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How to Order Chinese Food Like a Boss

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like-a-boss Not everyone has the vast experience that The Chinese Quest has when it comes to dining out at Chinese restaurants.  Experience does have it rewards. When you sound like you know what you’re doing, and you know what you want, you tend to get not only better service, but kitchen doors will open up to Chinese foods that you won’t find on the menu.

How do you get the good stuff?  Order like a Boss!

Don’t know how to “order like a Boss”?  Or, order like a native.  The Chinese Quest is going to teach you.  This stuff is pure gold, I tell you.  You can thank us later… And at the end of the article, I will tell you how.

Please give me the menu.  please-give-me-the-menu.  Then we open the menu, and close the menu, and ask…

Can you recommend some dishes?  can-you-recommend-some-dishes  Yes, we want the real deal!  Give us your best…

Which dish is good?  which-dish-is-good  Or…

What is your specialty?  what-is-your-specialty  And we say…

I’ll have that.  I-will-have-that


When the Dumpling King graces us with his presence, this is what he says…

I like Chinese dumplings very much.  I-like-chinese-dumplings-very-much


Mee V. Stoogas makes a special request

I don’t like beef.  I-do-not-like-beef  Well, technically speaking, it’s not that he doesn’t like beef, he just chooses not to eat red meat.  But, this expression gets his point across.


Occasionally we will spy something on another table that catches our fancy, and we ask…

What is this dish called? What-is-this-dish-called


One thing you’ll never hear us say…

I’m on a diet.  I-am-on-a-diet

Ordering Food

You’ll sound like a real Boss, when you order Chinese food by name:

Fried rice – chinese-fried-rice

Steamed dumplings – steamed-dumplings

Dim sum – dim-sum

Shrimp – Shrimp

Beef – beef (again, just not for Mee V. Stoogas)

Chicken – chicken

Pork – pork

Vegetables – Vegetables (You know how much we love Chinese vegetables!)

Something to Drink

most-interesting-man-in-the-worldWe don’t always drink beer when we eat, but when we do, we prefer Tsingtao…

A bottle of beer, please.  A-bottle-of-beer-please


And when it’s served we say all together, in five part harmony…

Bottoms Up (Toast)!  bottoms-up-toast


When enough is enough (and when, of course, we HAVE to get a shot for our Twitter feed)…

Where is the restroom (toilet)?  where-is-the-restroom-toilet


And at the end of the night…

The check, please.  the-check-please

Should you get stumped with some of these pronunciations, may we suggest that you print out a copy of this article, and bring it with you.  Then you can point to what you’re trying to say.  With practice, and grace, and the help of your server, in no time you’ll have the pronunciations down pat, and you’ll be speaking and ordering not only like a native, but you’ll be speaking and ordering like a Boss.  And other restaurant patrons will give you all the proper due respect that you now so richly deserve!

How to Thank Us

As a thank you for us turning you on to these insider secrets, please share this post with all of your friends and family.  And they too, can order like a Boss!

Xièxie 谢谢!

Humbly submitted for your consumption,

Mee Magnum  (“Chop!  Chop!”)


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  1. It’s fun to learn that when it comes to ordering Chinese food that it might be fun to know the language when it comes to getting some. I like that you mentioned that this will take time to do it like a native, all it will take it practice and grace. This is something that I will keep in mind.

  2. Thanks for the tips on ordering Chinese food. I would love to be able to order in Chinese. I agree with you, I bet the service would be better if I could order like a native. I will have to practice this!

  3. These are some fun phrases to know, though I’m not sure I’ll be using them next time I go to a Chinese restaurant. I know my inflection would be terrible, and I don’t want the waiter or waitress to think I’m fluent! However, ordering some foods by name is a great idea, so next time I want some fried rice at a Chinese restaurant, I might just ask for “chao fan.” Thanks for the article!

    • Hazel,

      We are so glad that you enjoyed the article, and learned a few useful phrases. And thank you for taking the time to post a comment.

      Please share the article with your friends, and tell everyone about The Chinese Quest!

      Xie Xie!!

  4. Wow, that’s pretty smart to know certain Chinese phrases when going to a Chinese restaurant. Ever since my daughter got back from Hong Kong, China on her student trip she’s become obsessed with eating Asian food. The cool part of her experience is that she can even make some of the dishes that were cooked for her in Hong Kong. http://www.bamboopalace.ca/

    • Correy,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. We are so glad that you appreciated the article.

      If your daughter has come up with some recipes, perhaps she would like to submit them for us to publish and we can link back to your website (which I am going to go check out now!)


  5. That’s pretty excellent, but a lot for me to remember. I have a hard enough time remembering what to say in English.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  6. I’ll never be able to learn Chinese. A friend of mine tried to teach me a few words. No chance. I don’t know why, I could never remember the sound of any word other than Xe Xe 🙁

    • Chinese has got to be one of the hardest languages to learn. Characters are words. Either you know it or you don’t. Unless someone knows a shortcut! Good thing some Chinese restaurant menus have pictures on them!

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