Chinese food is a staple in China (duh) but also in American sitcoms.

From Seinfeld and The Simpsons to Sex & The City and Big Bang Theory, the impact of Chinese food in Western popular culture is arguably unparalleled by any other cuisine (maybe Italian, but it's pretty damn close).

TV characters have been chowing down on Chinese for decades, just like the rest of the population.

Though we may have fallen victim to the suburban “Australian-Chinese” menu in years gone by, the regional specialties of this cuisine are better represented in 2016.

I.e. there’s much more to Chinese than special fried rice and fortune cookies.

Just look at spicy Sichuan cuisine, sweet and saucy Cantonese, Shandong’s love of seafood and Hunan’s seasonings – China’s loooooong cultural history, enormous population and expanse of land has produced a bottomless pit of culinary beauty and delicious diversity.

Top Tastes To Try:

Mapo Tofu

This Sichuan dish lives up to the province's spicy reputation, with tofu and minced meat cooked in chilli and bean sauce.

This Chinese favourite has become easier to find in Australian restaurants over time, though the fiery heat is moderated a little.

Xiao Long Bao

These sexy Shanghai steamed buns are one hell of a crowd pleaser.

Usually filled with pork, these are also referred to as soup dumplings (and you'll want to slurp out the insides with care if a burnt mouth isn't your idea of a good time).

Zha Jiang Mian

Think of it as China's very own spag bol.

Thick flour-based noodles are covered in minced pork and beans and usually served with some pretty cool cucumbers. A bowl of Zha Jiang Mian will make you homesick for Beijing - even if you've never been.

Top Rated Restaurants Serving Chinese:

Wai's Chinese Takeaway - South Lake

Bokchoy Tang Chinese Restaurant - Melbourne

Wai Fo Sung Chinese Restaurant - Darlinghurst

Rize Chinese BBQ Restaurant - Fitzroy