Friday, August 28, 2009

Chinese food in Finland

"Chinese food" in Finland...

So, I am off! Today around 5pm I am finally flying to China. Yeeeey!

Wednesday was my last day at work and my work mates figured it would be nice if we all went for lunch together. Since we only have 30 min lunch we chose a place that was close and that had a long table: turned out to be a Chinese buffet restaurant called Wang Long or something like that (aren't they all called that over here?!).

Anyways, this lunch only triggered an even more serious craving for the real stuff. Seriously?! Sweet and sour, sweet and cloggy, sweet and yuk... no, the company was great but the food was really quite bad. And, to top things off: 9 euros for the meal! 9 euros each! That's around 90 yuan. Aoooch! For 90 yuan at a Chinese restaurant you get a lot better stuff. I understand that the prices are more expensive here but still.. I am ready to go back to enjoying cheap, good lunches again!

Another little side note. On Mon night I went out with two of my friends from Tampere. They are like me, not fans of westernized Chinese food, and wanted to try the real thing. In order to do so they brought me, Mandarin speaker, to Tampere's only "real" Chinese restaurant, Shanghai Ren Jia. 

There I ordered three dishes that made my friend not only shine with joy, but also quite surprised, since none of them had ever eaten anything close to that at any "Chinese" restaurant in Europe before. When they later asked the Chinese waiter why they didn't serve this kind of food the waiter replied: "It wouldn't work. People here don't want this. They want their chicken and bamboo. The only people that want this kind of food are those that know a little bit about Chinese culture, or maybe they have been travelling to China before."

Fair enough. 

Actually, I later found out that this restaurant really tried to put the "real" stuff on the menu when they first opened. A journalist from a local paper then went to eat there and wrote a review, claiming the place didn't make "authentic" Chinese food. He was disappointed that there was no fried banana or sweet and sour pork. 

Quite amazing if you ask me.  


Mountaincat said...

I tried Chinese food in Helsinki and it was good, I just thought that ingredients might have different taste so whole dish tastes differently. Especially it depends how meat is processed. Have a good flight!

Tarja said...

Well it's the same thing with pizzas, pastas and kebaps in Finland. Not really close to the real thing. I'm not an expert on indian food so I don't know about that! Finnish food is great in Finland =)

mantse said...

Shanghai food is already different with Guangdong food.... when i first try some food in Bekijing said Hong Kong style... i can tell you that really not that case.

in some people's mind, sweet and soar pork is a typical Chinese dish.

TC said...

There is NO authentic or even decent-tasting Chinese food in Finland. The last one I tried in Helsinki was serving chicken nuggets as "spring fried chicken", and the locals were happily lapping it up.

Melanie said...

If I wanted to try "real" Chinese food, what do you think I should say to our local Chinese Restaurant to see if they'll make me some real dishes? I only speak english.

george said...

hmm Melanie, you can start asking them for a "Xi Hong Shi Chao ji Dan" or Egg fried tomatoes in English, it's a very simple authentic everyday dish for Chinese family, but they never do it in restaurant, either West or East, unless some little family run restruant, as the dish's regarded too common, but it's really tasty, and easy to cook :P

Jonna, did you try it in China? ^o^

Marcus Lindberg said...

Har precis flyttat till Kina, (Shanghai), själv. Kul att följa din blogg för en newbie som mig:).


Jonna Wibelius said...

Mountaincat -oh, where did u go? I have never had good Chi food abroad except for at that one restaurnat.

Tarja -Yes u r right. I still think the pizzas and kebabs are OK in FI... But as for Finnish food... it sure is! mmmm... yum.

Mantse -yeah, well in Europe a lot of Chi food is sweet and sour.. hard to find sweet and sour here in China! :)

TC -well, don't be so fast with saying that. I've had some pretty good food at that one restaurant I visited in Tampere. It is owned by a Shanghainese family, hence the name "Shanghai Ren Jia." When I speak to them in Chinese they are more than happy to make me spicy eggplant, mapu tofu or jiaozi...Having said that though, Chi food is obviously 9864963 times better in China! Like always! But, there's more to Finland than the few Chinese restaurants in Helsinki.

Melanie -I wouldn't know what u could say.. maybe try to get some dish names prepared beforehand? Or, ask a Chinese person to go there with you! That's the best way!

George -sure did, even tried that one at "Shanghai Ren Jia" in FI but it was a little bit too sweet for my taste. I love that dish and tend to order it everywhere I go over here in China!

Marcus -vad kul att höra! Nog inte så många svenskar som läser den här bloggen, så kul att höra från någon! :) Hoppas du trivs i Shanghai, vad ska du göra där?

Brad Farless said...

This kind of reminds me of how I thought I knew what Chinese food was when I lived in the US. It's totally Westernized compared to what I've had here in Singapore (which is primarily ethnically Chinese). The food in the US wasn't really bad, per se. I've had some really good "Chinese" food there in fact. It just wasn't authentic.

Speaking of food being served in foreign countries, take a look what I found in Patong, Phuket, Thailand. I thought of you when I saw it Jonna. The owner said that this was only good for October through March, when the Europeans (and Swedes) start coming for holidays, because it's cold up there.

Mountaincat said...

Yeah, it was near to ferry terminal. I could not find if going second time. Good place to eat and also keeping costs down.