Lesson 4. Food and Beverage
1. Chinese Food
At the restaurant, a waiter is introducing some famous Chinese cuisine to a foreign guest.
(W: waiter, G: guest)
W:Good afternoon, sir. We cater to both Chinese and western tastes. Which would you prefer, Chinese or Western?
G:I’ll have Chinese food for a change today. I’m very keen on Chinese
food, you know.
W:I’m glad to hear that. This way, please… Here is the menu for today.
G:Thanks. This is my first visit to China. Could you tell me what different kinds of Chinese cuisines you serve here.
W:As you see from the menu, we serve Shanghai cuisine, Guangdong, S ichuan and Beijing cuisine.
G:Could you tell me about their different features?
W:I should be pleased to. Generally, Guangdong food is a bit light, Sichuan food ha a strong and hot taste, shanghai food is rather oily, and Beijing food is salty and spicy. Very interesting.
G:I’d like to know something more about these cuisines. W:Well… Sichuan cooking is famous for its rich, hot flavor. It is particular about the use of seasonings. So no two dishes ever taste alike.
Some of the famous dishes are port shreds with fish seasoning, chicken cubes with chili peppers, and spicy braised crucian carp. G:Now, I know why the Sichuan dishes are so delicious..
W:They are, sir. That’s why Sichuan food is the favorite of everyone.
Guangdong cuisine uses a great variety of materials, even including the meat of snakes. This cuisine emphasizes frying, deep frying, roasting and braising. Its famous dishes are sweet-sour pork fillet with chili, sautéed sliced beef with oyster sauce, plain sautéed shrimps, and so on. G:Sounds delicious , too!
W:Shanghai food is heavier than the Guandong food and take a bit longer to prepare. Vegetables and meats are softer to eat. The food is mostly fried and there is much use of sesame oil and vinegar. The seasonings become sweeter with more sugar and dark soy used in the preparation. Shanghai cuisine uses a lot of seafood and fish. Its famous dishes are sautéed fish fillet with tomato sauce, sautéed shrimps and crab meat, fried prawns with pepper salt, sautéed finless eel in fretted garlic, and so on.
G:There are so many kinds of dishes of different flavors and they all so delicious and nutritious. It’s hard to decide which to take, But I think I’ll
have Sichuan food this time as I like hot food , you know. Will you recommend me some dishes?
W:With pleasure. But how much would you like to spend, sir? G:I don’t care about the money. I’d like to have some good dishes
W:Would you like pork shreds with fish seasoning, chicken cubes with
chili peppers and sour pungent soup?
G:Very nice. Let me try them.
W:According to Chinese custom, we serve the food first and then the
soup, but we’ll bring you the soup first if you like. G:I’m used to having soup first.
W:All right, sir. I’ll get it for you right now.. 2. Ordering breakfast
(W: waiter , G: guest )
W:Are you ready to order?
G: Not yet.
W:Take your time
G: Waitress… I’d like to order now. I’d like breakfast A, please. W:Okay… What juice would you like, sir? G: Grapefruit.
W:Would you like bacon or sausage?
G: Sausage, please.
W:And how would you like your eggs?
G: Could I have them poached?
G: And would it be possible to have an English muffin instead of toast?
W:I’m sorry, that would be extra.
G: Well, in that case, toast will be all right.
W:Okay. Do you want your coffee now or later, sir?
G: I’ll have my coffee later, but I would like a glass of milk with my meal.
W:Large or small?
W:So, that’s grapfruit juice, sausage, two eggs-poached-toast, milk and coffee.