Eating at a Restaurant in China
If you need an excuse to be out eating Zhōngguó cài (Chinese food), here's a good one. Do it for the sake of learning the Chinese language. Visit a Zhōngguó cānguǎn (Chinese restaurant) and try ordering the food in Chinese. It will help if you read up on the wide, varied Chinese cuisine beforehand. Or, go with a Chinese speaking friend who can help you choose what to eat.
Many Chinese restaurants may have menus in English or picture menus that make it easier to identify the food available. You might try Sìchuān cài (Sichuan food), Guǎngōng cài (Guangdong food), Yuècài (Cantonese food), or any other regional cuisines.
In "Hot Pot" Chinese restaurants, you are provided a hot pot of water or soup stock, and you then order the vegetables or meats to go in it. In "Dim Sum" restaurants, you can order food from a menu, or you can choose what you want from food displayed on a food cart or food counter.
Chinese food, for the main part, is stir-fried, fried, dry-fried, boiled, and steamed. Chinese people eat a lot of different kinds of meat and pure vegetarianism, although it exists, is comparatively less widespread than in other countries like the United States.