I’ve always loved Chinese restaurants – from our neighborhood take-out operations to the high-end, red-lacquered palaces in New York and San Francisco. I remember my first trips to Hong Kong and Shanghai, and how thrilling they were.
But more often than not, Chinese food is a disappointment. Maybe because so many Chinese restaurants dumb it down for the non-Chinese. It may also owe to the public’s belief that no matter how good the ingredients are, and how much skill goes into their preparation, prices should match those of the little takeout place down the street. Faced with a clientele that simply won’t pay for quality, the restaurants serve up an inferior product by necessity.