Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page >

Lonely Planet World Food Series for Thailand and Hong Kong? Or other Menu Translators/Glossaries?

Lonely Planet World Food Series for Thailand and Hong Kong? Or other Menu Translators/Glossaries?

Old Dec 11th, 2006, 09:19 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,430
Lonely Planet World Food Series for Thailand and Hong Kong? Or other Menu Translators/Glossaries?

We're traveling to Bangkok and Hong Kong next month and love to explore new cuisines. We like to travel with a detailed menu translator - I've found the LP World Food series on Amazon - anybody have any experience using them? Are they fairly detailed? Or any other glossaries or menu translator suggestions would be appreciated.

Thx
Elizabeth_S is online now  
Old Dec 11th, 2006, 09:47 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29,040
i used to always travel with a menu translator, but for the last couple of years i have found it to be totally unnecessary, including my trip to thailand and india which ended last week....

alsmost every restaurant now has an english menu translation and many menus have english printed right on them....this is especially true in thailand...its not 100% but most places are easy to deal with...

i preferred the frommers in past years however
rhkkmk is offline  
Old Dec 11th, 2006, 10:13 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,430
rhkkmk - thanks - that's interesting. I gather by your comments that the translation is ingredient/preparation based not just something like

"Beef Royal Style"

We found menu translators helpful for Italy where descriptors were not specific.

Elizabeth_S is online now  
Old Dec 11th, 2006, 10:29 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,073
Most (but not all) places have pretty good English translations that are fairly specific. I have looked at the Lonely Planet World Food series and they are quite good.
Kathie is offline  
Old Dec 11th, 2006, 10:39 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,430
Hi Kathie - I read your description of the hard to find Bangkok restaurant and really want to go there - could you post directions (such as they are, I realize!)

Thanks!
Elizabeth_S is online now  
Old Dec 11th, 2006, 12:56 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 30
I've found the Marling Menu Masters useful in Italy and France. But I wouldn't think a menu translator would be too helpful in Thailand. If the menu didn't have English on it, then it would be in Thai. That is a whole different alphabet and would make it quite difficult to even look up something in a guide.
Angelyn is offline  
Old Dec 11th, 2006, 01:07 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,073
Elizabeth, goof luck in finding this place - the food was really remarkable

Chote Chitr, 146 Phraeng Phuton, 011-66-2221-4082.

These are directions from someone else. I can't tell you whether they are accurate or not:
Turn left on Thanon Tanao off Ratchadamnoen at the 1st traffic light past Democracy Monument and go 1000 m until you come to Soi Phraeng Phuton; it's 50 m down the soi on the left.

We had the conceirge call the resturant, and he wrote down some directions in Thai for us. That is what we used as we walked from Wat Suthat.
Kathie is offline  
Old Dec 11th, 2006, 01:24 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,627
If you just want to translate the menu the LP series is more than you need. They give you a quite detailed introduction to the food - ingredients and cuisine. And the wine, where relevant. Good pre-trip reading, though.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Dec 11th, 2006, 01:53 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,430
Thanks to all for your comments

Angelyn - it's not so much the Thai on the menu we're concerned about - it's the English descriptions that don't communicate the ingredients......such as my earlier example

"Beef Royal Style"

I'm most interested in what "Royal Style" means (I've completely made that up, BTW!).....We have found in France and Italy that some of the English menus offered don't translate the ingredients/preparations and we're very interested in that.

Kathie - I will make it our mission to find this restaurant (probably with Tong's help as we're with her for 2 days!) - any suggestions for our selections?

thursdaysd - I think you're right - I'm going to get the LP World Food books and at least have read thoroughly about the food so I know what we're interested in....so we don't just look at a menu and try to choose then.

Will report on our findings!

We're going to keep a blog while we're away for 12 weeks - SE Asia first, then NZ and then OZ......here's the link for anyone who is interested (still under construction)

http://lizandrichardsa.typepad.com/2007_adventures/

Elizabeth_S is online now  
Old Dec 11th, 2006, 02:11 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,073
Elizabeth, I'd suggest you ask for "what the man from New York ate." I make that suggestion because he (Apple) ordered a good variety of dishes, a number of which I would never have thought to order. The menu is huge. I was going to try to navigate it myself and make some choices, but was overwhelmed by it (something that rarely happens for me). For next year, we already have some ideas for things we might order.
Kathie is offline  
Old Dec 11th, 2006, 02:30 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,627
Elizabeth - looks like you have a great trip planned! I'm looking forward to reading your blog - are you hosting it on your own web site?
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Dec 11th, 2006, 03:02 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Let me answer the Hong Kong part of the question.

- There are few fancy names for Cantonese food, and if they have any, they'll be in Chinese, not English. So, a "menu translator" is useless if there's even such a thing for Cantonese food.

- Eateries in Hong Kong is quite specialized. Most of them are good in at least one thing, or they won't be in business for long. The important thing is to order what's good at that place. Or conversely, if you have something in mind you want to eat, then you go to the best place for it.

For example, if you want wonton noodles, you go to Mak's Noodles on Wellington St in Central. You don't go there to eat other stuff. Or Gau Kee to have brisket or curry beef tendon - in fact, they have hardly anything else on their menu.

- You need to go to places at the right time. Say you want dim sum, then you need to have it for breakfast or lunch. Not dinner. If you walk by a congee/fried dough place one morning and want to try it later, don't bother, as it's probably closed in the afternoon.

- It's really okay to ask the server what they're most famous for, or what they recommend. And look at what others are having and order the same. Those are what you should be having, not what's buried deep as number 78 in the menu. At many restaurants, locals hardly look at printed menus at all. Instead, the good stuff at low-end restaurants are posted on the wall, in Chinese only, of course. Ask what those are.
rkkwan is offline  
Old Dec 12th, 2006, 06:38 AM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,430
Well that's good - 2 less books I need to pack! (although I will still buy them and read up on the cuisine before we go).

Thanks to all for your advice.

thursdaysd - the blog is on typepad.com which is a paid blog site. I have a love/hate relationship with typepad - I prefer our travel blogs to be in chronological order and blogger is in reverse chronological order..............typepad supports that but there are a bunch of other irritating restrictions.

Thanks for your flight suggestions in your comment - we were just at friends last night looking at the flightseeing trip over Franz Joseph and Fox - definitely on our list now!
Elizabeth_S is online now  
Old Dec 12th, 2006, 06:47 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 99
Elizabeth,

I will be in HK this Thursday, 12/14. I will let you know which restaurants I considered that worth a try and those to avoid. In addition, I also will include direction and prices.
j_4tay is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
mikety
Asia
5
Feb 25th, 2009 11:46 AM
capetownfolk
Asia
8
Mar 20th, 2007 05:49 PM
rebeca
Asia
6
Sep 24th, 2003 01:45 AM
Map
Asia
4
Feb 1st, 2003 03:11 PM
Krista
Asia
7
Jun 20th, 2002 10:43 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO