The Long March of Chinese regional cooking in Britain

Dinner in Changsha, Hunan

You can read my article on the new Chinese regional restaurants in the Guardian here. I thought I’d use my blog to offer a bit more information.

So here are a few of the most interesting regional Chinese restaurants in London:

HUNAN: Local Friends (hu nan ren湖南人)

Chef Ren Jianjun, a native of Yueyang in northern Hunan Province used to work at the Shangri-La Hunan restaurant in Oriental City, Colindale. Ignore the entire front section of the menu and turn to the back, which is conspicuously RED because of all the chillies. Here you’ll find a wonderful selection of hearty Hunanese dishes which are among the most authentic in London.

Local Friends, 28 North End Road, Golders Green, NW11 7PT, 020 8455 9258

Local Friends, 132 Bethnal Green Rd, London E2 6DG, United Kingdom

020 7729 9954 Continue reading…


Dinner at the Clove Club

Posted by Fuchsia on January 03, 2014
Restaurants / 2 Comments

Radical chicken's feet

There is only the slightest, most tenuous little Chinese excuse for writing about my recent dinner at the Clove Club on this blog, but it was such a fabulous meal that I’m going to anyway. My phone ran out of juice very quickly so I took almost no photos (which was actually a relief: Instagram is fun but can also be a self-imposed tyranny). We had the set menu, with a few extra tasters which were sent out by the kitchen.

The Chinese excuse lies in one of the extras, an ingenious little concoction of boned, deep-fried chicken’s feet, gently embracing a mushroom and chicken stuffing. This is the only time I’ve ever been served chicken’s feet in a non-Chinese restaurant, and these were divine: crisp, crunchy and totally unexpected. (Have any blog readers come across interesting chicken’s feet dishes outside the Chinese culinary world?) Continue reading…

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Britannia holds her own in the kitchen – finally!

Posted by Fuchsia on January 29, 2013
Chinese food culture, Restaurants / 5 Comments

I made a point of trying to prepare my Chinese friends for our Sunday lunch at St John Bread and Wine. “It’s one of my favourite restaurants, and I think the food is wonderful, but you may find it a bit simple by Chinese standards. The kitchen is incredibly careful (非常讲究) about the quality of ingredients, and the founding chef was one of the catalysts for the renaissance of British cooking. I’m taking you there because I want to show you some of the best of our local cuisine, but it’s quite meaty. And even if you’re not crazy about the savoury courses, one thing in which they excel is puddings and other sweet things, so you must try them… Etc etc.” Continue reading…

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