These soul food recipes are authentic foods

A big misconception is that a lot of people think you need to go to a cheap, diva restaurant to get good Chinese food,” says Baohaus chef-owner Eddie Huang. “That’s not true. Dives these days are actually the ones duping people. The really good Chinese restaurants like Ping’s in Manhattan Chinatown serve their best seafood dishes at market price. Great N.Y. Noodle Town is probably the only good ‘cheap’ Chinese restaurant—and even then they’re probably considered expensive for their category.” That’s not to say there aren’t a lot of great hole-in-the-walls, says Joanne Chang of Boston’s Myers + Chang, “but just because a place is little and cheap doesn’t mean it will be good.Look for regional specialties. “At most restaurants depending on the region you already know what the greatest hits are,” says Huang. Find out what a restaurant’s specialty is before going to eat there, suggests Ng. “For instance, a Shanghainese restaurant will probably have soup dumplings and scallion pancakes. It also probably wouldn’t be a good idea to order a Shanghainese dish at a Cantonese restaurant.” Be exceptionally wary of restaurants that serve things that are totally off-base, says Huang. “You don’t want to eat sushi from a Sichuan restaurant.”

Ask about the other menu. “This is America, so there’s almost always an English menu,” says Ed Schoenberg, restaurateur and owner of NYC’s RedFarm. To find the most authentic dishes, find out if there is a separate Chinese menu and if it has different items than the English menu. To figure out if there are different dishes on the Chinese menu, says Schoenberg, compare the number of items on each menu. If the English and Chinese menus appear to be different, then “look for unfamiliar dishes, which should be less Westernized and therefore more authentic.

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