Sexify Chinese Food

Imagine this scene. A husband wants to celebrate his wedding anniversary by having a romantic, candle-lit dinner with his wife. He makes reservations weeks in advance at an exclusive eatery known as much for its ambiance as its cuisine. Can you guess what type of restaurant he picked? 

The top three possibilities? Italian, French, and Japanese. European cuisine is sexy personified. Italian food leads this list. The spaghetti scene from the Lady and the Tramp is unforgettable. And nothing is more romantic than Venice. When you have like 5000 different kinds of pasta and each one has a sexy name, you know you're doing well.      

And French fare is a close second. The French know food and they know romance. Think Paris. Think originator of the renown Michelin Guide. Think sidewalk cafes, baguettes, wine, cheese, and candles. 

And don't get me started on Japanese food. They massage their cows to make the beef more tender. Sushi is not sustenance, it's artwork. The presentation and preparation is meticulous, exquisite, and exhausting. The only thing that turns me off about Japanese food is that they work too hard. Working hard is not sexy. It has to seem effortless, almost lazy, like the French.

But one thing this husband is definitely NOT thinking is Chinese food. Chinese food is decidedly unsexy. Think take-out boxes, greasy noodles, people jabbering loudly, filthy bathrooms, strange food items like chicken feet and bitter melon, and things that shouldn't be eaten like frogs and household pets.  And presentation in most Chinese dishes is non-existent. It looks everything was unceremoniously dumped from the wok onto the plate. Which is exactly what took place.

There's an urgent need in our society today. We claim to be about equal rights but clearly not all foods are equal. Chinese food has endured centuries of discrimination. The injustice must stop today. We need to end Chinese cuisine's romantic rejection. 

We need to sexify Chinese food. 

According to, to sexify something is to make it sexy. Something sexy is visually appealing, fashionable, and mysterious. Therefore, we need to give Chinese food a make-over. We need to re-brand Chinese food the way the tobacco industry made smoking sexy. Except smoking causes lung cancer and  Chinese food is healthy. 

1) Visual Appeal: On your way to the restroom, which doubles as a storage closet, you'll pass by a dirty, smelly, loud, and noisy room with large vats of steamy mystery, caged animals, and sea creatures in tanks. It is not the dining area, that is the kitchen. Drop off these three key food appliances or accoutrement in order to make an tremendous impact on the visual appeal of Chinese cuisine: a) Pastry bags (they're used to squirt icing onto cakes) - fill one with white soy sauce, one with green oyster sauce, one with purple hoisin sauce. Colors are important. All the sexy foods make designs with the sauces. b) Really big white plates: All the sexy foods use really big plates and serve these little bits of food. That's sexy. And Chinese restaurants use plates that are like pink and have like dragons on them. Dragons eat you. That's not sexy. So they have to be white plates. c) Candy Sprinkles: Yes, you got it. Sprinkles go great on cakes, donuts, and Chinese food. It adds color, it makes it sexy.

2) Ambiance: Here's the thing, you can't make Chinese people be quiet when they're eating. You just can't. Trust me, I've tried. So if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. So turn the restaurant into a night club. Put up a disco ball and strobe light. Play loud music, dim the lights. It also helps to hide a little bit what you're eating. Just like a dedicated nightclub, it is sexy to have to shout at someone six inches away. Sino in Santana Row is a good example of this. 

3) Marketing: But undoubtedly the greatest positive impact is in marketing. All the great, sexy foods tell a story. They're mysterious - in a good way. Chinese delicacies like Bird's Nest Soup are mysterious in a bad way. Let's take note of how the sexy food do it. Take an actual pasta dish at A16, an Italian restaurant in San Francisco, as an example: Sciatielli with ragu testa, wild arugula and pecorino canestrato. It oozes sensuality and rolls off your tongue. Contrast this with actual Chinese menu items such as: spicy cold children and sheet iron full mouth fragrance. It oozes like an open wound. This is due to basic translation failure. But even if the language is grammatically correct, it's just not making the sensuality grade. So instead of sweet and sour pork, you might call it something like mono-sodium glutamate encrusted swine with essence of honey comb. 

And lastly, sexy food places often offer a tasting menu where they'll mention a dish and pair it with wine of a certain vintage. Here's how it would work for Chinese food like: 

Roasted Pork Bun, Bud Light 2012
Aromatic Tofu with Diced Garlic, Listerine Winterfresh (Economy Size)

So the next time you're thinking about going out for a romantic dinner,forget the French, avoid the Italian, and jealous the Japanese. Go full-bore Chinese. Don't do takeout. Don't do Panda Express. Kick it up a notch and go to a sexy Chinese restaurant. You'll find my wife and I there, sitting across from each other, hand in hand, gazing through the candles, delicately feeding each other fish eye balls. 


  1. you've got me onboard! can we expect to see any of these changes implemented at the next south valley all church potluck?


Post a Comment

Popular Posts