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Will my family survive the food?????

London, United...
Level Contributor
230 posts
66 reviews
Will my family survive the food?????

I'm thinking of taking my husband and 2 girls to China in 2011, we will do Beijing, Xi'an and Chengdu. Now I've read that Beijing has McDonalds and other places but what I'm worried about is when we get to xi'an and Chengdu will my pasta only ( and I'm talking just pasta no sauces) eating children and meat and two veg husband survive the food?

While I will eat and try anything they are unbelievably unadventurous in the food dept. I don't think that we should miss out on world experiences just because they are so picky, but i can't stand a holiday full of moaning about the food?

Can anyone advise?

London, United...
Level Contributor
230 posts
66 reviews
11. Re: Will my family survive the food?????

No worries, I appreciate that most people want to experience the whole culture of a country when they go abroad and i was the same backpacking when i was younger, but now with a family who've never been further than Dorset, England it's a real challenge and I desperately want them to enjoy their time away without dreading it.

All the replies are really helpful even if they're not your travel style. Thanks so much. Heather

Manila, Philippines
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong
Level Contributor
6,351 posts
17 reviews
12. Re: Will my family survive the food?????

After several months in Beijing with plenty of friends from different countries, I realized that Chinese food is definitely not for everyone. I know quite a number of people who didn't find Peking Duck delicious. I guess I can consider myself lucky because I was brought up in a city where we have a diverse selection of world cuisines. Now I can eat anything except probably Indian food which I like the least.

hong kong
Level Contributor
8,880 posts
175 reviews
13. Re: Will my family survive the food?????

Sims in Chengdu is one of the few places I have been that has very good western food in China at a low budget. I think the main reasons are that the owners have an international background and have travelled widely, so they know what the food should taste like, and many of their customers are westerners so the place is cooking for them to a large extent. If you try the Chinese food at Sims, it is quite different from what you would get elsewhere in Chengdu, unless you ask them specifically to make it 'locally'.

That said, some of the very worse food I have had in China, often left almost uneaten, is the 'western' food in mid priced restaurants (under 100Rmb). In these places I have learned from experience to order Chinese food, as with the western you are just never sure what you will end up with. This is more true in provincial towns - for example in Jishou, Hunan we were once in a nice looking restaurant near the station while waiting for a train and ordered a steak. It was inedible. However, the bowl of noodles we also ordered for a fraction of the price was pretty good.

So, if looking for western food, besides the KFCs, I'd also look for restaurants serving backpackers. I think it will keep your family happier.

Taiyuan, China
Destination Expert
for Pingyao County
Level Contributor
3,725 posts
200 reviews
14. Re: Will my family survive the food?????

You are rarely very far from a KFC, which may be the best option near tourist traps, where the local restaurants can be over-priced.

I strongly recommend stopping by grocery stores to pick up snacks that people like, as occasionally you might not be able to find a restaurant that meets people's needs exactly when people are hungry. In some cases there are passable breads and pastries available, too.

If you, yourself, are interested in trying local food, you can go to a fast food place, get food for your family to go, and then go together to a Chinese restaurant to get what you like. I have seen locals do this where clearly the generations had different preferences for food.

London, United...
Level Contributor
230 posts
66 reviews
15. Re: Will my family survive the food?????

Thanks Travellevret, that's a great idea. I can't wait to go now and am feeling much more confident about taking the family....

Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
5,716 posts
47 reviews
16. Re: Will my family survive the food?????

Chinese food has a very long history probably the longest in the world civilisation.n its very diversed.in fact there r so many different chinese cuisines ,different ways of preparations,styles n flavours that differ very much from each provinces to different clans. U may end up having some fun with chinese food maybe not in Beijing n in some other cities in China as even Beijing food differ greatly from that in Sichuan or Guangdong.even noodles alone there r hundreds of ways of preparing it from the normal yelloew noodles to ramen or even stick or rice noodles.As such food has been a centerpiece in a chinese family life it has evolved into a very prosperous industry.Popular sayings that the chinese eats everything that flies except the planes or with legs except the tables etc etc....hope u have a culinary delights too apart from enjoying the historical places in China.

Taiyuan, China
Destination Expert
for Pingyao County
Level Contributor
3,725 posts
200 reviews
17. Re: Will my family survive the food?????

Also, there are some Chinese dishes that are widely available and tend to be popular with picky Westerners :)

Stir-fried egg and tomato (I don't why, but people love this.)

Kong pao/Gong bao chicken

Pork dumplings, especially fried (guotie)

Noodle soup (la mian)

Fried rice

Caramelized (basi) apples, bananas, or sweet potatoes

Various deep-fried chicken, potatoes, etc.

UK
Level Contributor
116 posts
22 reviews
18. Re: Will my family survive the food?????

Hiya

I cannot answer for Xi'an and Chengdu but i was in Beijing the end of 2009. As with other replies here, there are any amount of McDonalds and KFC around as well as western food restaurants ie Italian, Indian and other American.

I'm quite picky when it comes to food but didn't find eating in Beijing an issue at all.

19. Re: Will my family survive the food?????

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