much more so :). I haven’t tried lots of varieties in Chines food but the things I eat, I love them 🙂
One day I’ll go to China and try all the delicious food I keep hearing about!
When you do go to China make sure to have a local there guiding you around to get the best food for sure 🙂
Yummy! Can you believe that there are many foreigners (especially in Shanghai) who claim that they don’t like Chinese food? And hence, never eat Chinese food while they live in China?? It makes me so mad. Of course everybody has something that they don’t like, but everything?? I can’t understand it. Every place I go I always like most of the food.
Anyway, I was going to say: roujiamo!!! I love it. I’m not a big fan of those cold noodles though. I prefer my food hot unless it is ice cream!
Silly people are everywhere and my mother is one of them. She does not even like Finnish food which she has never tried before…as a Finn herself. Now I am just looking forward to the next trip to China next month 🙂
Any trips outside of Xi’an planned? 😀
Oh, planned is always a lot but you know…in the end we just stay there :p
Noooo! You have to insist!
Oh that is a hopeless endeavour. In the end it only happens if I plan everything but I am just too lazy these days
Oh absolutely!! Lots of places I want to revisit just for the food. And now it is completely your fault… heading to the kitchen to cook a mini evening feast. 😉
I am getting myself hungry each time I watch these pictures. Still three weeks till I can eat there again 🙂
very nice and interesting. I would love to try chinese food…just that i am vegetarian and there arnt many options available…
There are so many vegetarian dishes the Chinese kitchen has to offer. In fact most of the dishes my wife makes are vegetarian or even vegan, I didn’t even realize this myself until I actually started helping my wife with cooking
okay thanks for informing 🙂
All that food. Awesome! It’s a torture, Timo. I guess all is forgiven even if one has to face MIL’s unreasonable behavior and sit a safe distance from her.☺️
Sometimes I craved for a simple noodle soup but we don’t have noodles here. I tried the instant noodles once but it wasn’t all that.
Indeed instant noodles are very often a letdown. Nothing goes over self made noodles, so much more flavour as they soak in everything
Would your wife mind sharing her tried and trusted home made noodle recipe on your blog? No pressure, Timo.
Haha lets see. All I have thus far on the blog is one noodle dish but without the recipe :p
I love Asian food, bound to with a Malaysian mother!! I think she’d disown me otherwise .Food is in our genes… I loved it when I went to Malaysia seven years ago with my two daughters, they loved the food and it certainly was one of the major highlights of our trip to Singapore and Malaysia. I’d love to go back….
I think the food is always the memory of a trip which is the best or in case of bad food the worst 🙂
I am looking forward to go to China again soon!
The food at Xiao Wu really looks amazing! I wish I could have one of those noodle dishes, or the dumplings in that delicious-looking sauce right away! Tokyo is my favorite foodie place closely followed by New York. There’s a restaurant called Kikanbo, which serves the most delicious spicy ramen.
Just looking at those pics again make me crave for those noodles. Just terrible how much desire food can create 🙂
Spicy ramen? How spicy? I learned my lesson that when Chinese say it is spicy it surely gonna burn everything away whileas “little spicy” is still manageble by me these days as I learned a bit over the years
That youtube channel looks a bit… different. o-o (I think I also had one, but mine was a bit more… button-y? As Rachel and Jun’s, for example.)
And waaah! There’s a lot of food!
In my area, there aren’t many “affordable” Chinese restaurants (you know, for broke students), unfortunately. (Or not even many Chinese restaurants, in general, I could say.) I think I’ve ordered some noodles and rice and potatoes dishes the other day and I over-ate too. It was all so good. (I felt sick after a while, since I usually don’t eat much food, since my stomach won’t take it.)
Anyway, the restaurants I generally visit don’t many many dishes (or many that I can afford *sad wallet*), but I would so love to try out all the food in your pictures! *-*
The YouTube channel has been rather left to rot for a long time as I had been sick for nearly a year. I am hoping to get around and work on it again once I find enough time for it.
The problem with most Chinese restaurants in the world is that they have not much to do with the real authentic Chinese food. Every county got its own flavour preferences and thus the restaurants adapt to those flavors and the food changes with it
You need to stay healthyyyyy! >.<
Oh. I guess you are right. But I ish a sad unicorn then, because I wanna try out authentic Chinese food, and me no can. D: Wish I could visit China sometime.
It can be really hard to find authentic Chinese food depending on where you live. Few restaurants always got a “Chinese Menu” which is usually always written in Chinese (because they are mean) and most of the times it comes very close to the real deal
Those foood loooks sooooooooo good!
I have never been into Chinese food, but then again I have only tried Americanized Chinese food. I really need to try to get some authentic Chinese food!
It is a huge difference between eating in China and trying even the best Chinese restaurants in the West. Usually in China restaurants are specialized in one certain dish, perhaps a few more but in the West they have everything so they will never be/ barely be able to achieve the skill the chefs have in those small kitchens in China 🙂
That makes so much sense though!
Mmmmm! I love finding a good Shaanxi restaurant in a different town and still getting those tasty 肉夹馍’s. Biangbiang mian became an almost weekly staple for me as I had a great Xi’an style restaurant just down the road from me…it’s hygiene rating was the lowest but that didn’t put me and the other customers off!
Wish we had any Shaanxi style restaurant anywhere nearby. Now we were in Helsinki and visited one which was great but up here in north Germany we have barely anything good 😦