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Jul 25, 2009 05:09 PM

Menus for HK/Cantonese/Sichuan traditional cuisine

I have fond memories of my last business trip to SF. Took an extra two days to eat my way through Chinatown.

Anyway, I live in PA. A restaurant owner from Hong Kong just opened a place near me, but the menu only includes Americanized "Chinese" dishes. He's quite willing to make traditional HK style food, but his English is not good at all. I've realized the only way that I'm going be able to order traditional food is if I can find some bi-lingual menus from some good HK, Cantonese and Sichuan restos that serve traditional, non-Westernized food. If anyone can point me to some good resto web sites where I can print out a bi-lingual menu, I'd really appreciate it. I have looked online myself, but had no luck. Most places I've found that serve traditional fare don't even have a web site.



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  1. Koi Palace is one of the best cantonese restaurants in the SF Bay Area.

    Link to their menu page:

    Koi Palace:

    1. Spork, dude! Thousands of chinese takeout menus. You're looking for good menus, not good food.
      Some favorites:
      Some of the menus are old --- but if you can't find what you're looking for there! And it covers a *huge* part of the bay area - don't stick to chinatown, they're only a small part of the chinese scene. Try San Mateo and Mountain View at the very least.

      Jatbar seems to have really clear, more up to date menu scans.

      Not sure I agree about "most traditional places don't have websites" - but that's academic. There's certainly enough that do for your purposes. Examples:

      2 Replies
      1. re: bbulkow

        bbulkow- Thanks! Very helpful. Plenty for what I need.

        1. re: fsck100

          Koi Palace is one of the best Cantonese places in this area, so that menu should be useful for your purpose. A lot of their dishes seem to be missing from that Sporq scan--you might want to check out the one on their Web site:

          China Village is Sichuan, Shanghai is Shanghai, and Spices is Taiwanese-Shanghai, so those menus probably might not be the best to take to a Hong Kong / Cantonese restaurant.

        1. Ah, the secret menu dilemma. Here's a "secret menu" translation I wrote years ago for Joy Restaurant in Foster City. The menu doesn't offer many cantonese dishes, however.

          If you want to go crazy on this topic, you can also get yourself a copy of McCawley's "The Eater's Guide to Chinese Characters".

          2 Replies
          1. re: snewdl

            I didn't know that there was a named "secret menu dilemma." My clinical obsession (it's really bad) with traditional Chinese food is young, so I'm new to all this. Thanks to all. This thread has been tremendously helpful.

            My last traditional meal was Saturday and I'm getting DT's (withdrawal) already.

            1. re: fsck100

              Just for the record, Joy in Foster City no longer has a secret menu. Everything that was in the Chinese only menu, is now translated as far as I am concerned.

          2. Here's a link to the online menu for R & G Lounge, a good San Francisco Cantonese restaurant: