My relatives who did make the trip enjoyed the food very much. Though most of the time they had no clue what the food was nor did they want to know.<quoted text>
I only ate lunch there once 35 years ago while on a one-day tour from Hong Kong.(My dad lived in HK for a couple of years while working for IBM.)
The country was only recently opened up and they put on quite a show for us - children singing American show tunes etc.
Very drab colors; many people riding old fashion bikes with big balloon tires; peasants trying to sell us pieces of sugar cane.
I remember eating some sort of fried fish which tasted ok; though it could just have easily been dog meat (or mixed with dog meat; or monkey brains).
Almost anything tastes good breaded and fried, esp when you're hungry.
Bottom line is that China is huge country, and it is impossible to typify the food.