New York

The Craziest Chinese Menu In Town


I’ve seen some offbeat things on Chinese menus–like “Shrimp vs. prawns,” which always makes me uncomfortable; I hate the idea of shellfish not getting along!

But never have I seen such florid, cuckoo, wacky, fun sounding items as on the menu of Grand Sichuan on 24th Street and 9th Avenue (and other locations around town).

If your head is spinning from their “fish head casserole,” you ain’t seen nothing yet, babe.

Here are three of their really nuttiest menu item names, followed by the reality of what such verbal wizardry actually gets you:

“Green Parrot With Red Mouth”

I pictured a parrot that had been dolled up with lipstick, told it was going to do a fashion shoot, and then had its head lopped off, but it’s not a parrot at all–nor it is anything resembling red!

Thank God!

It’s spinach with ginger sauce!

But I guess no one would order something so boringly called “spinach with ginger sauce,” right?

Bring on the parrot!

“The Blueberry Trees Bent Their Green Branches”

Again, no blueberries, no trees, no branches.

It’s sauteed squid!

But that doesn’t sound very beautiful does it?

Adding all sorts of flora to the name makes it that much more esoterically appealing.

Ordering squid has never been as literary an experience as at Grand Sichuan.

And the best of all:

We Would Be Two Love Birds Flying Wing To Wing On High

You would? With red lipstick?

Nope. This has nothing to do with bird beauty makeovers, nor with anything that can even get off the ground.

It’s a chicken dish!

And even if they were love chickens, these two were never flying on very high.

They’re just chickens!

And that’s rather banal, I know.

But at least for the 20 seconds spent ordering it, you feel like some kind of grandiose Sichuan poet.

Or maybe just stick to the fish heads.

Archive Highlights