Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Menu Misconception

I couldn’t have been paying attention. I was walking down town yesterday when somebody thrust a leaflet at me and, breaking my usual habit, I took it. I’m glad I did. I learned a lot.

Here it is.

leaflet 1

And the reverse

leaflet 2

Yes, it’s for a new restaurant specialising in what passes in their fevered imaginations for western food. Usually, we get restaurants serving up dishes which the ‘chefs’ have only ever seen pictures of and try to guess the ingredients and cooking methods. They nearly always fail.

This time they have gone back to ingredients and are serving up the sort of food we westerners would eat every day if we had the chance.

Let’s look a little closer.

leaflet 3

First thing is that we only ever eat steaks. With fried eggs And un-sauced penne pasta. The only vegetable we ever eat, and that reluctantly, is broccoli. We don’t apparently do plates either.

What is this crap?

Second up is this:

leaflet 4

As everyone knows, sirloin steak must be served with fried egg, broccoli and un-sauced pasta. Er, haven’t we been here before. Well, at least they they used a different pasta for this one – fusilli.

Of course, a western restaurant in China isn’t complete without a few mistranslations.

“The Cowboy Done” should be “The Cowboy Bone” but I’ve no idea what that means, either.

“American steak to the naked eye” sounds great but is “American style* rib-eye steak”. How disappointing.

I don’t even want to think about what “Yeti signs steak” is.

*Note when they say “American steak” they mean “American style” which is what the Chinese says.

Another place serving up shit food prepared by ignorant cooks to ignorant customers who then complain that western food is shit. They have never eaten western food.

. This entry was posted on Monday, May 2nd, 2016 at 2:38 pm and is filed under Food and Drink, Liuzhou Life, Restaurants, Strawberry Fields. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

10 Responses to “Menu Misconception”

  1. Lord Snooty Says:

    The rolls look good though.

  2. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    You don’t actually think they have them. do you?

  3. David Says:

    Should wonders for their waistlines. Mind you theres an equally crappy version of Chinese food in the west although it’s usually cooked by Asian chefs and the real stuff is increasingly available .

  4. Matt W Says:

    But they do have sauce for the steak!

  5. Orson Says:

    The Chinese for “Cowboy bone” here is “牛仔骨”。They mistranslated “牛仔”。It could mean “cowboy” but in this context it means something like “bone (rib) of veal” or “small rib of cow”. This is also something I don’t understand: I understand that in that restaurant maybe nobody speaks English, but I don’t understand that they already spent so much money to run a restaurant, why didn’t they just spent a little more to find someone speaks English to review the menu? A school teacher will do, whom they could find everywhere. Could you believe that once I saw a sign (in Shaanxi) for “Public Toilet 公共卫生间” is “between public health”。

  6. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    In fact, a school teacher in China is highly unlikely to be able to translate menus accurately. Menu translation is one of the most difficult translation topics. I know university teachers who can’t do it. Just yesterday a friend with excellent English (MA from American university) asked me for advice on some menu translation.

    As to the restaurant not spending a little more to check translations, why should they? The translations are not for the foreigners to read; they are to make the menu look more exotic and ‘authentic’. 99% of the target audience can’t understand it and couldn’t care less. Very, very few foreigners will ever go there.

  7. Robert Says:

    Is the photo back to front or is the knife and fork on the wrong side ? The glass of wine is to the right of the dish which seems to be correct but the knife blade should not be facing away from the dish. Where is the ubiquitous black pepper sauce ?

  8. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    The ubiquitous black pepper sauce is in the picture above.

  9. Robert Says:

    Sorry, I missed it, 1st photo top left hand side in the white jug. What are the 3 things in the photo with tapered ends, suppositories ?

  10. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    Do you mean in the Cowboy Done picture? If so, I’m fairly certain that they are cross-sections of the bones in the meat.



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