Resturant chinese food vs. Frozen Asian food

I took down the resturant food pictures due to them showing my location.

The problem I have with M&M meats Asian Pary Pack (spring rolls, egg roll, potsickers, and chicken loin) there’s no noodles, no fried rice, and next to no veggies (there might be veggies in the egg roll and the spring roll but that’s it) But there’s just going to be a ton of meat in the various appietizers just not the meat I want- Shrimp (Shrimp fried frice, Singapore noodles and some kind of dish with white veggies as well as shrimp). I wouldn’t even be able to get BBQ pork (Which I loathe, but they gotten a bit better with it) with the Party Pack I can only get it from (resturant). Not to mention we wouldn’t be getting any Wonton or Sweet and Sour Soup from the Party pack either. And during the winter months we get soup as well as either the Cantonese style or the Schezean style (which is more spicer)

Both the Asian Party Packs and the Resturant’s Food are GREEAT tasting food. But at least resturant’s food would be a bit fresher and made for US in a sense then just having three-four different appteizers which barely even make up a meal. They might be good for a New Year’s Eve snack but that’s all they’re good for. Not good enough to make a meal out of -not if someone has to make extra food like bachan (veggie sidedishes) to go with the meat appetizers which will be the only other food for Valetine’s Day.

Party pack
Spring Rolls
Egg Rolls
Pork Loin

vs Resturant food
6 spring rolls, palace sauteed shrimps, chicken with cashews, house special beef, general tao chicken, BBQ pork chunks, house special fried noodles, special fried rice, and 6 fortune cookies

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I’m sorry, but pics of actual prepared food don’t stack up well with pics on the boxes.

What you see on the box usually isn’t the actual product, but a mock up intended to sell the product. That said, as relatively less appetizing as the mock ups look, and how the actual prepared product tends to look worse than the mock up as a rule, I’d say the restaurant food at least looks better.

And looks do affect how we perceive taste.

However, I’ve had plenty of food that looked appealing but tasted not so much. Without having tried either, I can’t really give much input. Keep in mind that outside of the rice, all the restaurant food looks tasty to me, but the rice is probably the only thing I’d actually enjoy out of those images taste-wise.


I replaced the box images with images of the actually food. But I have had the resturant food for a very long time. Like 2001?

Are those photos that you’ve taken yourself? Because they look quite tasty, honestly. It would also say a lot about the skills of the one who cooked them!

Keep in mind that any food photographed or filmed for advertisement purposes is going to be fake in some way, ie mashed potatoes as a substitute for ice cream (the lights melt the ice cream), spray-painted styrofoam for bread, toothpicks holding a burger together, undercooked burger patties to look plumper and more enticing, or in grilled meat’s case, raw meat with shoe polish for the charred markings (and less food polish to look “cooked.”)

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I didn’t take the phtotos. My only way of taking photos would be via a camera (lack of a cellphone) and then it would be ages before it was loaded. But the Frozen Asian food is from a Canadian “speciality” store which is called M&M meats. I only know that because of being there once with my Dad.

But the Frozen Asian dishes aren’t much different in-person then in the pictures. I have had them for years for Western New Year’s.

For the resturant food- i found pictures of from people’s lovely reviews or from the resturant’s website. And my family been going to this resturant since it opened in 2001. With the exception of when they tried to sell it off and the owner made too many changes and people wanted (the old owners back)

The resturant food is much tasty not to mention have more veggies. The frozen Asian food party packs or Appizter packs have next to no veggies in them

it doesn’t take that long (or I don’t think) to just deal with cooking the frozen food - the major problem is trying to juggle the various foods which need different tempture to have to deal with. 18-20mins to cook.

When we can get the resturant Chinese food under 30mins. -sometimes less then 20mins. despite being told for a 45min wait

The frozen food is already prepared in the box. You just have to take the items out of the box and put on a oven tray how many you will used and then cook the stuff. And if there’s any left (which you didn’t put on the tray) you just use it for another time.

I mean the M&M meats is good as well. But there’s no noodles, or rice dishes with the appitezers only. Not enough for a supper I think.

Like Carcharocles says, the only thing you learn from food photos is a general idea of what the food looks like. I suggest you remove the photos from your post and focus on what’s important to you: what tastes better.

