Q&A: Why do all Chinese restaurant foods taste the same?

Question by Donielle J: Why do all Chinese restaurant foods taste the same?
I’ve traveled to many states and have eaten Chinese food wherever I go. Why does it seem that all Chinese foods are the same exact recipe no matter where you go? Do they use pre-packages sauces and foods?

Best answer:

Answer by Votre M
Because they think Americans like a certain taste, and their food won’t sell if it isn’t to that standard…if you are native Chinese some restaurants will give you a special menu with REAL Chinese food on it, usually in the nooks and crannies of Chinatowns.

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  1. banana says:

    Why do all McDonald’s taste the same?

  2. Steve says:

    It is because the restaurants cater to Americans and they have a certain kind of taste buds and they only like those kind of food.

    If you truly want to try real Chinese food, either ask those restaurants whether they cater to chinese taste buds or else, get a flight to China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia where a sizeable population are chinese and you would be amazed with the myriad array of food you can find there.

    The flights to Asia are cheap now a days.

  3. GH LIASON FAN says:

    If the Chinese food you’re eating all tastes the same, you’re not going to any good ones. Try something different or get a recommendation from a friend and try again.

  4. Dave C says:

    I just finished reading the book “The Fortune Cookie Chronicles”… It’s funny that you mention that uniformity between restaurants. Even though they are not chain restaurants nor are they interconnected diretly.

    Many Chinese restaurants create dishes with similar flavors because… there is some copy cats. If restaurant A has a good dish, then it’s competitors will create a dish similar to that so restaurant A doesn’t gain an advantage. The example was General Tso’s chicken.

    Sauces are not prepackaged. However, there are probably 5 or 6 seasoned sauces that all restaurants use – Oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, fermented black bean sauce, hot chili bean sauce, regular bean sauce… and soy sauce.

    Also, garlic, ginger, green onions are common spices/herbs ingredients too.

    However, if you really think about it… most restaurants taste the same. Italian taste very similar between Italian restaurants… Greek, Japanese… etc.

  5. oscar says:

    cause they all use the basic spices

  6. Liv says:

    It’s because those Chinese restaurants and Chinese takeaways are using the same factory made sauce for everything. Real Chinese cuisine, like fine dining western cuisine, should make their own seasoning from scratch.

    I know lots Chinese restaurant in UK and even five star hotels which serve Chinese food, they all use the same brand of sauce for every dishes. So, of course it all taste the same. Example, Char Siu Pork, they all use Lee Kum Kee’s Char Siu sauce to marinade.

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