Chinese Dining In NYC

January 26th, 2016 § 0 comments

Why do Jews love Chinese food? When HG lived in New York, HG noted a Sunday exodus of the city’s Jewish population to Chinatown. HG/BSK lived on the Upper West Side which had a very good, spacious restaurant, The Great Shanghai, plus the city’s first restaurant serving fiery Szechuan cuisine. HG/BSK only went to Chinatown to enjoy Sunday dim sum brunch. HG/BSK munched while reading the Sunday Times. SJ and little daughter Lesley were dedicated Chinese foodies from their earliest days. Dim sum was their favorite (This passion is still alive with them and their lovely children, all discerning consumers of soup dumplings). SJ has a theory about the history of Jewish love of Chinese food. SJ theorizes it all began when immigrant Jews from the Lower East Side would stroll to Chinatown to get a break from traditional Eastern European cooking. Their accents and struggles with English would not be embarrassing in restaurants whose staff had similar problems. Also, they could eat pork and shrimp, forbidden unkosher (“traif”) foods they would not cook at home. And, Chinese restaurants were very cheap. In these modern days of New York dining, a curious phenomenon exists. Affluent diners are willing to pay astronomical prices for esoteric Japanese food. But, they rebel against high prices at Chinese restaurants. This may be ending. La Chine restaurant in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel is offering exquisite Chinese cuisine (plus some Japanese style Sashimi) prepared by famous chefs. The ingredients are superior and the prices are very expensive. Pete Wells, The New York Times restaurant reviewer, has given it a rave. HG/BSK will dine there when next in New York. Yes, it means a dent in credit cards. But, self indulgence is only a minor sin.

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