I have a confession to make. These days, whenever I am feeling miserable and ravenous at the same time, I rummage through my collection of menus from China for a quick pick-me-up.
Fancy eating a braised ginseng dish called "The American flag cooks the space person" or "The elbow vegetable cooks the wing"? Not only can inanimate objects cook in China, I am beginning to realise that their animals are more industrious too.
Take a look at this: "The thin cow picks three text cures", "The black cow silk fries the idea power" and "The row pig picks the rice".
Of course, you can always pick a restaurant where regular chefs cook for a living, like this one that serves "Living to fry the beef rice". If you're feeling patriotic, you can order "The state fried rice" or the "Bureau country chicken rice". Let me guess... "Napoleon fries the idea power" or "The rich and power people fry" must be the favourite dishes of the rich and famous?
How about a daily dose of "The day type fries the black winter" or "Explodes the vegetable meat to steam"?
Well, Chinese cuisine is famous the world over but the bad translations can render some popular dishes unappetising and downright macabre at times.
While the bad English translation doesn't deter me, I had better refrain from ordering this dish (though it's obvious the shrimps are fresh) as the ingredients may need some privacy : "The Shrimp F--ks the Cabbage!"
If you insist on eating this, in Chinese, it says "fried cabbage with shrimp".