ANSWERS: 29
  • Keeps food costs down.
  • So they can feed the cats they keep in the storage room and use in their dishes
  • Where else would they get the ingredients needed for sushi...
  • Because they think it looks elegant?
  • Because they serve sushi. It's a design idea--repeat elements in your space. (I just made that up. I have NO idea!)
  • I read somewhere that they were the first to keep fish in bowls for decoration. Bot only chinese restaurants. I've been to many an asian restaurant that has fish tanks- if there's fish in the tank, that is generally for show, the old Chinese belief that fish equal good luck. But some sea creatures in the tank also end up on the plate, such as lobster (and occasionally some fish, but generally not). As there's always a lot of seafood on the menu, it makes everything more nice in appearance, preserves the sea creatures well, and is traditionally good for 'feng shui' (an ancient aesthetic belief of spacial arrangement involving ying and yang reasons, all to help them lead a more true life)
  • It's probably associated with luck. Lots of things in Asian culture are there for prosperity and wellness. I'm sure a fish tank is a sign of good fortune (or something similar)
  • Why not? I love fish tanks, I think they look nice where ever they are.
  • They can be relaxing. Some doctors and dentists use them in their waiting rooms for the calming benefit.
  • It is probably to blend in with different cultures..:)
  • fung shei...water is calming in a space & I do believe that in chinese culture fish are for luck or prosperity...they do very little "just because"...there has to be a reason
  • Most restaurants in the Bay area in Hong Kong have fish tanks. The reason is that when you order your food the waiter will take you to the fish tank and ask you to choose the one you wish to eat. Thus the reason is to have fresh fish at choice. Regards.
  • in case the staff get peckish
  • I guess its because they want to make the place exotic and tasty.
  • fresh appetizers.
  • To keep little children entertained. If they like the fish, they will come back with their folks to eat.
  • Calming and theraputic reasons..
  • I have a more sinister take on this. This is only what i've heard, it could be complete bull but i've heard before that in some chinese restraunts, if they have a fish tank it signifies that they pay out money to the Triads, depending on the kind of fish in the tank and how many. Again it could be total rubbish. Its just what i heard.
  • Fish are very important to the Chinese symbolically. They think it is good luck to have live fish around, plus it is good feng shui to place water in certain places. Fish can mean prosperity and luck, plus the Chinese word for fish, yu, sounds like the word for riches or abundance, all good symbols for a prosperous happy restaurant and a good dining experience for the people.
  • Cause, that is where they pull that "favorite eggroll" out of.
  • For 3 possible reasons. * 1. It's a restaurant that has fresh fish on the menu and, perhaps, allows the customer to choose his or her fish. These tanks are quite recognizable though as not being for decor purposes. * 2. To bring the water element into a feng shui placement. The water element symbolizes wealth, prosperity and good fortune in feng shui. Some people say that the fish are themselves necessary to the placement. Others say that the fish are merely to provide decoration to the placement (which makes sense since feng shui should be aesthetic as well as practical) and to enhance the circulation of the water (water circulation *would* be vital to proper feng shui utilization). http://www.thefreedictionary.com/feng+shui * 3. Maybe they've just become a decorative fixture in Chinese restaurants, like the checkered tablecloths and raffia-wrapped wine bottles at certain types of Italian restaurants.
  • A friend of mine went into one in Singapore and the fish on the menu were all swimming in a tank and if you wanted fish you chose your own.
  • Sometimes the contents are the entrees. Most of the time, I think they have it for good luck and prosperity.
  • Fresh fish!! Fresh Fish!! (Oh wait, that's prison talk!!) If they look better then what you're eating, be glad..
  • Back up in case they run out of food !!
  • Good question i hadnt really thought about it much but your right, mabye in case they run out of fish :). Really i have no clue as to why, perhaps they feel fishtanks are nice looking.
  • Keeping fish as pets became a popular hobby among the Chinese. An ornamental fish pond was a sign of wealth in China, esp. with breed- koi.
  • Good luck fish symbolize prosperity.
  • The original reason for the fish tank was to store live fish prior to cooking. The customer could select the fish she/he wished to eat and it would be removed from the tank and prepared fresh. Most Chinese restaurants do not follow this custom anymore, but stock the tanks with decorative fish. +3

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