We went to the first ever Chinese food festival in London’s Southbank. It was a small event, but enough for an afternoon out eating! There was a decent amount of stalls offering dishes from different parts of China. We even got to meet the amazing Dumpling Sisters!
So here’s what we ate:
Lychee bubble tea 荔枝奶茶 (£4.00) – a refreshing cloudy lychee juice drink topped with tapioca balls (the bubble). Sweet and ice-cold, a good compliment to the savoury dishes we had that day. A modern twist to the traditional bubble tea which is made with milky tea.
Noodles in sour and spicy sauce 酸辣面 (£5.00) – glass noodles cooked in a sour and spicy broth. A vegetarian dish with toppings including beansprouts, spring onions, peanuts and chilli flakes. This is a traditional dish from the SiChuan province in China – famous for its spicy cuisine! At first the sourness hits you and then the after taste of the chilli kicks in. The smooth glass noodles balanced well with the crunchiness of the peanuts and beansprouts. You could also taste the heavy dose of sesame seed oil. We’d highly recommend this dish!
Vegetarian Bao 菜包 (£5.00) – a soft, fluffy, cloud like steamed bun (the bao). It was filled with coriander, peanuts, sugar, pickled vegetables, potatoes, mushrooms. A complex of flavours and textures which worked so well together. You can also get meat versions of this bun. A very enjoyable snack.
Glutinous rice with chicken in lotus leaf 糯米鸡 (£5.00) – a little parcel of heaven! Soft, sticky rice with chicken seasoned with five spice wrapped with shitake mushrooms inside a lotus leaf and steamed. Comfort food at its best! This is a classic dish to have at dim sum – which is a style of Cantonese cuisine (southern China) of steamed parcels of food.
Char Xiu Bao 叉烧包 (£2.00) – another classic dish to have at dim sum. Soft steamed bun with stuffed with roast pork (char siu) which is in a sweet barbeque like sauce. Whoever thought of using left over roast pork and stuffing it into a bun was a genius!
Red Bean Bao 红豆包 (£2.00) – another type of bun to try! Inside this, is a red bean paste made of adzuki beans. They’re slowed cooked and then sweetened to taste. The fluffy soft white bun and the smoothness of the red bean paste together were like a match made in heaven!
We had a good time at this event, but just wish there were more stalls. It would’ve been nice to see foods from all over China being represented. It was clearly a popular event with many stalls selling out of food. We hope that next year it will be bigger and better!
Hope you’ve enjoyed reading. Don’t forget to check out our video too! ☺