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Emperor Noodles (San Gabriel): translation of menu item in Mandarin?

The first item under the drinks is only in Mandarin, well beyond my level of comprehension. Can anyone provide a translation?

The Shen Jian Bao (English: pan fried pork bun) at Emperor Noodles is quite good. It is a bit bao-ier than some of the others, but quite good and priced well.

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  1. Any chance you got a shot of the menu? The pic looks like some kind of tea or juice, maybe with jelly in it. What did it taste like?

    3 Replies
    1. re: PeterCC

      Unfortunately, I was not able to get a menu photo (perhaps next visit). I realize that's little help, but I'm hoping if someone goes in, they can translate it & report back. To me, it was herbal tea with some fruitiness. My fellow diner noted a fruitiness (longan?). I didn't notice any jelly.

      Waitress seemed impressed that I chose it :)

        1. re: PeterCC

          No, definitely not winter melon. I'm quite familiar with the brown sugar-y/caramelized flavor of it.

    2. yeah, they are kinda doughy there. i did not like their noodles at all. it seemed like they were terribly undercooked. but they had these kinda fluffy gluten balls that were interesting from a textural viewpoint.

      i don't remember the drink portion of the menu, it's been about over 3 months since i was there.

      i sometimes take pics of the menu, but not this time.

      1 Reply
      1. re: barryc

        Yeah, they are wonderfully browned on the bottom. Good flavor, but concur about the doughiness.

        1. re: blimpbinge

          Heh, I saw that on a Yelp pic and completely missed the tiny beverage section on the bottom of that page.

          1. re: blimpbinge

            Found an old to go menu (see pic)

            I'm thinking the menu has been updated. I have not been there recently sry.

            1. re: blimpbinge

              Yes, the item in question is pasted on to the menu, solely in Mandarin directly above the Lemon Tea entry :)

                1. re: JThur01

                  do you remember how many characters it was?

                  1. re: blimpbinge

                    Several :) (I realize that's not much help)

              1. re: ipsedixit

                That's what I thought too (see first comment) but Jim said he didn't notice any jelly.

                1. re: PeterCC

                  Guess those ice cubes look like grass jelly cubes to us old fogies-eye, eh?


                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Speak for yourself! ;-) But yes I thought some of the ice cubes were indeed jelly.

                    1. re: PeterCC

                      Yeah, I know...not the greatest photo, no menu photo. I'm really making this difficult. I appreciate the efforts, especially considering how little I've given you to go by.

              2. Somewhat off topic but their xao long bao and egg rolls are very good. As is the hot pot with pork belly that two very kind Chinese ladies were kind enough to offer me a taste of.

                1. Try using either

                  for translation.

                  With Pleco, you can take a pic of a character and get ... decent... results.

                  1. No offense but real Shanghai style Sheng Jian Bao shouldn't look like that. It's really annoying when a regular bun browned on the bottom tries to get pretend it's a SJB. The Shanghainese version is a bun with relatively thin skin, pan fried upside down (so that the "closure" is faces downward) and the buns are put close together so they are squeezed into somewhat of a cube shape. You can get a much better version at Kang Kang Food Court.

                    1. I think it might've been a variety of Oolong.

                      Was it this? 木柵鉄観音

                      19 Replies
                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        It looks like iced miso soup! :-)

                        But again I think ipse is right: Some variety of Muzha Iron Goddess (oolong) Tea would be my bet as well.

                        1. re: J.L.

                          Jim said the waitress was impressed he ordered it. Dunno if a variety of oolong would elicit that response. Though perhaps the waitress was just impressed he ordered something without an English translation next to it, regardless of how exotic or pedestrian it was.

                          1. re: PeterCC

                            Maybe the waitress was just impressed with Jim. Period.

                            And Jim was just being modest with "he ordered it" modifier.

                            1. re: PeterCC

                              Peter, I think that's it exactly. It was down to me ordering something with no English translation. I've ordered items via Chinese name before with similar reactions (I once ordered lu rou fan and the waitress clapped :) ).

                              ipse, in my younger days, perhaps...now, not so likely.

                              I wish I wouldn't have been so busy with other matters that I would have managed to take a photo (though the menu wasn't on the table long). It will probably prove to be something simple and this whole thing will be a great embarrassment. I'm just trying to learn more 汉字

                              1. re: JThur01

                                You mean 漢字 (don't cave in and learn the simplified Chinese - learn the traditional form, man!)

