Chinese cuisine labeled as “comfort food”.

Chinese cuisine labeled as “comfort food”.
February 3, 2016 Weixiangz

It’s difficult to make Chinese food appreciable in this country, possibly due to the transformation of this food into a form of American comfort food much like fast food and fast pizza. What’s interesting is that in this country, even around ann arbor we don’t seem to have the first class experience that we have with other Asian cuisines, such as Japanese (Yotsuba), Korean (Seoul Garden, or Tomukun Korean), or even South Asian cuisines(Tuptim). Even Indian restaurants(Shalimar) in this city can be fancy, but with authentic Chinese food, it’s in a rarity for me not finding one yet. I don’t mean the mainstream Americanized restaurants like PF Chang; it’s still American fast food with the coats of Chinese food labels. Yotsuba, for example, is a lovely high-class expensive costing restaurant that does not get you much food for a high price. What about the more authentic Chinese restaurants? Evergreen and that place on Washtenaw gives you a lot of food for the price, but no were on the ratio of food/price as sushi, or any of the American restaurants on Main Street.
I’m also not trying to argue that the more you pay, the better the taste would be, a small restaurant with low-class settings like Best China in Canton is one of the best tasting restaurants objectively around the area. The diversity of its Shanghainese cooking style is better in taste than Japanese sushi (5 dollars per regular roll and ten bucks per special roll) and Nigiri (2-3 dollars per fish on rice), way better than the Knight’s Steakhouse filet mignon (45 bucks for 8 oz). And with the same amount of money for a dish of filet mignons, it would feed a family of 3 or 4 at Best China.

I’m curious on what would change the way we think about Chinese food, and how we can turn it into a fancy first class experience without turning it into a modern cuisine like Pacific Rims, a fusion restaurant rather than a distinctive Chinese cuisine. Another way of wondering is that who would open these restaurants, and how much of those who open the restaurant would originate from a Chinese style cooking rather than transferring from a first class American restaurant while infusing Chinese cuisine into American cuisine.
This question was inspired by watching Chef’s Table on Netflix as well as The Search for General Tso, where the latter evoked a form of existential, emotional response to me when they talked about the early Chinese settlers that came to this country to thrive in a land of segregation.

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