Rivaling the Italian restaurant, a Chinese restaurant kitchen layout is probably the single most popular commercial kitchen design project in the United States. Popularized in the US during the early 20th century, a Chinese restaurant kitchen design has changed little over the decades, due to the simplistic cooking methods used in Chinese cuisine over the centuries.
The beautiful simplicity of the quintessential Americanized Chinese restaurant kitchen is that a skilled chef can create a vast array of dishes; with no more than a cooking battery that consists of a multiple wok station and an oven.
The primary cooking techniques used in Chinese cuisine of steaming, sautéing, stewing, deep and flash frying can all be skillfully executed on a wok battery. This, along with their reasonably inexpensive start-up costs, is why so many American style Chinese restaurants occupy such small footprints all across the US. Although they don’t require nearly the same amount of space as say a French restaurant kitchen, by strategically adding a few pieces of modern restaurant equipment such as deep fryers, steamers and convection ovens, we can give the classic Chinese restaurant kitchen layout the ability to increase their culinary capabilities. This approach will also increase speed and execution of the menu; which would be impressive since every time I call my local Chinese restaurant for take-out, no matter how large my order is, they always say it will be ready in fifteen minutes.
Much like an Italian restaurant kitchen concept, Chinese cuisine relies on fresh ingredients, acquired daily. This allows the operator to utilize a smaller amount of refrigerated and frozen storage space since ideally, they will only be storing enough fresh food to sustain them for a day or two.
As simple as the classic design is, there is great value that can be added when the functional capabilities of other cuisine techniques are implemented into the execution structure of a classic, American style Chinese restaurant concept. Coupled with a comparatively small capital investment, and multi-functional capability of a wok battery, developing a Chinese restaurant kitchen design can be a relatively straightforward task for an experience restaurant design consultant who understands that sometimes there is also greater value in sticking with the fundamentals.