Prawn crackers and other questions

Chinese restaurants here give you prawn crackers for munchies as soon as you sit down, or while you wait for your take-out meal.

Why prawn crackers?

You get fortune cookies after a Chinese meal in North America.

Why fortune cookies?

I think prawn crackers in England is the fortune cookies of North America.


In Hong Kong, prawn crackers are generally seen as an Indonesian specialty.

But curiously, you almost always get them if you order Peking duck (a Beijing specialty: crispy roasted duck). How does that work?


If you sit down in a Chinese retaurant in Hong Kong or China, you’d get a small dish of salted peanuts or pickled cucumbers and cabbage. Which I almost always eat in over-abundance, even after our ordered dishes arrive.

Why don’t Chinese restaurants do that here?

Why is it that wherever you go, you are usually able to find quality “western” food, but not Asian food?

Pizzas, spagettis, fry-ups, steaks, fish and chips, pies, whatever. Speaking from personal experience, they are just as good in major Asian cities as anywhere else.

On the other hand, being in a major European city does not guarantee authentic Chinese food.

I know it’s arrogant, but sometimes it peeves me when I eat Chinese/Asian food with non-Chinese/Asian people and they proclaim that we’ve just had a “great” meal. Usually, it’s not. And mostly, we order food that would never be ordered at home. However, they are not inedible, so I smile anyways because no one wants to hear at every single meal about how “everything is better back home”. Which is, admittedly, but unintentionally, what this whole rant is about.

Why is that?


3 thoughts on “Prawn crackers and other questions

  1. they do prawn crackers in Australia too!

    yep, over here in KL it’s also peanuts or pickled something, and yes- both of these I love to bits!!!

    Oh, wow. now that you mention it.. yep, agree that you can definitely find quality western cuisine like, anywhere!

    why do u think? like all these gwailos are going around making sure that wherever they go, there’d better be my food somewhere around the corner?

  2. One thing I’ve noticed is that there are NOOOOOOO Mexican restaurants anywhere in the parts of England I’ve been to. Wtf is up with that? You have to but those El Paso boxes from the grocery store just to get a decent taco or fajita!

  3. Doreen: I seriously dunno. Maybe globalisation? MTV and ER and Lost? Hehehe… But then again, I’m sure there are just as many friggin Chinese all over the place. Hmmm.

    Sarah: Good point! I’ve only seen one since I got here. Have you been to Cafe Sol? I know that there’s one in Greenwich and one in Clapham. I went to the one in Greenwich for dinner and it was quite decent! Maybe you could give it a try and let me know what you think?! (Note: There are great Mexican restaurants in HK. Hahaha…sorry…)

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