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Kunming Chinese Food

AlexKMG (2362 posts) • 0

So I picked this up at the end of the "Restaurants you love to hate" forum posts. It's locked now (why?)

BillDan
June 21, 2012
107 posts
Crappy food is crappy food wherever it is served and whatever it is called. But it is even crappier and more expensive here in Kunming. And actually I challenge your brilliant logical syllogism at the end of your post Flengs, because I find that the Chinese food in China sucks too! And I have yet to find any Beef and Broccoli in China that can compare to the same dish at Chinese restaurants back in Seattle. Can somebody explain to the "cooks" here that just because something came from somewhere in or on a cow that that does not necessarily make it BEEF!

And all that is moot anyway since I have now become vegetarian and tend to cook at home more. I have been driven to this by various dining experiences in the culinary capital of Yunnan. And trying to eat out here and be a vegetarian is another nightmare. When you say bu fang/jia rou (don't add meat) or wo bu chi rou (I don't eat meat) why is that so complicated? For some reason I keep getting ground meat in my soup and on my foods with the explanation that that is not "meat". Little pieces of meat is not really meat. WTF! They think of meat as a larger (though still rip off sized) piece of meat, a strip of it (that is usually just gristle or fat anyway). So now when I try to order non-spicy food with no meat it is a lot of fun to see what I am going to get.

But lets not forget... "Springtime City!"

zoober
June 21, 2012
3 posts
damn dude, you sound like a very unhappy person. kunming has some of china's best foods. such a shame you seemingly have not found any of it (or maybe just not open to any of it.) maybe if they open a panda express here you'll feel better.

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AlexKMG (2362 posts) • 0

@zoober
Kunming actually has some of China's worst Chinese food. I can easily list 20 other cities across China I've been to where restaurants all taste better. The only thing Kunming has going for it is it's accessibility to Dai and other minority restaurants.

@BillDan
I agree; beef&broccoli is prepared better in the USA.

tigertiger - moderator (5085 posts) • 0

Most Chinese food in UK has its roots in Hong Kong.
I also find the food in HK very different to Guangdong dishes.
I can get good HK style food in Guangdong restaurants in Shanghai though.

I love eating in HK, as I can eat rare meat and other dishes without getting the squits.

The only Kunming food I really like/trust is the sliced roast beef (served cold), or the mushroom soup. (or Japanese)

BillDan (268 posts) • 0

zoober: I do not like Panda Express but if they did open one here it would be an improvement on the local food, that is for sure. "kunming has some of china's best foods." Such as what? Mixian? Just noodle soup. And, ah, mixian. And don't forget mixian. When you ask local people to start naming some local foods all I get is mixian, mixian, mixian. Big deal. This would be special if there were not noodle soups all over China and Asia, and usually much better. The recipe is simple: take some rice noodle (whoo hoo!) and throw it in some oily water, add some diced green onion, and then throw on all sorts of spicy crap. Spicy red stuff. The same spices over and over. "ooohhhhh. China's best food is here in Yunnan and Kunming! oooohhhh...aaahhhh. mixian mixian mixian...yummy yummy yummy!" Sounds like a bunch of hillbillies salivating over opossum stew or something.

Rice noodles alone are not evil. It is the way the "cooks" insist on preparing them that gets annoying. Of course you can find some places that will work with you and get some non-spicy noodles, sometimes with a little struggle, but in the end what have you got after all your efforts? a bowl of noodle soup! I have known people here in KM who said they would refuse to work in a city like Shanghai based solely on the reason that they don't have rice noodles there. Many of students can't wait to get out of this college and get back to their hometowns twenty or thirty miles away, where the rice noodles are the best in the world. They have wasted three years of their lives here eating inferior rice noodles.

Rice noodles are nothing to get excited about. What if a person in the US ate the same flavor of spaghetti two or three times a day for his entire life. People would think he was a bit weird and limited. "Hey Bob, lets go eat something. How about the new Thai place?" "Well, only if they have spaghetti made the one way I like it!" But suddenly it is totally cool to think it is charming and quint to be narrow minded in your food tastes here in KM. "Oh so sweet they way the cute little locals eat the small food all the time and never get bored with it." Great. I am happy for them. But why can't I leave my apartment and walk anywhere within a 5 mile radius and get a package of cheese or yellow butter, or just some peanut butter? The stores have lots of chicken feet and aisles loaded with spicy doufu, but not a jar of real peanut butter. I have to go all the way to Ripoff Paul's on boring ol' Wenhua Xiang and walk past all the ruddy faced alcoholics and dreadlocked potheads outside Salvadore's to just get some yellow butter. But if I want mixian no worry, there is easily 100 shops right outside my place. All serving the same identical product!

