Chinese Food
ClevelandPeople.Com Food Adventure
The Pearl Asian Kitchen

20060 Van Aken Blvd Shaker Heights, OH 44122
January 10, 2017


The Cleveland Food Adventurers Passport event in January 2017 was at the Pearl Asian Kitchen (formerly Pearl of the Orient) in Shaker Heights. 

Chef Rose Wong prepared a special menu anticipating the upcoming Chinese New Tear celebration for the 50 adventurers.

The menu consisted of:

  • Yuen Baos (Crispy Crab Wontons)
  • Pork Pot Stickers
  • Vegetarian Spring Rolls (Significance: gold nuggets, gold bars, wealth, and prosperity)
  • Kung Pao Chicken Lettuce Wrap (Significance: Growth & wealth)
  • Steamed Glutinous Pearl Balls (Significance: Happy Family Unity)
  • Flaming Sweet and Sour Scrod (Significance: Surplus)
  • Whole Soy Marinated Chicken (Significance: Good Fortune)
  • Long Life Noodles (Significance: Longevity)
  • Pan-fried Glutinous Rice Cakes (Significance: Happy family unity)
  • Lotus Seed, Red Dates Sweet Soup (Significance: having sons year after year)
  • Good Luck Snacks and Fruits
  • Hot Tea

Chef Rose Wong told of the 5 different flavors of Chinese food and how the food varies in different parts (North, South, etc.) of China. She said that Chinese will eat anything that moves and everything inside and out of whatever moves.

Chef Wong explained one of the appetizers being served and then the sauces that were on the table.  She said there is no such thing as duck sauce and told why they don’t put soy sauce on the table.


Chef Wong told of some of the colorful names of Chinese food that come from pronunciation, legend and superstitions.  For example, the dish called Ants climbing tree is basically ground beef or pork over fried vermicelli.  Field Chicken is really frogs.  Spring rolls are lucky because they look like gold bars.  Glutinous rice is good for family unity.

Chef Wong continued with tales of some of the colorful names of Chinese food that come from pronunciation, legend and superstitions.  For example, they always have fish because the word for fish rhymes with surplus.  The head of the fish should face the guest of honor.  The word for lettuce is raw vegetable which rhymes with growing wealth.


Chef Wong was asked about the expensive delicacy called bird’s nest soup.

Chef Wong told of a fundamental difference between American and Chinese dining.  For example, in Chinese dining it is impolite to fill the plate.  Everything goes into a small bowl bite sized pieces at a time.

Here we see the lighting of the Flaming Sweet & Sour Fish presented to the diners.


Anthony Yen told about Maotai which is very strong distilled Chinese liquor, made in the town of Maotai in China’s Guizhou province.

The cultural part of the evening included presentations as follows:


The 4 famous novels of China by Lt. Col. Joseph Meissner

The Chinese Cultural Garden in Cleveland

Confucius Institute of Cleveland State University

Chinese and Cantonese Language

Chinese Math, the Abacus and Tangram Puzzle

See photos and videos from the above parts of the Adventure to China