Chinese Tapas House 愛吃鬼小屋 – London Little Newport Street

On one weekend I really wanted to try out the squid in Bigbe Chicken. But every time (that’s a total of three times) I went in and asked, they’ve sold out… meaning…?
I decided in the end to give Chinese Tapas House 愛吃鬼小屋 (Canto: oi hek gwai siu uk; Mando: ai chui guai xiao wu)  a go (apparently Miss Money goes in there all the time. So greedy!). The place literally means: “love eat ghost small house”.
Looking at the displays on the window, I wanted to try out the savoury pancake which I couldn’t see on their menu at first but saw a big picture of it when I looked up. 

I was looking at someone else’s savoury pancake being made…

With my poor Mandarin (although I understood what they were asking) I ordered it…

It was like watching crepes being made.

So when I went home, what they add is a frankfurter, fried dough (yau jia gwai), salted preserved pickles, fried pigs skin, egg, spring onions, sesame seeds and chilli oil. I had asked for it to be a little spicy but it was spicy anyway… The fried dough became soggy enough to bite into as they are usually tough. Biting it bit by bit meant I could taste the pancake blending in with all the ingredients. The pickles gave it some saltiness but the rest is bland so it went well with everything. ^_^

That was worth a good £3.50.

Address: Little Newport Street, China Town, London

Royal Gourmet Frozen Cheong Fun

An excited YES comes out of my mouth when I saw that Mr Stingy found frozen cheong fun (flat rice noodles with fillings) were available in the bigger Chinese supermarkets – basically not in China Town but have yet to go there to see if there’s any.
My trip to Hoo Hing was worth it just to find these. They are expensive. More expensive than eating these at a restaurant. Sigh. The prawn cheong fun is £3.99 and the beef cheong fun is £3.30, whereas restaurants would sell them for less than £3.

Well, it’s worth a try since this is the first brand I have come across to make this available in frozen format. A packet of sweet soy sauce is available, which I suggest you should defrost using a bowl of warm water (just don’t open the packet).

Instead of using a pan, I used another way of steaming… a big massive rice cooker. The easiest style of steaming. ^_^

Post steaming of around 20 minutes (just to make sure everything is cooked) this is what it turned out to look like, 

You add the soy sauce on top and voila!

Unfortunately, this happened when taking it out,,, they split easily. It always happens especially in restaurants. So don’t worry, it does happen to us Chinese peeps too!
The taste was ok, just the prawns weren’t extremely the freshest type. The soy sauce on the other hand is the bit I like the most about this dim sum. ^_^

Next, I tried the beef one, did exactly the same as the prawn one above.

This has some crunchy water chestnut inside and some sort of peppery spice probably to get rid of any bad tastes and smells. I like this one! Surprisingly there were loads of the beef one in the freezer. The prawn ones were almost gone and the char siu cheong fun was completely gone!!

Well the pork one is the only one I have to try… if you like these, hope you can them!!

Kam Tong Chinese Restaurant 金唐 – London Bayswater

Sorry, lazy to blog this week.
Last weekend was Miss Posh’s birthday. Happy Birthday! ^_^ And you know Miss Posh likes a good, expensive restaurant. Heheh. So where did we go? Kam Tong Chinese Restaurant 金唐 (Canto: gam tong; Mando: jin tang… meaning: Golden Tang Dynasty) which is located in Bayswater.
Sorry for angle of this pic
I must’ve passed Bayswater many times and never really noticed this little street of the second China Town in London. DaddyChef used to work around the area so knows this street quite well from back in the old days. He said Kam Tom is one of the most expensive Chinese restaurants in the area. Don’t blame them, they’re next to Hyde Park and all the “rich” peeps of London. High rent value. ¬_¬”
So I was to be there at 4 pm, and just made it a few minutes (about 10 min later, but still got told off for not being there early enough!) after Miss Posh got there. We moved our seats around, and around so that the waiters could get by… it was a little cramped but it doesn’t matter.
We sat and talked… Haven’t seen Miss Posh for months, and her life has changed with the wind dramatically as she’s now moved to Swindon!! Ugh! So far!!!! So her local pub The Shard is now a distant pub.
We were in time to order the dim sum… and we ordered some other dishes like she had done at her birthday the year before. 🙂 The waiter who took our order wasn’t impressed with Miss Posh’s ordering. He was really trying to be the cool looking Chinese guy. Hmmm. But at least he was patient with us.
Crispy BBQ Pork buns was totally different to see… Like those Chinese “pineapple buns” on top and BBQ buns at the bottom.