It’s also possible that your folks have changed because the MM food is cheaper, and food prices are going up. You could make rice or noodles at home—both are super easy to fix, and much cheaper than buying from a restaurant. I often make rice at home when ordering Indian or Chinese food. If I were in the mood for noodles, I would make chow mein noodles (yakisoba) from ramen, which is also very easy.


If my parents had changed that much I highly doubt we would have had Chinese food from the said resturant for supper the night my sister came home for Christmas of 2022 and we had to eat our supper at 8:30pm. Instead we would have had the party packs. Unless we were “saving” them for New Year’s Eve snacks. We had the leftovers of the Chinese food on Christmas Eve.

Mom’s gets overworked in my opinion making fritters and bachan (side dishes) of beans, caulfiower/brocllic, cuke, and my favourite Spinach. Like this is the third week in a row we had fritters for supper. We had fritters 3 weeks ago, last week on a Monday because my sister was done, and today. Normally she changes the Asian food up- like one week having some other dish like a Indian Curry, or like the plan she originally had for the Sunday after we saw a certian exhbit-Chicken Statay (Which we didn’t end up having because of her and I having Pad Thai the night before). She also gets overworked the others days as well except for Fridasys, doing most of the cooking except for the day she’s not here because she’s visiting my sister which she didn’t need to do last week.

Hoildays like Valetine’s Day are suppose to be a “Day off” from her cooking. Sure she would have to reheat up Chinese food leftovers on Valetine’s Day. But reheating them isn’t as much work as it would be cooking the Frozen Chinese food.

Mom hates making “Asian noodles” on the stove I learned this back in 2018 after I discovered a couple of recipes online. Most of them being Asian dishes only 2 weren’t. I believe the dish was called Dragon noodles.

And like tonight the only rice she EVER will want to cook is white rice (Korean rice to her) in the rice cooker. And I highly doubt she will want to “dirty it up” with meat like shrimp or chicken (that you could potentially put into a rice cooker).

And from what I have heard it takes hours to make more then one Asian dish if its long and complicated. And both banchan and Fritters -espcially friitters- are a process from what I have seen. She makes the bachan first and its just a “pinch of this” and a “bit of that”. like those oldies 1920s and 1930s cookbooks. The fritters are a more involved process- but Mom might start making the food at 5:45pm but we aren’t sitting down to eat it until closer to 8pm. So it takes about 2 hours to make the food.

I don’t think Mom had a day off of cooking (Not counting Fridays or Wednesday) in quiet awhile. I think not since Dec 22, 2022. Going to plays don’t count and me cooking doesn’t count. Since she made suppers from leftovers for awhile from Turkey, and then she made Asian food for several weeks and we had fritter’s for Lunar New Year which was three weeks ago.

She needs a day off of cooking when she’s in the house and the only way we can do that is by ordering the Chinese food on Sunday and having the leftovers on Tuesday of Valetine’s Day. Because that what we do in a situation where the resturant is closed on the day off we order it a couple of days before and then we have the leftovers the day of. I don’t know how long it takes to reheat the leftover food. I just know I don’t want Dad to try again after the only time he did it.

It will take about 18-20mins to cook Asian Party pack appitizers as opposed to 10mins (Max) to reheat up Leftover Chinese food.

It just I don’t want to have to wait until May (when we probably would’nt be ordering soup) with (resturant’s food). Wether or not its Mom’s “cast party” with extend family OR Mother’s Day by then it will be “too warm” to have soup. And until Dec we hadn’t had Chinese food since August.

And I don’t want to wait that long for my shrimp and if we do have a “Cast party” I woudn’t be getting my shrimp fix because we will be ordering the other style of food which has chicken in it. Like Lemon chicken with a scause, and chicken fried rice.

I’m trying to covince my mom to either us order Chinese food from the resturant on one of my Friday nights to cook in March (I haven’t had a night off since 2 Fridays ago when Mom and I saw a play) Or today to covince her we should do Mother’s Day twice this year-one in March (March 19th when UK celbrates mother’s Day or as they call it “Mothering Day” ) and again in May. Just as an excuse to have Chinese food from the actual resturant next Month.

