Is it Asia in London? Yes, it is, at least as far as food is concerned.
Asian please, we are Londoners
Apologies to my English friends, but I must confess that I don’t like fish and chips. When I moved to London I realised that I love Asian food and I’m glad London has such a great variety of Asian restaurants on every corner.
I started with a Thai the first night I spent in London and never stopped exploring this side of the city. I probably have a passion for the Far-East by now and it is not only food: it is culture as well.
This is why today I would like to bring you for a three-stops journey in the Asian London.
Careful! It’s hot!
Raise your hand if you know what a Bibimbap is? Four years ago I would’t have raised mine and I am pretty sure very few of my Italian friends would do it now. What about my English friends? Not sure…Anyway, this is a traditional Korean dish. The name means “mixed rice” and it perfectly describes this dish. It is a bowl of rise with vegetables and, if you like, meat. You have to mix it as soon as you have been served because you have to cook the yolk that has been placed on top of the vegetables. The bowl, that is made of cast iron and is extremely hot, will do the rest of the work. And then taste it: it’s simple and it’s delicious.
Thai mon amour!
Who wants to share? This is definitely the question you need to ask if you go to a Thai restaurant. Or maybe you don’t even have to ask: if you go to a Thai restaurant you must! Sharing is part of the Thai cucine culture where all the complementary dishes are served at the same time and shared by all. I love tasting different flavours and let others suggest things that I may not have considered in my choices. I think it is perfect for large groups, but also for a romantic dinner. Just make sure you are good in negotiation. You don’t want to end up in a row on your first date.
The Last Chinese Chef
The most known Asian food is Chinese food, but at least in my experience it was not associated to great cuisine or high quality preparations. All this until I read this novel. Chinese food is the main character and a world on its own. A completely different world from Europe and from the idea that we have of Chinese cuisine in Europe. I have been very impressed by the erudite research for the best food pairing and the quite religious attention to the details.
Unfortunately I haven’t come across to any similar experience in Italy or in London Chinatown, but I will continue my search. Stay tuned…
Addresses and tips
For a good value for money Bibimbap in a non-pretentious restaurant, I would suggest
312 Vauxhall Bridge Rd
Victoria, London SW1V 1AA
A starter, a bibimbap and a Korean tea: about £20
For a high level Thai restaurant I would suggest Patara. They have several restaurant in London. I have personally been to
Soho (15 Greek St, Soho, London W1D 4DP) and
South Kensington (181 Fulham Road, London SW3 6JN).
Not the kind of cheap Thai you can find everywhere in London, but more the type of place you choose for special occasions or to indulge yourselves.
A starter, a main, a dessert and a glass of wine: about £55
The Last Chinese Chef, Nicole Mones, Mariner Books
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