The Fortune Cookie Chronicles

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  • Chinese Restaurants

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    Facialisation and racialisation…Fortune Cookie Chronicles’s Academic Cousins

    Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

    A reader just sent me a blog summary of an academic paper on Chinese takeaways in Great Britian. The title of the paper, by David Parker, is ‘The Chinese Takeaway and The Diasporic Habitus- Space, Time and Power Geometries” — which is just a fancier way of saying “The Fortune Cookie Chronicles” (kidding). It is  […]

    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 […]

    Harvard Advocate poster with Chinese Take-out Carton

    Monday, March 17th, 2008

    I think the posters for my events are quite adorable and amusing. This one from The Harvard Advocate (and another one I will show from the Library of Congress) uses symbols of Chinese-ness (fortune cookies and takeout boxes) that are actually things largely indigenous to America. The takeout boxes are so American they are not […]

    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 […]

    Hong Fu, you have to wonder if this was meant with irony

    Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

    Driving along in Cupertino. Again, had to stop and take a picture

    So what is ‘authentic’ Chinese food anyway?

    Sunday, February 10th, 2008

    Fred Ferretti, a food writer, has a critical piece in The New York Times op-ed page about the authenticity of Chinese food in America. (Ripping on Chinese food in America seems to be a resonant topic for The New York Times op-ed page/NYT Mag this year, see previous pieces by the Zagats, Nicole Mones and […]

    Indian Chinese food, catching on in Singapore?

    Thursday, February 7th, 2008

    Reuter’s Gillian Murdoch seems fascinated by the emergence of Indian Chinese food in Singapore, writing a fairly substantive review of a restaurant there. Singapore, remember, has substantial ethnic Chinese (East Asian) and Indian (South Asian) populations — and the food in the region often reflects that. But Indian Chinese food is not the same as […]

    A welcome letter to the Baghdad Chinese Restaurant

    Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

    A friend of mine who works in the Baghdad bureau ofThe Los Angeles Times sent me a welcome letter that his translator wrote to the owner of the new Chinese restaurant in Baghdad (which was informed, in part, by reading this blog). Dear Sir, I was yesterday following up some stories on the web about […]

    Story #3 on the Baghdad Chinese restaurant, this time by ABC

    Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

    Yet another story on the Baghdad Chinese restaurant (really, people love Chinese restaurants), this time a Reporter’s Notebook by Hilary Brown of ABC. This restaurant will soon be the most covered restaurant in all of Baghdad My favorite excerpts: There’s no menu so I had the bright idea of calling ABC’s Beijing bureau to find […]

    More on the Baghdad Chinese restaurant: no Sweet and Sour Pork

    Friday, January 25th, 2008

    Media just loves the Chinese restaurant in Baghdad story. The Times of Lonndon also takes alook at the Chinese restaurant in Baghdad with a piece that is horribly headlined: “Chinese chefs take a wok on the wild side in world’s most dangerous city.” Tidbits we learn It is probably the only non-Iraqi restaurant — and […]

    Chinese restaurants return to Baghdad

    Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

    h The security situation must be improving in Baghdad: A Chinese restaurant has opened in the Karrada neighborhood. (There had been several Chinese restaurants in Baghdad beforehand, including two in the Green Zone, but all of them they had closed down as security got worse and worse). Menu is limited, but it includes dumplings. And […]

    This little piggy went to market. This little piggy stayed at home. This little piggy went to dim sum…and ended up roasted

    Monday, January 7th, 2008

    These two pigs were spotted in Jing Fong in New York City’s Chinatown after dim sum with friends (one who said “Ooh! Make sure to get the Christmas tree in the background). Given that Americans don’t like to reminded their food ever ran, swam, flew or breathed, this would probably not go over well with […]

    Super Chinese Delivery: Chinese hot dogs via FedEx

    Thursday, December 20th, 2007

    Here is an email from the owner of Chai Peking glatt kosher Chinese restaurant in Atlanta about my City Room post about his (yummy!) Chinese eggrolls. A gentleman from Chicago read the article and ordered, I believe, 6 Chinese Hot Dogs to have shipped Federal Express to him. My question. Wait. Did he freeze them? […]

    Has Bloomberg really eaten in the 2,500 Chinese restaurants in New York City?

    Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

    In a speech at Shanghai’s Fudan University on Wednesday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg observed that there are 2,500 Chinese restaurants in New York City and “I think I’ve been to most of them.” Well, he is Jewish.

    What do they serve for dessert in Istanbul Chinese restaurants — fried gelato

    Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

    This is what they serve instead of fortune cookies in Istanbul Chinese restaurants: fried gelato (which is also apparently what all Chinese restaurants in Italy serve for dessert, according to my Italian downstairs neighbor). Because there are not a lot of Chinese immigrants in Turkey, Chinese food tends to be a bit upscale since you […]

    Maybe she really really liked their crispy shredded beef?

    Thursday, November 29th, 2007

    A British millionaireness who died and left her $20 million fortune to her favorite Chinese restaurant owners is now having her will challenged in court by her surviving relatives. Golda “Goldie” Bechal died aged 89 in January 2004, leaving the bulk of her estate to her friends Kim Sing Man and his wife Bee Lian […]

    Think Valentines’s Day is most romantic day in Chinatown? Try Thanksgiving

    Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

    The most romantic day in Chinatown is not Valentine’s (because of cupids) or Christmas (because of the mistletoe), it is Thanksgiving. Why? On the fourth Thursday in November, hundreds of white bridal gowns rustle in the streets of Chinatown. More weddings take place in Chinatown on that one single day for one simple reason: it’s […]

    No justice! No noodles! Restaurant workers stand up for their rights

    Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

    I did a blog post on City Room on Wednesday about Chinese restaurant workers organizing for City Room. With chants of “No Justice! No Noodles!” (you got to love that) Chinese restaurant workers called for a boycott of Ollie’s Noodle Shop and Grill restaurants yesterday, claiming that the president of the popular restaurant chain was […]

    Found in Translation: How does Asian ethnic food become American

    Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

    I went to the packed NYU/James Beard Foundation event last night — Found in Translation: An Exploration of How Asian Cuisines Become Part of the American Culinary Landscape. Event was totally full. Wait list galore. People (luckily for me) are absolutely fascinated by food talks. And to its credit, it was a pretty diverse crowd […]

    There really are two menus in Chinese restaurants? Is this dog or “lamb”

    Friday, November 2nd, 2007

    The Moscow Times reports the police are investigating a Chinese restaurant for killing dogs and serving them. A Chinese restaurant in southwest Moscow is being investigated on suspicion of rounding up dogs on the street, killing them and passing their cooked meat off to customers as lamb, city police said Monday. Two residents went to […]

    They’ve Starbucked the Kong!

    Saturday, October 6th, 2007

    I went back to Harvard yesterday with my friend Chris and stepped into the Hong Kong Chinese restaurant and was shocked. They’ve renovated the venerable half-century old Hong Kong Chinese restaurant (which until now basically looked like something from Happy Days, vinyl booths, cracked linoleum and all) and made it look like Starbucks on the […]

    No stars for Wakiya from Bruni.

    Friday, October 5th, 2007

    I’m a bit delayed in posting this as I am still not being a vampire and blogging all day, but Frank Bruni of The New York Times gave Wakiya a harsh no star rating (which technically is “satisfactory,” but really isn’t, especially given what you pay for it). As he writes…”To get to these tables, […]

    The house were Lincoln’s assassination was planned? Now a Chinese restaurant named Wok n’ Roll

    Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

    Here is a bit of Chinese restaurant trivia: The Washington boarding house on H Street belonging to Mary Surratt, where the assassination of President Lincoln was planned is now a Chinese restaurant called Wok n Roll. (They serve sushi too.) These photos are courtesy of food blogger Erin Zimmer.

    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 […]

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