The Secret Language of Chinese Restaurants

03-challenges-in-chinese-restaurants.JPGSo, there’s a Chinese restaurant in my hometown that has two very distinct sides; the side that caters to the non-Chinese people and serve Lemon chicken, Honey Walnut Prawns and the Sweet and Sour [INSERT MEAT HERE], and then there’s the hard-core side with the Chinese-only menus that serves traditional northern Chinese food, and very rarely do those sides meet. It’s kinda like In-N-Out’s secret menu, except you have to learn another language and cheese isn’t involved.

Well in this case, a restaurant in New York was dinged for it by the NYC Human Rights Commission. Lesson learned: make sure your Chinese-only dishes are SO foreign that no sane white person would ever order from it.

David Lopez, a visitor from Wisconsin, contacted the commission after eating at the restaurant with several friends last October.

He and his girlfriend knew something was wrong when a waiter told them that a serving of rice would cost them extra. They had noticed Asian customers munching on similar dishes served over a bed of rice.

“Being Hispanic, we both like rice,” said 46-year-old Lopez. “We saw other customers getting a different menu. We were told we could order from it if we spoke Chinese.”

The prices on that menu, written in Chinese, were an average of $1 cheaper per dish.

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About Ernie

I'm the creator of 8 Asians and one of the editors. While I'm a regular blogger to the site as well, think of my role as Barbara Walters on "The View," except without the weird white hair. During the day, I'm a Developer for a major Internet company and live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I've also been writing in my blog,, for seven years.
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