I like congee. When my western friends reach for pizza or tomato soup as comfort foods, I do find myself missing that fragrant rice porridge with its accompanying bowls of tasting toppings. It seems I am not alone. I’ve been seeing a lot of social media and articles discussing this south-east Asian dish. They mainly focus on it being the secret of a healthy life, and a pick-me-up when you’re ill. Whilst all of this is true, I can’t help but feel that these representations are somewhat missing the main point, and perpetuating some misperceptions. The Chinese, for one, eat congee as an everyday staple, some even consider a delicious treat. With family roots across central, northern and southern China, I have grown up with a variety of experiences of the 粥zhou (Mandarin for congee).
Posted in Blog and tagged Cantonese, Chaozhou, china, Chinese, congee, cuisine, culture, food, jook, Teochew, tradition
After the delays due to the World Cup, I am very happy to see “Incredibles 2” released at last. The major reason for my anticipation for seeing this film in the cinema, is the short preceding the main feature, “Bao”, the first Pixar production with a female director, and one of Chinese heritage, no less. Needless to say, my expectations were high, and this adorable work has met them.
Posted in Blog and tagged animation, china, Chinese, cinema, cuisine, culture, Disney, film, food, Pixar
Being a purist and a classicist, I have stayed away from “fusion” cuisines in the past, having previously been unimpressed by certain Asian specimens of these in London. However, with the opening of Shikumen, now one of my favourite places for Dim Sums in this city, I became more convinced that Chinese cuisine could be reinterpreted and modernized without losing its essence. I decided to try Hakkasan, Hanway Place at last, with a friend.
Posted in Blog and tagged china, Chinese, cuisine, culture, Dim Dum, food, Hakkasan, restaurant, review
As we settle into autumn and those first chills in the air make us long for snug jumpers and steaming hot soup, it’s the perfect season for hot pot. 火锅 Huo Guo or Hot Pot is a Chinese cuisine whereby thin slices of food is cooked very quickly in boiling hot soup and consumed simultaneously during the act of cooking. It’s warming in the winter, a very social way of eating to be enjoyed slowly, offers an effective way of detoxing in hot and humid weather, and a great way of sweat out those germs in the system if you’ve caught a winter bug.
Posted in Blog and tagged Cantonese, china, Chinese, cuisine, food, hot pot, Sichuan
I select restaurants to review for various reasons. Reccomendations, publicity, invite, occasionally just simple coincidence. We came across Shikumen due to a huge advert in London’s free morning paper. With an enticing dim sum menu, and a website littered with Shangai calendar pics, we thought it would be worth a trip to their Ealing branch.
Posted in Blog and tagged Cantonese, china, Chinese, cuisine, culture, dim sum, Ealing, food, restaurant, review, Shanghai, Shikumen, Tianjin
Walking down Watford’s Market Street, you could have easily missed the shopfront, with its drab brown and sepia facia and dark windows, however, my razor sharp “Everything-Chinese” radar sensed it straight away. I was curious about the Flower Drum because of its low profile exterior, which seems so muted when compared to many the gaudy appearance and even gaudier names of places such as the “Jade Palace” or “Golden Dragon”, with their red and gold displays, or over-sized neon hanzi. The Flower Drum is a quiet little restaurant with a very pretty name.
Posted in Blog and tagged Chinese, cuisine, culture, food, Peking, restaurant, Sichuan, Watford