Saying Goodbye to The Kitchen God

The day after Trump’s inauguration, I was in Tokyo doing some food ‘research’ on route back from my pop up dinner in Niseko. An American friend of mine Elizabeth, who had moved there a couple years back, invited me to join her and some others on a march at Hibiya Park, one of the 676 sister marches planned around the globe in alliance with the Women’s March on Washington. About 650 of us, mostly expats, traversed the city in a respectful, quiet and distinctly Japanese fashion, in a neat double file to the side of traffic on the road.  Later that night, I returned to my Airbnb in Shibuya and watched as Gloria Steinem declared that “God may…

Lamb bao at Bao London The dessert spread at Ottolenghi on Motcomb Street Feast London at Dalston Yard Smokestack BBQ at Street Feast Dalston Yard Brick Lane Beigel Bake The spread at Honey & Co
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5 Best Things I ate in London

It seems I’ve been on a perpetual travel and food binge over the last few weeks, I am thankful for those of you who are still connected to me on social media despite the deluge of posts that do little more than inspire anger and hunger, probably at the same time.

But all those kilos gained weren’t all for naught, here are the best five things I sampled in London for your reference.  I’ve eaten an abhorrent amount to uncover these, so you don’t have to. The things I do.

First up:
1. The Trotter Nuggets at Bao London £4

Bao is a new restaurant in Soho that started from a pop up stall (sound familiar?) serving Taiwanese style fluffy buns with creative flavors like panko crumbed daikon, soy milk marinated chicken, and lamb shoulder. I tried almost every one on the menu (lamb shoulder with coriander sauce had the most punchy flavours), the buns definitely shine. But the stars of the meal were actually the sides for me, in particular …

Jia Jia Tang Bao Jia Jia Tang Bao Jia Jia Tang Bao Jia Jia Tang Bao Lin Long Fang Lin Long Fang xiaolongbao Xiaoyang Shenjianbao
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Xiaolongbao Redux: Best Places for Soup Dumplings in Shanghai

What hasn’t been written about xiaolongbao, the humble Shanghainese soup dumpling? It is a marvel of engineering; skin thin enough to be translucent, pleated around seasoned pork and bursting at the seams with umami-rich soup.  Further enhanced with a dip in black vinegar and topped with thin slivers of ginger, it is consumed by daintily lifting by the top where the skin is thickest and raising to your lips in a soup spoon, lest any spillage occurs during consumption.  Living in Shanghai, the birthplace of xiaolongbao, I’m spoiled to be able to indulge in a basket whenever the craving strikes. And it happens more often than I’d like to admit.

Locals believe that a good xiaolongbao is in the ratio of skin, soup and meat. The thinner the skin and more plentiful the soup and meat, the better. But the perfect xiaolongbao is often elusive, a product of the nimble hands of young chefs who roll and pleat behind kitchen glass, affected …

Jing | 28.05.15 at 10:11 PM |
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Chinese New Year Feast

When I was young, family gatherings were a rare thing. Every couple of years, my parents and I would travels the thousands of miles back to Chengdu and visit my dear grandparents and extended family of uncles, aunts and cousins. Each time we met, there were changes to take in; babies I had never met , kids and teenagers I’d never watched grow, divorces, remarriages, grey hairs and facial lines. It was a revolving cast, but the stage remained the same, set around the kitchen table in my grandparents house. If you’ve seen the BBC Exploring China documentary that was filmed in their home, you’d have an idea of what one of these gatherings are like.

Having grown up far removed from the rest of my family and feeling culturally alienated as a kid, I thought the endless dishes and baijiu toasts were remarkably tedious and couldn’t wait to slink away after scarfing down my food.  Eventually with age came sense and curiosity, and I became…

Jing | 19.02.15 at 11:35 AM |

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