The opportunity to go and eat at a Chinese restaurant is a tasty treat indeed. You love to cook Chinese food at home for the family, but you've never had the chance to eat at a Chinese restaurant before, so you're wondering what sorts of differences you should expect to see. While the obvious difference is that someone else gets to do the cooking for a change, you will notice a couple of other changes between restaurant Chinese and what you make at home.
Changed To Suit A Wider Range Of Tastes
One of the main subtle differences you will immediately spot on a Chinese menu is that some dishes are changed slightly to suit Australian tastes. For example, did you know that Chop Suey is not a Chinese dish at all? This dish is widely ordered at Chinese restaurants, but its origins reportedly stem from America.
When you cook Chinese food at home, you have the opportunity to use traditional Chinese meats such as tofu and animal feet. These two items are often used in Chinese recipes, and you can easily buy these items in the local Chinatown shops. However, restaurants need to cater to commercial tastes, so you will often only see traditional cuts of pork, beef, chicken and seafood on the menu, rather than the more exotic animal parts you have access to.
Availablity Of Ingredients
While you and the restaurant exist in the same town, you may notice a difference in the range of ingredients used during the cooking process. You have access to your local Chinatown ingredients, and the restaurant has its source of meat and produce. The restaurant sources are chosen based on freshness and price as the restaurant does need to make a profit to keep running.
One of the great things about eating at a Chinese restaurant though is the chance to try different meats and vegetables because they restaurant can buy products you may not want to invest money in. Chinese cooking uses a lot of different spices, and you are often hesitant to invest the money into the wide variety of spices since there are so many of them. However, the restaurant uses them all often, so the investment pays off for them.
While you are at the Chinese restaurant, take the time to carefully choose dishes that you don't normally make for yourself. The wait staff will explain different dishes to you if you need further clarification about ingredients used. You are bound to find all sorts of dishes that you like so much you can try and recreate them at home.