China Kitchen Menu: A Comprehensive Review on the Most Ordered Dishes

Last updated on February 11, 2024

Dive into the rich culinary panorama of the China Kitchen’s menu because each dish tells an authentic, uniquely flavorful story of the vast Chinese cuisine.

Key takeaways:

  • Appetizers: Spring rolls, dumplings, chicken feet, jellyfish salads, pot stickers.
  • Soups: Broth-based, hearty mixes, noodle soups, herbal and medicinal, regional varieties.
  • Main Courses: Fried Rice, Lo Mein, Pork/Chicken/Beef/Seafood Dishes, Chef’s Specialties.
  • Vegetable Dishes: Fresh ingredients, tofu varieties, sauce options, customization, stir-fry focus.
  • Desserts: Fortune Cookies, Almond Cookies, Red Bean Paste Buns, Mango Pudding, Fried Ice Cream.

What's Inside



Starting your meal with a selection of appetizers is the perfect way to sample a variety of flavors the menu has to offer. Traditional starters like spring rolls and dumplings are crowd-pleasers, offering a crunchy or tender bite wrapped in distinctive spices.

For more adventurous palates, items such as spiced chicken feet or jellyfish salads provide a taste of authentic Chinese cuisine. Vegetarian offerings, including edamame and vegetable tempura, ensure there’s something for everyone.

Not to be skipped, the pot stickers – pan-fried or steamed – are a must-try, often served with a tangy dipping sauce that will leave your tastebuds craving for more. Small in size but rich in taste, these appetizers set the stage for the delicious main courses that follow.



Embarking on a culinary adventure, let’s dive straight into the warm and comforting world of soups offered at a typical Chinese kitchen. A staple to any meal, soups are crafted to whet the appetite and to pave the way for the extravaganza of flavors to follow.

Broth-based selections: Clear soups with delicate broths highlight the purity of ingredients such as goji berries, dates, or tofu.

Hearty mixes: For those seeking richer flavors, options like the Hot and Sour Soup or Egg Drop Soup provide a satisfying balance of textures and tastes.

Noodle soups: A category in its own right, these soups feature hand-pulled noodles swimming in aromatic stocks alongside meats and vegetables.

Herbal and medicinal qualities: Certain soups are infused with traditional herbs, believed to offer health benefits and promote wellness.

Regional varieties: From the spicy Szechuan to the milder Cantonese, soups offer a glimpse into the vast regional diversity of Chinese cuisine.

Whether beginning your meal or enjoying a simple, light dinner, soups are an integral part of the dining experience, offering a nourishing prelude to the dishes that await.

Main Courses (including Fried Rice, Lo Mein, Pork/Chicken/Beef/Seafood Dishes, Chef’s Specialties)

Diving into the heart of a classic Chinese culinary experience, the main course offerings bring a variety of flavors and cooking techniques to the table. Fried Rice dishes are a staple, providing a savory blend of rice stir-fried with options like vegetables, eggs, and a choice of protein.

For noodle enthusiasts, Lo Mein presents soft wheat noodles tossed with a mix of fresh vegetables and meats in a delicate sauce.

The protein selections cater to a wide palette, featuring tender Pork in glazes ranging from sweet to spicy, succulent Chicken cooked in various regional styles, flavorsome Beef dishes balanced with crisp vegetables, and fresh Seafood offerings that highlight the catch of the day, typically prepared with light sauces to enhance the natural flavors.

Chef’s Specialties often showcase the pinnacle of the menu, with dishes that might include Peking Duck, known for its crispy skin, or Szechuan-inspired plates that favor bold spices and numbing Sichuan peppercorns. These dishes are not only a feast for the palate but also for the eyes, often served with creative presentations.

Whether you’re looking for comforting staples or daring to try something exotic, the main course section of a Chinese kitchen menu serves up an array of satisfying options.

Vegetable Dishes

For those seeking a healthier option or following a vegetarian diet, a variety of vegetable dishes offer a flavorful and nutritious choice. Here’s what to expect:

1. Fresh Ingredients: Expect a vibrant assortment of vegetables, including bok choy, broccoli, snow peas, and bell peppers.

2. Tofu Varieties: Tofu, a staple in Chinese cuisine, is commonly incorporated for added protein.

3. Sauce Options: Garlic sauce, black bean sauce, and Szechuan sauce feature prominently for an authentic taste without relying on meat.

4. Customization: Most restaurants are willing to customize dishes to suit dietary preferences, such as making a dish vegan by omitting certain sauces or eggs.

5. Stir-Fry Focus: Quick stir-frying in a wok ensures vegetables retain their nutrients and crisp texture while imbued with flavor.

6. Balance and Moderation: Chinese culinary philosophy emphasizes balance, offering dishes that combine various types of vegetables for a well-rounded meal.

Choosing from the vegetable menu is not only a nod to dietary inclusiveness but an adventurous exploration of China’s rich culinary landscape. Whether lightly seasoned or boldly spiced, these dishes can satisfy palates while catering to a health-conscious lifestyle.


Putting a sweet finish on your meal adds a layer of satisfaction that showcases the diversity of Chinese cuisine. Classic choices often include:

  • Fortune Cookies: Crispy, folded treats containing a piece of paper with a prophetic message or a set of lucky numbers.
  • Almond Cookies: Crisp, nutty, and often a favorite among those who enjoy a less sugary option.
  • Red Bean Paste Buns: Steamed or baked, these buns offer a subtly sweet, textured filling wrapped in a soft dough.
  • Mango Pudding: A refreshing, tropical dessert perfect for a lighter palate, often served with evaporated milk.
  • Fried Ice Cream: A contrast in temperatures and textures, featuring a hot, crispy outer shell enveloping cold, creamy ice cream.

