A Cantonese restaurant is a type of Chinese restaurant that originated in Southern China. This style of restaurant soon flourished in Hong Kong.
Some of the earliest restaurants in Colonial Hong Kong were influenced by Cantonese people.〔Wiltshire, Trea. (published 1987 ) (republished & reduced 2003). Old Hong Kong - Volume One. Central, Hong Kong: Text Form Asia books Ltd. ISBN Volume One 962-7283-59-2〕 Throughout the history of Hong Kong cuisine, a great deal of Southern China's diet became synonymous with Cantonese style food.
As many Cantonese people, including chefs, emigrated from Hong Kong to the Western world, authentic Cantonese restaurants began appearing in many Chinatowns overseas. From 1980 to 1986, an estimated 21,000 left Hong Kong permanently each year. Beginning in 1987 the numbers rose sharply to 48,000 people a year.〔Manion, Melanie. ()(2004). Corruption by Design: Building Clean Government in Mainland China and Hong Kong. Harvard University press. ISBN 0-674-01486-3〕
Many Chinese restaurants in the United Kingdom are actually Cantonese take-out restaurants with few people recognising the difference between Cantonese and mainstream Chinese.
The origin of Cantonese restaurant was teahouse. Teahouses were places where people met to drink tea during the ancient Dynasty of China. It was popular among south China where people used to love drinking tea. Therefore, teahouse was always characterized as a social function to gather people. ()
Many early Chinese restaurants were influenced by the Cantonese people. Southern China is famous for nice weather benefitting agriculture. Therefore, many cuisines are in fact originated in Southern China, what we call now Cantonese food.
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