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Not to sound mean, but have you ever thought to ask your mom what she would like to do rather than talking about and concentrating on what you want all the time? Yes it’s nice to get your way all the time. And I know you don’t but you’d like to. And that is understandable. However, remember when you were ranting and raving about your sister calling and how your mom spent hours on end at the hospital because your sister was really hurt? That was a time to think about your mothers and your sisters needs and not about yourself. But you also should practice that during times like now. Sometimes you should say to your mom, “Mom, this is your night/day. What would you like to eat?” rather than fixating saying or thinking I didn’t get this or woe is me I didn’t get to go to McDonald’s. That way, when another time comes where you can’t get your own way because an emergency comes up, you have some practice. Plus it’s going to be good practice for the day when you get married and have kids. Because let me give you some advice - it’s not going to be all about your wants or needs then either. First it will be about figuring in your spouse’s wants, likes and needs and then about your kids’ wants, likes and needs. And you’re going to have things you have to take care of whether you want to or not.

Plus if you ever get an apartment on your own or even with a roommate you’ll need to learn to cook because you’re not going to have the money to go out to McDonald’s or have Chinese.

Now is the time to learn that things don’t work out the way you plan and learn to adapt. Otherwise you will be in for a culture shock one day and won’t know what to do. We have all been there where reality slaps us in our faces but having a bit of preparedness for when that day comes helps.


This discussion appears to have begun as a potential discussion of restaurant food vs. frozen food - let’s keep it on topic rather than venting about what a family member might cook - that belongs in the Vent Your Frustrations section.


Saturday before Lunar New Year “When will we order Chinese Food from resturant because you have friiters for Lunar New Year?”
Mom: “We might order from Chinese Resturant for Valetine’s Day”
Me: “Valetine’s Day is on a Tuesday”
Mom “We can order it on the Sunday like we did in the past”

She knows I’m austic and “might” to me is a “yes” unlike her “maybes” which basically means “No”

As much as your advice is to ask her what she’s want. Its kind of pointless. Because Friday’s conversation was this:

Mom: “I wanted to ask you if you were okay for next week (Valetine’s Day) if we had the frozen apptizers in the basement?”
Me: "Okay… but when will we have Chinese Food from (Resturant) if we don’t have it around Valetine’s Day?
Mom: “Soon”

I lied about it being okay…when its not okay we have no hoildays or special occasion next month to buy Chinese food. Since April has Easter in it so if my sister’s boyfriend is down that mean weeks of turkey. So I would have to wait until May for Chinese food and I can’t wait until May for noodles with shrimp or rice with shrimp.

I’m trying to covince my Mom to jokling celbrate mother’s day twice this year once in March (Mothering Day) and then again in May just as excuse to get resturant’s food next month. Since we didn’t order Chinese food for Lunar New Year and we aren’t going to do it this month either for Valetine’s Day.

Yeah M&M does Resturant Style food. But its not the same kind of resturant-style food as the resturant food. They only apperently do appitzers/party packs. Apprently M&M meats to do rice and noodles dishes but not Asian rice/noodles dishes. Which is what I want from Resturant food. Not to mention in a sense some might think this is stupid- we’re cheating the resturant out of busines it needs to surirve because its closed 2 out of 7 days a week. And we been loyal customers since they first opened in 2001.

I know mom and I could make rice or noodles but the reason we normally order Chinese food for day’s like Valetine’s Day is so Mom can have a “Day off” or at least in this case were we going to order Chinese food on Sundays and have leftovers on Tuesday- it would be a half night off because Mom would have to reheat the leftovers but thats not as much work as having to cook appitzers Having to make rice/noodles dishes ontop of the cooking the appetizers is too much for Mom on a night which should be her day off. As well as make a radish saladYeah M&M does Resturant Style food. But its not the same kind of resturant-style food as the resturant food. They only apperently do appitzers/party packs. Apprently M&M meats to do rice and noodles dishes but not Asian rice/noodles dishes. I would even love their BBQ pork which I normally hate (Even though its better then it was before)

Skogvinne makes a good point! For both restaurant food and frozen restaurant-style food (which is a lot of what MM Food Market does), it is helpful to supplement with one or two homemade dishes. As I mentioned earlier, I never order rice, but always make it at home instead. If you enjoy eating fried rice, it is a great dish to learn to make at home: it uses up leftover cooked rice, and you can add in other leftovers as well. You can add fresh veggies, to make it healthier. It is also very easy to make for a beginner cook. As long as I have an egg, oil, some rice, and some soy sauce (or other sauces, too), I can make fried rice. This recipe gives you an idea of how it works— notice how most of the ingredients are optional. I would say that the sesame oil, green onion, and chopped onion are all optional too. They are great ingredients to use if you have them, but not essential.