While some of these desserts may be adapted to Western tastes, they still provide a glimpse into the vast array of flavors found in authentic Chinese cuisine. Options may vary by restaurant and may also include seasonal fruit plates, giving diners a fresh and healthy alternative.


Quenching your thirst with a variety of soft drinks, iced teas, and traditional hot teas rounds off the culinary journey. Pair your meal with a sweet bubble tea, available in multiple fruity and milky flavors with chewy tapioca pearls, for an authentic touch.

For a more delicate beverage choice, the jasmine or green tea is a perfect companion that complements the bold flavors found in the dishes. For those looking to indulge, a selection of domestic and imported beers, as well as wine options, may enhance the dining experience.

Remember to check if seasonal drinks or specials are on offer to try something new and refreshing.

Gluten-Free Options and Special Diet Menu Items

Navigating a Chinese kitchen menu for those with dietary restrictions doesn’t have to be a challenge. Many establishments now showcase a selection of gluten-free dishes, ensuring that the joy of flavorful Chinese cuisine is accessible to everyone.

Here’s what to look out for:

Identifying Gluten-Free Choices

Typically, menus highlight gluten-free items with a special symbol or mention it in the description. If in doubt, soy sauce is a common gluten-containing ingredient, so opt for dishes that don’t include soy sauce or request a gluten-free variant.

Special Diet Awareness

Beyond gluten-free, menus may also cater to other dietary needs such as low-calorie, vegetarian, or vegan options. These are usually sectioned off to simplify selection.

Modification Requests

Don’t hesitate to ask for modifications to suit your diet. Chefs can often prepare dishes with alternative ingredients, such as swapping out sauces or omitting certain items.

Communication is Key

Always inform your server of any dietary restrictions you have. They’re there to help ensure your meal is both safe and delicious.

Remember, gluten-free and other dietary options allow you to enjoy Chinese cuisine’s rich flavors worry-free. Keep an eye on the menu’s guidance and never be shy to ask for the perfect meal tailored to your needs.

Kids’ Menu

Catering to the palates of younger guests, the children’s selections combine nutrition with flavors that appeal to kids. Options often feature smaller portions of mainstream dishes like sweet and sour chicken or shrimp with vegetables, adapted to be less spicy.

Fried rice and lo mein are popular choices, as they are both familiar and easy to eat.

Additionally, most establishments offer Western favorites such as chicken tenders or fries, ensuring that even the pickiest eaters find something to enjoy.

With families in mind, these meals frequently come with a choice of drink and a fun dessert, like a fortune cookie or a scoop of ice cream, to round out a child-friendly dining experience.

Allergen Information On Menu Items

Navigating a menu when you have food allergies can be daunting, but awareness and communication are key to a safe, enjoyable dining experience.

Many Chinese dishes incorporate common allergens like peanuts, shellfish, and soy.

It’s crucial to identify and communicate your dietary restrictions ahead of ordering.

Most establishments provide an allergen chart upon request, detailing which dishes contain major allergens.

If not available, ask the server or chef about specific dishes and preparation methods, as cross-contact can occur in kitchens.

For those highly sensitive to allergens, consider opting for dishes with fewer ingredients, and request that your meal be prepared separately to minimize risk.

Remember, vigilance and clear communication with the restaurant staff will help to ensure your meal is both delicious and safe for your specific needs.

Takeout and Delivery Options

Embracing the convenience of enjoying your favorite dishes at home or on-the-go, most Chinese restaurants now offer robust takeout and delivery services. With a few clicks online or a quick phone call, you can access the entire menu, place your order, and specify the preferred pickup or delivery time.

Payment methods are often flexible, including credit cards, mobile pay, or cash upon delivery. Some establishments have partnered with third-party apps like DoorDash, Grubhub, or Uber Eats, broadening their reach and offering time-sensitive promotions.

Most importantly, meals are packaged securely to preserve the quality and temperature, ensuring the dining experience is as delightful as it is in the restaurant. Remember to check the minimum order amounts for free delivery and any delivery fees that might apply.


What do restaurants in China serve?

Restaurants in China primarily serve rice dishes, an assortment of noodles in various shapes, sizes and flavors, and dumplings, with variety fillings including meat, seafood and vegetables.

What does the term Chinese menu mean?

The term "Chinese menu" refers to a decision-making system where the user or customer can pick multiple options, typically one or more choices from each of two or more distinct categories.

How to order dishes in China?

When ordering dishes in China, simply state "我要 + number + 份+ dish" translating to "I want/would like [number] order(s) of [dish].

What are some popular Chinese regional cuisines found on china kitchen menus?

Popular Chinese regional cuisines often found on China kitchen menus include Cantonese, Sichuan, Shandong, and Hunan cuisines.

What cultural nuances influence the structure of a Chinese menu?

Chinese menus are often structured based on the balance of five key elements – sweet, sour, bitter, spicy, and salty, reflecting the concept of Yin and Yang in Chinese culture.

How do Chinese dining etiquette and traditions shape the menu offerings at restaurants in China?

Chinese dining etiquette and traditions significantly shape the menu offerings at restaurants in China, encouraging a broad and diverse selection of dishes intended for communal sharing, with focus on balancing flavors and textures.

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