                                1. re: J.L.

                                  It wasn't a mater of choice. Simplified is all the local college offers.

                                  1. re: JThur01

                                    Not true.

                                    All the helicopter parents in Arcadia only send their kids to Chinese schools that teach traditional style.

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      It's true where I live :) ...which isn't Arcadia. I'm several area codes away.

                                      Now, if you'd have fronted me the gas $$$, I would gladly have taken a class in Traditional.

                                      Wait, you coulda got me on a chopper? ;)

                                    2. re: JThur01

                                      I was taught in traditional when I was a kid.. (chinese schools in 626) and through high school.

                                      Then I went to college, and each college or summer course had their own. Some teaching both simplified and traditional. Some only one or the other. If the teacher is able to teach chinese, they should know both simplified and traditional. All I did was ask them if they could write both simplified and traditional characters while teaching, just to know, even if the exams were in just one or the other.

                                      Even outside of school, when I was looking for chinese tutors. The tutors (real tutors, not just students looking for part time jobs) from mainland china knew both simplified and traditional, and could write both for me.

                                      In additional many chinese language teaching/learning websites and apps show one or both forms when you search the word. Like pleco, nciku, and hanping pro. Pleco even includes the cantonese jyutping for some words.

                                      1. re: blimpbinge

                                        Traditional form is a dying art. 20 years from now, it'll be right up their with hieroglyphics. Sad, very sad.

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          I'm don't think it's quite at the stage of "a dying art." Taiwan and Hong Kong still use traditional Chinese and it has even gained popularity in recent years with youths in China due to the influence of Taiwanese pop culture. Specifically, Jay Chou has been credited with promoting traditional Chinese music and writing.

                                          1. re: yizhang

                                            If the Communist Party can legislate and enforce a one-child policy, enforcing 简体字 is going to be a walk in the park by comparison.

                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              There's some relaxation of the one child policy too. Many middle class and upper class chinese couples now have 2 kids. Also, if both the husband and wife are singletons due to the one child policy, the couple can have 2 kids. Lets also not forget that ethnic minorities can have more than 1 and rural families have pretty much always been able to have 2 if the first was a girl.

                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                I spoke to a young (born during the Cultural Revolution) calligraphy teacher in Hangzhou 2 years ago about simplified Chinese. He flat out said it was an abomination on Chinese culture, and refuses to write/teach calligraphy in simplified characters.

                                                He also hinted that the government is considering a dual traditional/simplified system in the future to encourage economic cooperation/investments from HKers and Taiwan-based businesses. We shall see...

                                                1. re: J.L.

                                                  On one hand, Chinese characters have historically evolved over the millennia. Modern Chinese readers often have problems reading ancient texts because many characters have fallen into disuse. On the other hand, I think the simplified characters are awful--they are often unbalanced in appearance and many of them have lost the radicals and/or strokes that give you a clue to their meaning.

                                                  1. re: raytamsgv

                                                    "I think the simplified characters are awful--they are often unbalanced in appearance and many of them have lost the radicals and/or strokes that give you a clue to their meaning."

                                                    same here. Some of the changes are bizarre and make the characters look ridiculous.

                                                    1. re: blimpbinge

                                                      Ditto. Calligraphy (and Chinese writing) is beautiful to me because I find balance in its traditional forms (formal, cursive, archaic, etc.).

                                                      I feel there is absolutely no need to dumb down a language that an intelligent populace-at-large has managed to learn and cultivate, generation after generation, for over a thousand years.

                                                      1. re: J.L.

                                                        Traditional Chinese is one of the last remaining languages that is both functional, and stylistic.

                                                        And equally so.

                                              2. re: yizhang

                                                Indeed. There will always be a need to learn the complicated form to do any archival historical research. Besides it is far easier to go from complicated to simple characters than the reverse.

                              2. This looks like a clear oolong tea ..

                                1. Which reminds me...I've seen it Sheng Jian Bao and Shen Jian Bao. Which is correct? Both? Neither?

                                  9 Replies
                                  1. re: JThur01

                                    Sheng (raw).

                                    Pronunciation-wise, sheng is more "ung" like "hunger" and shen is more "en" like "energy", though not quite in either case.

                                    Sheng: http://www.mandarintools.com/sounds/s...
                                    Shen: http://www.mandarintools.com/sounds/s...

                                    1. re: PeterCC

                                      The 生 shēng here means yeast, or with yeast.

                                    2. re: JThur01

                                      Shengjianbao = Shenjianbao = 生煎包 = Shengjian mantou = Shenjian mantou = 生煎饅頭

                                      1. re: J.L.

                                        I'm not sure if you're saying "sheng" and "shen" are both valid pronunciations for 生, or if you're saying that when one sees "shenjianbao/mantou" that it actually should be "shengjianbao/mantou"?

                                        Since "sheng" and "shen" are distinct sounds in pinyin, and 生 is not pronounced the same as 身, I'm assuming you mean the latter, but your equal signs are confusing me.

                                        1. re: PeterCC

                                          Dude relax. Jim was asking a very simple question on English spelling of a commonly-known Chinese food item. Both forms Jim proposed (i.e. Sheng Jian Bao and Shen Jian Bao) are acceptable in my book. If he showed me either form in English, I'd know what he meant.

                                          Ergo, the answer to Jim's question: Both are correct.

                                          Shengjianbao, Shenjianbao, 生煎包, Shengjian mantou, Shenjian mantou, 生煎饅頭 all mean the same damn thing.

                                          Thus, I tried using the "=" signs to denote this...

                                          BUT!!! There ain't no such a thing as 身煎包. (Not in common usage as far as I know, at least) Therefore, no need to expound on the subtle distinctions between 身 & 生 for this particular line of inquiry.

                                          1. re: J.L.

                                            Not worked up, just always been interested in translations and transliterations, and in pronunciations*. I figured you meant that _by_context_ shen "=" sheng when it appears before jianbao/mantou, but I guess I wouldn't go as far as to say that the pinyin "shen" is a correct pronunciation for 生.

                                            I know there's no such thing as 身煎包, I was trying to give a less context-dependent answer to Jim's question on whether shen or sheng was correct. So I guess we both answered his question accurately, per own own personal motivations (you with context, me without).

                                            *For example, I learned to speak Mandarin in Taiwan. As a result, I suffer from flattening the ch, sh, zh sounds and pronouncing them like c, s, z (in pinyin--too lazy to look up the bopomofo symbols), so when I see other ambiguity like shen/sheng, it makes me curious. Also, I learned pinyin in college, so I naturally try to map transliterations up to the real pronunciations in Chinese.

                                              1. re: J.L.

                                                :-) For someone who's lost most of his written Chinese (I talk a good game with the little knowledge I retained from growing up in Taiwan until age 7, coupled with my college studies, and helpful dictionaries and translators on the internet), pinyin is very useful for me to use. Plus, Chinese businesses from the mainland do use (mostly) correct pinyin in translations. Much easier than that Wade-Giles crap.

                                                I'm still an ally in the traditional vs. simplified "war". :-)

                                                1. re: J.L.

                                                  Pinyin? That's something I have to use instead of characters when writing an article aimed at a non-Chinese readers :-)

                                                  (and, no, the whole thread isn't just fodder for an article, I would clearly preface if that was the case)

                                      2. It says honey green tea.. I think..
                                        蜂蜜綠茶 買一送一
                                        Then, buy one get one free

                                        4 Replies
                                          1. re: blimpbinge

                                            Mystery solved! Thanks for the detective work! I guess the waitress really was just impressed he ordered something without an English translation.

                                            The bigger question now is, Jim, did you get one free?!?

                                            1. re: PeterCC

                                              They are also one of the few places in the area that open right up at 10am! Which is why I went haha

                                              1. re: PeterCC

                                                Wow. It *is* embarrassing. First, the controversy over my supporting the Commies (just kidding!) by taking a Simplified Chinese class - the only in my area - and now...now this.

                                                Thanks blimpbinge for checking and getting a photo. And thanks J.L. for the shen vs. sheng clarification. I think the waitress was more impressed with my ordering shen jian bao (instead of "Pan Fried Pork Bun") without looking at or pointing to the menu.

                                                Peter, my brother picked up the check, so I can't say for certain. But, in recalling roughly what the total was, I'd say it was BOGO free.