Spicy chicken feet is the norm.

And Pumpkin Duck? Wow! These are like those meat dumplings, but these are ultimately crispy with some spicy duck and mashed pumpkin filling inside. Was amazed at this piece. ^_^

And the normal dishes… Egg fried rice, beef stew and choi sum in oyster sauce… I think these were glistening with msg.

And lastly was the fish… Miss Posh ordered the most expensive fish. Seabass. ¬_¬” £23! It came in Thai style. Spicy but sweet… The fish was really fresh though.

In the end we were so full! Had some jasmine tea in the end… It was so hard to run for the bus… :p
Total came to £75.04. 4p? Where did that come from? Expensive Chinese food indeed!!!
My geeky rating: 5/5 – just because it was really good quality food!
Good points:
– Good quality food
– Polite-ish service (the oldies are the nice ones)
– Dim sum was great! Some different stuff that you don’t see in normal China Town
Bad points:
– Expensive!!
Address: 59-63 Queensway, London W2 4QH
Tel: 020 7229 6065

Bento Ramen – London Camden

Don’t often go out with Mr Games and Mr Sensible in a group just to go and watch a movie! But first stop was to eat at Bento Ramen!
I had no breakfast that morning, just a coffee, so luckily I had a big stomach. I already had a quick look at the menu online and knew what I wanted to try out. I can really only comment on the food I had and I had taken pictures of everyone else’s food. ^_^ Me? Food addict? 
Bento Ramen is a Japanese-Chinese restaurant, not a fusion restaurant as there’s no mix and match of ingredients. When I saw that they had dim sum I knew that there had to be some sort of Chinese partnership in this place. 

We ordered food and I went with Mr Games and friend to get our cinema tickets.

This is Mr Sensible’s ramen.

Not sure what this is. A vegetarian udon stir fry I think.

Vegetarian gyoza.

Not sure what this is. Tofu?

I think this is either duck or chicken and char siu with boiled rice.

Char siu and wonton noodle soup.

Mr Games had the bbq beef and chicken katsu don set.

Gyoza noodle soup.

I also had the bbq beef and chicken katsu don. So based on my tastebuds, this is actually really tasty. The beef was nice and tender, soft and easy to bite into and also sweet enough to want more. The chicken katsu was ok and I managed to eat the lot. It’s very filling! Mr Games didn’t like the beef that much but he likes fried chicken more anyway… 😛

I was also greedy enough to order the dim sum set. All of these had shellfish, so if you are allergic don’t get it. I enjoyed this so much as the prawns were big. I think they all handmade this. Anyway, I was stuffed!! ^_^ Happy face was on!!!

In total we spent over £100 including drinks and service charge. I think mine cost around £17-£18. I love East Asian food. 
My geeky rating: 5/5 (I can’t rate on the others, so rated my own experience)
Good points:
– Affordable Japanese and Chinese food
– Tasty dim sum! I think it’s easier to come here than eat at China Town for dim sum. 
Bad points:
– Can’t think of any
Address: 29-31 Parkway, London NW1 7PN
Tel: 020 7485 9933


Minions was an average kids film… nothing too special about the story line. The ending was the best part!! ^_^

Also had a Tango Ice Blast… fizzy!!

Lanzhou Noodle Bar 正宗兰州拉面 – London Cranbourne Street

Hidden away (not really that hidden). But behind one of the entrances of Leicester Square Station is a noodle bar called Lanzhou Noodle Bar 正宗兰州拉面(Mando: zheng zong Lanzhou la mian), meaning: “authentic Lanzhou pulled noodles”. Miss Money went there the other day and explained  to me that they sell cold noodles which I didn’t try – maybe next time but had read that their noodles are really good.