What else is there here that is uniquely KM (and of course mixian is not unique to KM or Yunnan, it is all over China). Nothing. BBQ gristle on a little stick? Spicy/greasy under cooked potatoes? Hmmm. All sorts of weeds that get called vegetables, always cooked in tons of dirty oil? Cold hard rice? Spicy doufu balls? Wow, so unique and special. They ruin foods from all over the world and from other parts of China here as well. Jiaozi here is simply horrible. They actually feel that jiaozi with just jiucai 韭菜 as a filling is heaven on earth. Jiucai basically tastes like grass. In my area (and all others) there is nothing outside except little tiny chicken wing vendors. Mixian of course, and more mixian vendors. Hard spicy potato vendors. BBQ on a stick guys. This stuff is fine if you're a tourist and want to sample the "authentic" local cuisine as part of your thrilling China adventure, but it sucks to eat this stuff everyday for years. Boring! One way of cooking. Only my opinion? No, I think not. Chinese people from other parts of China feel the same way. Took some visiting friends from Guangzhou to the Cantonese place up by Nanping Jie. it was a joke to them. The guy got into an argument with the waitresses saying the food was a scam. I agree. I know Cantonese food. There was none there. Just a KM ripoff place that can't even cook outside Chinese food right so how can it cook Italian or Mexican?

I stay in and eat oatmeal and toast now. No laduzi or stomach aches. No arguing with thick headed vendors who cannot believe you really don't want a ton of spicy "flavoring" on your food. Yea, oatmeal and packaged noodles. The best KM has to offer really. If you like noodles warmed up in oily spicy water then you will be happy here. I need something more once in a while.

BillDan (268 posts) • 0

Nope, I am staying here. What is it with this outdated "love it or leave it" mentality. I will stay here and continue to spread the truth about these ripoff 'western" restaurants here in KM. If I leave here then I am forsaking my calling in life. Zoober my mate if you love greasy vegetables and incredibly spicy noodles then have fun and revel in your "utter" bless. My taste may be a little more refined and harder to satisfy. Sometimes I want something from my side of the planet. And the "foreigner ran" western dives here are all scams. Expensive, bad service and bad food in small portions. When Chinese people go to another country they immediately look up Chinese restaurants. There are threads all over the net about how unhappy Chinese travelers and students studying abroad are with the Chinese food there. Not all oily and spicy and the meat is not fat drenched gristle like they are used to and they complain about it. Are yous saying I do not have the same rights? We went to Laos with a Chinese friend and she was so miserable. Face long and sad from having to eat all that weird Laotian food. Until she found a Chinese restaurant ran by a Sichuanese family. she literally ate there three times a day. I am far more open to trying new things than she is. You know why i don't the food here? Because I try it first! I try it and it is horrible. But does that equate to hating life? No.

And there is no utter hopelessness involved. Someone has complaints about a particular matter and suddenly they're in some angst ridden black hole? You only add to my sense of alienation and detachment with your brutal attacks. All I am doing is stating the cold hard facts about the food situation here, has nothing to do some morbid, existential bottomless pit in life. In fact I find happiness and pleasure in doing this. If you were here now I would hug you and sing Austrian folk songs with you, and maybe even share a bowl of noodles. I had rice noodles only 3 days ago. I got diarrhea later, but they weren't that bad. But I am not bitter. I am one happy ass dude in fact. But I have long ago realized that in terms of food in KM the emperor has no clothes and I seem to be one of a few people who has noticed this. The food in KM blows, but life in the big picture is still butterflies, children holding hands and chocolate topped mountain peaks.

I "heart" Kunming. But the food here is the pits. And if all the people with this opinion, including Chinese people who know what a good jiaozi should taste like, up and left the population who decrease drastically. It is my duty to stay.

BillDan (268 posts) • 0

AlexKMG

I need a new hobby though :) I should just start a KM food blog, this is getting a bit weird. I am not so miserable a man. I do love Kunming.

I am convinced a box of Twinkies could set me back on an even keel.

flengs (108 posts) • 0

Hahaha, Billdan is very passionate about his dislikes. I argue he hasn't been looking good enough and has thrown in the towel prematurely after a few encounters with either too spicy or tasteless rice noodles and bad experiences with vegetarian dishes. As the capital of Yunnan, Kunming has a very diverse and colorful kitchen and you can find really awesome food if you know how and where to look, and maybe most importantly know what you need to be looking for. Of course, this food is better outside the big city. Actually, one of my jobs is to take groups on culinary trips through the province and there hasn't been a single person that disagreed with me about any food tastes. Anyway, I'm wasting my time here, it's completely ridiculous that you say "all the Chinese food in Kunming is crap", and you have proven to be impossible to argue with. Have fun chewing on your toast.

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