The Fortune Cookie Chronicles

  • #26 on the New York Times Best Seller List
    and featured on The Colbert Report, Martha Stewart,, CNN, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Charlie Rose Tomorrow, Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly, and NPR stations coast to coast. Also selected for Borders Original Voices and Book Sense. Follow me on Twitter! Fan me on Facebook.

  • Best Chinese Restaurants Around the World

    Popular Irish Chinese dish: 3-in-1 = fried rice, curry sauce and French fries all in one.

    Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

    It’s actually not bad, carby overload, with cool crispy and grainy and sauce texture. It’s arguably the most popular Irish-Chinese dish. Best when you are drunk from beer, I’ve been told. Best description when they called it “Chinese poutine.”

    A Peek at the Menu at the New Majestic Restaurant in Singapore

    Friday, August 20th, 2010

    I paid another visit to The New Majestic, one of the restaurants I visited in my quest for the greatest Chinese restaurant in the world. We went there with Don and Laura, freshly married folks. When I visited in 2006, it had just opened. It continues. Lots of high-end ingredients (shark fin, abalone etc.) and […]

    Is Zen Fine Chinese Cuisine Back?

    Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

    Chowtimes reports that the restaurant I selected as the “Greatest Chinese Restaurant in the World” (which had closed) is re-opening: Sam Lau’s Zen’s Fine Chinese Cuisine in Richmond, near Vancouver, Canada. (Photo above courtesy of their diligent reporting). They were struggling because of the economics for a long time sadly. Too bad I just missed […]

    Armenian Chinese Restaurant in Yerevan!

    Thursday, February 18th, 2010

    My friend Alexis Ohanian snapped this shot of Beijing restaurant in Yerevan, Armenia for me. Here’s there on a fellowship with Kiva. He’s 1/2 genetically Armenian and the designer behind my book blog you see here. Random fact I learned. Last names that end in “-ian” are almost always Armenian.

    Chinese Restaurant at the Belize-Mexico Border

    Saturday, January 9th, 2010

    Sent to me by a friend who is traveling through Mexico. Funny to me, that it’s called Chopsticks, even though this is a Spanish-speaking area of the world.

    Where are the Chinese Restaurants in Israel?

    Sunday, June 14th, 2009

    I have been in Israel for a few days now (mostly in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Jaffa) and I’ve barely seen any Chinese restaurants. I’ve seen two actually — one while driving and one while walking. I knew it wasn’t a big thing here, from queries on the Internet, but I was surprised by how […]

    Chinese-Mexican Food: The Chimale

    Saturday, May 16th, 2009

    This Associated Press article on the Korean taco trucks in Los Angeles mentioned something in passing that caught my eye: “Chimales,” Chinese-Mexican tamales stuffed with kung pao chicken or Chinese barbecue pork. They are topped off with a side of pico de gallo and sour cream. The chimales are made by, whose motto is […]

    This Paper is Not Edible

    Saturday, May 9th, 2009

    My friend Tomoko, who lives in Tokyo, went to an upscale Chinese restaurant called Si Chuan Do Hua and had fortune cookies served to her. It was the first time it had happened to her. The fortune was in Japanese and English. The more amusing thing is that on the back it warned, in small […]

    The best Chinese restaurants in the world…sorta

    Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

    Here is an incomplete list of the some of the restaurants I visited for my chapter on the greatest Chinese restaurant in the world. This is not an endorsement for all of them, as you will find reading the chapter. Rather what my research turned up as interesting candidates. Not all restaurants here made it […]

    Zoe’s in Somerville, where the Chinese go to eat

    Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

    I did my WBUR interview with Here and Now at Zoe’s in Somerville, which is ote cited asone of the most authentic Chinese restaurant in the Cambridge/Somerville area. (See Yelp reviews, which have mixed opinion on the authenticity). It’s a place where the dominant language spoken over tables is Chinese — especially last night since […]

    My Greatest Chinese Restaurant in the World, on the brink of bankruptcy?

    Saturday, March 8th, 2008

    So the restaurant that I picked as the “Greatest Chinese Restaurant in the World” is struggling and may be on the verge of bankruptcy, according to the Vancouver Sun, which is really sad. Sam Lau’s business (like many Vancouver Chinese restaurants) is being hammered by cheap flights to Hong Kong and the weakness of the […]

    Newsweek! An interview at Tang Pavilion

    Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

    Newsweek has a pretty lengthy feature in their books section this week by Jennie Yabroff (who asked really engaged questions about immigrations and bigger thoughts, where I really had to think, like didn’t have stock answers for). For the interview, we went to Tang Pavilion, near the MoMA in Midtown East, which is known for […]

    Wakiya NYC Gramercy Restaurant: Review & Reaction

    Sunday, August 12th, 2007

    I’ve visited six continents and 23 countries trying to find the world’s top Chinese restaurants outside of China. Wakiya in New York is not one of them (though it is priced as though it were). This is all the more sad because the original Wakiya restaurant in Tokyo is truly one of the most intriguing […]

    Dispatches from Wakiya (the Tokyo, not NYC, version) — one of the Best Chinese Restaurants in the World

    Monday, July 16th, 2007

    As New York ramps up for the launch of the Yuji Wakiya’s eponymous restaurant in the Gramercy Park Hotel, it might be interesting to look at the original Wakiya in Tokyo. That restaurant is discretely tucked away in an alley in Akasaka, an upscale neighborhood known for its ryotei, discrete high-end restaurants favorbed by Japanese […]

    Jamaican Chinese food? Jamaican Chinese reggae?

    Thursday, June 21st, 2007

    Tomorrow I’m heading to Kingston, Jamaica with my friend Eric Lee (who I know from Chinese camp from the time we both still wore braces) to do research on the Chinese Jamaicans, and Jamaican-Chinese food and the importance of Chinese Jamaicans in the reggae music industry. The Chinese started arriving in Jamaica in the 1850s-1860s […]

    Wakiya Watch: Yuji’s Google count rising

    Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

    Many of the “Japanese” restaurants in this country have Chinese chefs (those Asian guys behind the sushi counter? Chances are they have never been to Japan). Florence Fabricant profiles the hot new Chinese restaurant with a Japanese chef: Wayika, which will be opening up in Gramercy Park Hotel next month Yuji Wakiya, who is a […]

    Will America’s best Chinese restaurant be headed by a Japanese chef?

    Sunday, June 17th, 2007

    Today we will being our countdown to a non-specific date…Chinese food aficionados are waiting with baited breath for the mid-July opening of Wakiya in New York City after Alan Yau (of Hakkasan fame) was unable to get a visa for his chef for Park Chinois and thus canceled the project. Yuji Wakiya, who is Japan-Japanese, […]

    NYT: Why immigration reform affects your Chinese takeout

    Sunday, June 17th, 2007

    Tim and Nina Zagat of (yes as in those Zagats) have an interesting op-ed piece in The New York Times about why Chinese cuisine in the United States is stagnant — and they blame it (partially) on the difficulty with getting visas for Chinese chefs. This is something that I have thought long and hard […]