Lanzhou Lamian Noodle Bar

I was seated next to a bunch of people. The place is a bit cramped so make sure you don’t bring too much stuff because you’ll probably have nowhere to place things, except the floor. I think there are seats downstairs as well…

Fun cartoons on the wall

Instead of the cold noodles I read that the beef brisket were the best noodles, so I ordered that with my poor Mandarin and I also ordered a plate of steamed/boiled dumplings… why not, I was there. There are other options like rice dishes if you don’t want noodles.

The noodles came out first. It’s a big massive bowl. Floating on top were some leaves of pak choi, beef brisket and to my utter horror – coriander!

Beef Brisket Noodle Soup

In the midst of all that soup were the noodles. Lamian 拉面, the pulled noodles. In other words ramen. These were chunky, a kind of bland taste and filling at the same time. The disappointing factor was the beef broth. It was light in taste but it didn’t have that strong beefy taste which I like from the Cantonese style beef brisket noodles. It also reminded me of Vietnamese pho.

Pulled noodles

The dumplings actually made up for the noodles. They were filled with pork and chives. They were fat and filling. I think the wrap is made using the noodle dough.

Pork and chive steamed/boiled dumplings

So much filling… this is recommended

I was really full after eating!! ^_^ Total cost came to £11.50. Bowl of noodles cost £6.50. You pay at the counter rather than asking for the bill. A little expensive and I didn’t order any drinks with this. I’ve learnt my lesson… if you order soup noodles don’t order a drink with it. Service is average – don’t expect full smiles and greetings.

After this I walked towards Westminster to digest and see the Naked Bike Ride.

My geeky rating: 3.5/5

Good points:
– Big bowl of pulled noodles
– If you’re lucky you will probably see a chef pulling noodles
– Steamed/boiled dumplings are filling!

Bad points:
– A little expensive for Chinese soup noodles
– The noodle soup was not the best I’ve had 😦
– Feel like you have to eat quick and go… no place to stay and chat

Address: 33 Cranbourne Street London WC2H 7AD
Tel: 020 7836 4399

Silk Road Chinese Restaurant 新疆风味 – London Camberwell

Hmmm. It’s time I went to another Chinese restaurant.
I’ve been told for many years that Silk Road in Camberwell is one of the best Chinese restaurants around the South East and by chance Miss Money was in the area and wanted to go and eat their food. Think I might as well tag along and see how good it is.
The Chinese name is 新疆风味 (Mando: xin jiang feng wei; Canto: san geung fung mei). It literally means the “Xingjiang Flavour” – the local flavours of Xinjiang which is located in North West China. It isn’t really supposed to be Chinese cuisine; it’s food based from the Uyghur people. Xinjiang’s population is mostly Muslim but I think this restaurant is definitely not for Muslims as they do serve pork.
Silk Road Chinese Restaurant 新疆风味
As we entered we were asked if we would be finished within an hour and I said yes to Miss Money we would be. In and out business was fine with me. 
We had a quick look at the menu and we had the following food. 
Handmade Pork and Chive dumplings. Quite plain. They went cold quite quickly.
Pork and Chive Dumplings

This one I think was the Egg, Leek and Shrimp dumplings. I think I liked the pork one more.

Egg, Leek and Shrimp Dumplings
The ultimate dish from Xinjian is this dish. This is the Middle Plate Chicken which is the smaller version of The Big Plate Chicken. It’s basically chicken on the bone with potatoes, chilli and an addition of belt noodles in a sweet chicken broth. This was a good dish and I quite liked this one. ^_^ Belt noodles I think were handmade because they really did taste good. Miss Money thought we shouldn’t drink the broth but I drank it. It wasn’t too spicy. The chillis weren’t even spicy!!
Middle Plate Chicken

