Happy Chinese New Year! The year of the rabbit is here! Not only is this a very cute animal, it also delicious to eat! Nom nom nom!
It seems appropriate to update with a recent visit to Four Seasons in China Town (yes, the tourist Mecca of London). Anyway, I’ve been watching a Swedish TV series on Chinese cooking (Kinas Mat) that is totally the best food series I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. One of the episodes deals with the art of preparing Bejing Duck, I was so impressed by this that I immediately wanted to have a taste of it myself.
However, I did some reading and realised that it is virtually impossible to get an authentic duck in (or outside China for that case), because you have to have a special oven that really only is used to cook the duck in. One 5 star hotel in London has this oven, however, at this particular day I wasn’t up for a fancy dinner so I opted for a roast duck at Four Seasons (which supposedly has one of the best ducks in London).
The meat was very tasty, perhaps a bit on the dry side. Pancakes great, vegetables and condiments really nice.
We also tried the lobster meat with straw mushrooms. Tasty, but a bit slimy. Then again, this is Cantonese food and I’m not a big fan of the slimy sauce. OMG, my Cantonese readers will most probably hate me now.
Some really great Chinese broccoli (Kai-lan), quickly heated and seasoned with garlic and soy sauce. To be honest, this was perhaps the best part of the meal. Perfectly cooked vegetables with clean flavours.
All in all, good food if you are a fan of the Cantonese kitchen!
I know some people have been waiting for an update on these duck tongues. I had a quick dim sum lunch in one of the restaurants on Gerrard Street in China Town the other day (I really don’t remember which restaurant it was, they are all more or less the same).
Duck tongues, I’ve seen them on the menu at some other places before but I have been a bit hesitant to try them. I just think of Donald Duck and the big birds in Hyde Park and that has really put me off. It does not really help that I suffer from a minor bird phobia. Then again, having been served about 30 duck tongues, I was very happy as this meant that 30 birds are now in bird heaven! (There are no birds in my heaven, they go to a separate place where they can freely spread germs and sh*t all over the place).
Ok, so back to the food. The tongues were served cold on top of some pickled vegetables. They were cooked in an aromatic broth, the taste was a mix of Chinese spices including cassia bark, star anise, ginger and dark soy sauce. I’m quite sure that there was about 5-10 more spices in the sauce because it was really developed in flavour. The actual tongues were a bit tricky to eat as there is a piece of cartilage in the middle, like a bone but you could easily bite through the bone and crunch it down with the meat. I used the same technique as you would for a chicken wing, eat around the middle and leave the bone on the plate. The tongues had a pleasant texture, difficult to describe. Definitely not soft and slimy as you could imagine ( I did), more like dry and medium-soft. You have to try them for yourself, I definitely will again!