Judging from the photo, this may actually be a literal translation…

Ordering food in China can be tricky if you don’t speak or read Chinese, leading to many a frustrated expat staring into an unanticipated  plate of chopped chicken feet. When I first moved to Beijing in 2005, my Chinese was a bit more limited, which led to a limited set of dishes I could order. I once thought I would be safe when ordering 牛肉面 (beef noodles) from a menu, thinking I would get a plate of noodles and beef. What I was actually presented with was what is now infamously known to my friends and family as “Fear Factor soup,” – a giant metal bowl with piles of spicy peppers floating ominously on top.

Luckily for the non-Chinese speaking restaurant goer, many places now offer English translations on their menus. Unluckily for the English-speaking restaurant goer, these translations may need translating as well. Sometimes fanciful, often nonsensical and occasionally vulgar, mistranslations are never more glorious than when found on a menu. I’ve assembled quite a collection over the years, but a choice gem at dinner over the weekend inspired me to share them. Bon Appétit! 

I think no
This does not make me think of Spring, nor does it make me smile.
I can see why the wild germ would hate that
“Speculation” is the key word in this one
Having a difficult time choosing between Super Cherish and the Baked Elbow
They expect a lot from their yogurt
“Excuse me, but are the garlic cowboy tablets made from real cowboy?”
I admire millet pepper’s bold public declaration


Posted by:Natalie

Writer. Internet Wrangler. Media Relations by day. Marketing for ATB Publishing by night. Big fan of zombies, cupcakes and candid photography. 我爱北京

2 replies on “You are what you eat

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