With flat noodles
I somehow got the fish skewers but what I really wanted was the ox tripe skewers. Miss Money… did you order this wrongly… Or did the waitress get it wrong?! 😦 I wanted ox tripe… Oh well, the fish was ok. They added a sprinkle of chilli powder which added to the taste. Not bad.
Fish skewers
This last dish was ordered by Miss Money. It’s the Home Style Aubergine. There’s not a lot of aubergine. Mostly tomatoes and chilli pieces. It’s not that spicy but sweet and apparently it’s supposed to be a little salty. ¬,¬” Oh dear. Miss Money wasn’t impressed. She said that the taste of this dish has changed since the last time she changed. We didn’t finish it…
Home Style Aubergine
Overall cost came to £37.50 including two drinks (the waitress gave us 50p back… I’m sure we paid the exact money). Not bad for all the stuff we ate but I think I liked My Old Place in Liverpool Street and the very spicy Chinese restaurant I went to in Paris.

My geeky rating: 4/5

Good points:
– OK service, not the greatest, so don’t expect too much
– Seating arrangements are noodle bar like and you may end up sharing a table
– Middle Plate Chicken (or Big Plate Chicken) is a must try

Bad points: 
– Not spicy enough. Been told by old friends that the spicy level has gone downhill.
– Didn’t like the aubergine dish much
– Dumplings went cold too quickly

Address: 49 Camberwell Church Street, London SE5 8TR
Tel: 020 7703 4832

Super Three Chinese Restaurant 巴山蜀水 – London All Saints

After a super long afternoon with Miss Money, Mr Games and Mr Sensible (we just had hot and cold drinks in a hidden spot in Piccadilly and talked a lot about films, games and teasing each other. Heheh) it was time to head out for food as well as find that Hello Kitty Shaun the Sheep. =^.^=
Miss Money and I headed towards Canary Wharf and Mr Games and Mr Sensible decided to skip. Miss Money had been to a Chinese hot pot place in All Saints recently with another friend and I said I wanted to go and try it out. ^_^ I haven’t had hot pot for years!
We arrived at All Saints via DLR, it’s only a few stops away from Canary Wharf. Then you walk out and turn right, then you have to carefully cross the road. 😛
There are a couple of Chinese hot pot restaurants in the area, but the one we went to is called Super Three 巴山蜀水 (Mando: Ba Shan Shu Shui). It’s a buffet and it’s £18 per person, so basically you can eat as much as you like and try and get your £18 worth. >o<"

Hot pot is about to start!

I chose a lot of meat, udon noodles, squid, tofu and aubergine. The frozen meat (beef and lamb) was ordered by Miss Money.

Miss Money didn’t want a lot of meat so she selected other things.

We ate all of this and went for a second round with prawns, fishballs and lighter stuff… then we had vegetables and then finally had loads of orange slices and tinned pineapple. (I forgot to take pictures along the way… sorry).

Our final bill came to around £44 including a bottle of aloe vera. It’s not a bad place and it does more than hot pot. There were a lot of people when we went in but it died down afterwards… I think Miss Money didn’t realise a lot of Chinese people eat at the time we went! ^_^

My geeky rating: 4.5/5

Good points:
– Eat as much as you like!
– Cheapish
– Ok service
– Has karaoke rooms

Bad points:
– Limited food selections
– Not much space underneath the table to stretch your legs… Be difficult for tall people
– Hot pot is limited to one side of the table as there’s a grill on the other side!

Address: 207-209 East India Dock Road, London E14 0ED
Tel: 020 7515 8700

p.s. Here’s my birthday gift from Miss Money! Thank you!!!

Wong Kei 旺記 – London China Town

I think it’s about time Miss Pinky and I went to Wong Kei 旺記 (Canto: Wong Gei; Mando: Wang Ji) in China Town. It’s well known for it’s super cheap dishes and rude service. I used to go to this restaurant often with MummyGeek and to me it looks the same as it did many years ago. 
Miss Pinky was craving noodle soup and I was just hungry after shopping in horrible crowded Primark in Marble Arch then coming down to a quiet M&S. So much difference. Cheap versus Class. Anyway, this post is about food not shopping!
Wong Kei 旺記

We were seated near the back on the ground floor. I know there’s a lower ground part where there’s a fountain (is that still there I wonder).

