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What to eat and drink in China

What to eat

Choosing food in China can be a chore. Only the most upscale restaurants (and some international fast-food chains) have menus in English. Your best bet is looking to see what other people are having and pointing so that waiter will know what want. It might seem primitive, but it works!

Generally in the West, we are familiar with only one type of Chinese cooking, the one that corresponds to the area of origin of most of the immigrants that have settled in your city (normally Chinese immigrants cluster together according to area of origin). Naturally, when we travel to China, we expect to find these dishes, and some of us might be disappointed when after several weeks we still haven't encountered our favourite dishes.

In any case, the basis of Chinese cooking is rice, along with vegetables, chicken, beef and pork. Normally Chinese people order several substantial dishes, which are served in the centre of the table and shared, and that always include meat, vegetables, fish and soup. Do what they do!

While over the course of the route we recommend our favourite restaurants, it's best to be daring and try places you see on the street that look the best. It will cost you a pittance and you'll be introduced to some truly fascinating flavours!

(Of course, provided you have a bombproof stomach; the last thing you want is to allow an upset stomach to ruin your trip).