Your mom may not approve of “dirty rice”, but on the other hand, if you are interested in learning to make such an easy dish yourself, that may convince her to let you try.

Noodles? Basically the same thing. I used to use the same idea with thick udon noodles: cook the noodles in a pot while frying up the (leftover) meat and (leftover or fresh) veggies. Once the veggies and noodles were cooked, I would drain the noodles and add them to the frying pan with a dash of soy sauce, or whatever other sauces might be in the fridge—even ketchup, in a pinch!

Another trick is to boil some frozen Asian dumplings from the grocery store (I like Siwin brand) to add to the meal— just a couple per person, no need to cook the whole bag at once. Once the dumplings float, they are nearly done. Super easy, not too expensive.

ETA: I see we were both typing at the same time @Celoptra! Sorry, I can’t read your post right now as I really should to get to work. At a glance, it seems to be similar to what you posted earlier. Think about what Skogvinne posted; they are a moderator, so you need to take what they said seriously.

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Yeah I know Mom and I can make Fried rice at home or noodles. But basicaly of it being Valetine’s Day I don’t think Mom will be making any Asian meals on Sunday if we will have Party Pack on the Tuesday. So we wouldn’t have any leftover rice to use for fried rice unless its like a week old rice And from what Mom has said in the past when I asked “Which is easier to cook rice or noodles for Asian food?” Mom said “Rice is because you can put it in the rice cooker vs the noodles you have to do it on the stove” I have a lot of Asian recipes (Dragon noodles, Mongalin beef,etc) and I only ever tried one (dragon noodles-it calls for 2 ramyeon packages but we replaced it with normal Western noodles). I know from both trying to make Asian noodles but also trying to make a Japanese Radish salad they both take a lot of work. Espcially the former.

I think my other problem beside not being able to get shrimp or veggies dishes if we go with just the party pack is that Mom would have to make a salad. Something she wouldn’t have to do with Chinese leftovers from the resturant. Since a day like Valetine’s Day should at least this year be a “half-night” off for her vs her making a salad and cooking the apptizers it means Mom has to “work” making supper when she should be able to take it easy instead. I don’t want Mom to have to “work” on Valetine’s Day for making supper.

It’s not so much of a problem but by not ordering (Resturant’s food) it robs me of a day to pratice using chopsticks with the different food we would order (excluding the rice and the spring rolls the former I would use a fork and the later I will use my hands) vs using the party pack which to me are pretty limited in food -there’s no point in using the chopsticks because there’s not much to pick up with the chopsticks

. And if we have a “Cast Party”* with extended family members in May- it will rob be of another chance to use chopsticks because that day we use forks. Not to mention being at the church vs. being at the house.

I might as well have Dad get a Lean Cusine “Chicken with PB scause” frozen dinner what I would call Chicken Statay from the freezer downstairs if I want to have something Asian with noodles prior to Valetine’s Day since Mom wants to actually work on Valetine’s Day when she shouldn’t have to work at all or not as hard as she will. Sure the “Chicken with PB Scause” might not have shrimp but it will have noodles.

I’m trying to do a Pollyyana here but the only postive I can think of having limited Asian food for supper from party packs would be I could an hour or two after supper have a snack of some kind.

*For years except for Covid, Mom has put on a one–woman play in May. At first people from church (which is where the play is being staged) joked about “how fun the cast party must be” since there’s only one cast-Mom. So Mom somehow thought of the idea of inviiting extended family and 1 and then later 2 of my Dad’s friends to the play and then afterwards we have Chinese food. We have joklingly refered to it as “Cast party”

As previously stated, this discussion thread is not on topic. Venting-type of posts need to be in the appropriate area.

Since this is the second reminder, this thread is now being closed.