I ordered the food in Cantonese and asked for my favourite shredded pork fried noodles… and I forgot the words for crispy and non-crispy. Uh-oh. Must ask my parents on that next time. Thankfully the waiter switched to English in which I replied “crispy”. Not many waiters do that!! ^_^
It took a few minutes for our food to come out and Miss Pinky was doing her usual people watching at the restaurant. 
Miss Pinky asked for the beef brisket noodle soup… Oooo the beef brisket was very smooth and silky. Tasted really good. Miss Pinky mainly ate the noodles and forgot about the beef in which she asked for a takeaway pot (it costs an extra 50 pence for a takeaway bowl). 
Beef Brisket Noodle Soup

I had my favourite fried noodles! I haven’t had this for a long, long time and it was about time I had it. The dish came with some extra veggies which I didn’t mind. ^_^ Really crispy. Not salty. Had loads of sauce which is what I preferred.

Shredded Pork Fried Noodles

The plates and bowls are old stuff. I’m sure they had used these for a very long time…

Total came to £10.50. I think the tea came free so we didn’t order any drinks. We forgot to tip, sorry!! Have to save money for this next trip coming up.
My geeky rating: 5/5 for cheap Chinese food!
Good points:
– Ok service (although I could see a waiter who looked a bit rude but said bye – probably tired)
– Cheap Chinese food in China Town!!!
Bad points:
– I actually can’t think of anything… Miss Pinky didn’t make any complaints! Although the waiters should smile a bit more… ^_^
Address: 41-43 Wardour Street, London W1D 6PY
Telephone: 020 7437 8408

Geeky Egg Fried Rice

The Geek has been lazy and not making cooking posts last year. Reason: just being lazy. 😀 So today I’m going to show you the easiest Chinese cooking dish which has been probably shown a billion times around the world and brought down to many Chinese generations. There’s probably so many videos on how to cook egg fried rice…

It’s damn bloody simple! (Sorry for bad language usage here). I get asked so many times on how to make this especially how to cook the takeaway version. This is something for teenagers and young adults to learn when they’re by themselves really… and also a good way to impress family and friends on Chinese New Year!

– Cooked and cooled long grain white rice (you can use brown rice, jasmine or basmati rice – you decide)
– 1 egg, but I used 2 eggs here (because I like it eggy)
– 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
– 1-2 tablespoons Light Soy sauce (optional) and a teaspoon of Dark Soy sauce for colouring
– 1-2 tablespoons Oyster sauce (optional)
– Salt (optional)
If you want to spice up your egg fried rice you can add other ingredients in:
– Cold cooked meats (optional)
– Vegetables or spring onions (optional)

Main ingredients in pictures:

Cooked, cold long grain rice (do not EVER use uncooked rice for this recipe)

Must use cooked rice

 My two eggs (bought from Icelands – you can buy from anywhere)

Eggs (duh!)

How to cook (for 1-2 people):

1. Heat your frying pan (you don’t need to use a wok to cook this, a normal frying pan is ok) and add your vegetable in.

2. Add your cooked, cold rice into the frying pan

3. Stir fry and flatten out the lumps by using your spatula for 1-2 minutes (or whatever cooking utensil you use to stirfry). Make sure the rice is coated in the oil whilst stir frying.

Before adding the eggs you can add here your cold meat or vegetables in for extra geekiness (more like for extra flavouring). ^_^

4. Add 1 or 2 eggs on top of the rice (you can also scramble the eggs rather than adding the eggs like below – DaddyChef usually scrambles them and MummyGeek usually adds them straight in like below).

5. Stir fry the eggs into the rice for 1-2 minutes and you should get a yellow texture on top of the rice, if the egg looks too runny keep stir frying until you see your pan browning with the egg

6. The following is optional, I add oyster sauce into my egg fried rice

7. If you don’t want to add salt then add soy sauce (I added too much here and it got too salty). If you want Chinese takeaway style add the soy sauce plus add a teaspoon of dark soy sauce.

8. Here I placed mine in a container as it was for lunch! ^_^

Hope this will enlighten you to cook more. I will try my best to add more cooking stuff this year. 
Chinese New Year is on February 19th!! Year of the Goat.

Hutong 胡同 @The Shard – London

Happy Christmas to everyone and to all of those working today!!
It’s been an almost quiet week at work and I think one deserves to go to a posh dining restaurant to chill, relax and enjoy the view from The Shard.
Yesterday I went out with Miss Posh as a get together before the end of the year. I think I reserved my table in September as there were no tables to book for anytime earlier. Tables sell like hotcakes at The Shard, so make sure you pre-book everything if you’re wanting a nice table by the window.
I got to London Bridge and decided to have a tiny walk around before Miss Posh got there. But anyway I had to go into the restaurant by myself… I practically got lost trying to find the right entrance to Hutong! XD
Guess where the entrance is!
Hutong is on the 33rd Floor in The Shard but you actually get a lift up to the 32nd floor and then there’s a bit of walking up some stairs.

The meaning of Hutong 胡同  is “alley” or a “neighbourhood” and are commonly found in Beijing. I only see them in films and Chinese dramas. ^_^

When I got there I was seated straight away and then given a menu later. Miss Posh was late. Thankfully I went straight from work! I had a browse through the menu and had decided what I wanted… I kept sms-ing Miss Posh, and finally in the end I ordered my food plus a gin and tonic in the meantime. 
My starter came out first. Pork slices and cucumber with some spicy hoisin sauce. Blimey! The hoisin sauce was good. I was starving so I had a few. I was actually choking as I was inhaling the sauce and I still have a cold. But this is definitely good stuff. I could have more of these. 
Thinly-cut pork belly with cucumber slices
Sorry for the darkness… but the dip was good!

Finally Miss Posh arrived. We moved seats to be closer to the window and I managed to break a wine glass with my bag. Oh dear. Thankfully I didn’t need to pay for the glass! Phew. And she ordered some more food.
Here’s the rest of the food we had…
This is Hutong’s Spicy Fried Rice. For Northern Chinese food, this is quite spicy! But I did like it as it tasted like sticky rice, something what my dad would make in Hakka style.
Hutong’s Spicy Fried Rice

Fried noodles with Seasonal Vegetables was unusual. It tasted like udon or thick spaghetti. Tasted like it was cooked in a light tomato sauce but not sure. Wish there a bit more seasonal vegetables in there but nevermind.

Fried noodles with Seasonal Vegetables

Spicy Minced Pork Dumplings were great! I think it didn’t need to be dipped into any sauces and eating it plain was good. I couldn’t taste the spiciness but it was good stuff. I recommend this!

Spicy Minced Pork Dumplings

 Here’s our food…

Our food

In the end we ordered Jasmine tea. Good stuff. It gets quite strong when brewed for too long. Not sure if they are allowed to top this up with hot water.

Having jasmine tea

Jasmine Tea

Total cost came to £75.38 including water and a pineapple juice. I think they forgot to charge for the tea. But that might just be a Christmas gift for us (I hope that was the case!). Expensive but worth it! I’ve heard some people have spent more than this! Well, it does cost around £30 to go to the top of The Shard anyway. 

The bill
Went to the Ladies afterwards, and I was amazed!! I took some pictures of the view as well as the sink area… I love the tap. Looks like they really took great care of the design of the restaurant and toilet area. 
View from the Ladies

Sorry for wasting water

They provide towels to wipe your hands!! Wow
Might not be a posh geek but at least I tried to be. ^_^ LOL!!

My geeky rating: 4.5/5
Good points: 
– Great night view from the window
– Service is polite and good
– Dumplings taste good
– Beautiful Ladies room!! You can get a view from there if you don’t sit by the window
Bad points:
– A bit expensive – but of course this place is for top diners and for those who can afford it!!
– Reserving a table will take forever
– Service charge

Address: Level 33, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, London SE1 9RY
Telephone: 020 3011 1257