London on New Year’s eve. Imagine the chaos. Now imagine trying to get some authentic good food in this chaos. Also imagine a bunch of people who don’t really know each other that well deciding on one type of cuisine for their last dinner of the year. It needed major brainstorming.
Thankfully, we found a nice little cart at Covent Garden that was selling spiced cider and mulled wine.
After about two glasses of mulled cider and some ruthless decision making, we decided on Chinese. Proper Chinese. One of us whipped out his magic-wand- iPhone-with-free-GPS and off we went to China Town.
There we found this quaint little place that had a lot of vegetarian stuff on its menu (one of us was vegetarian). But the thing that really sold it was the fact that there was a lady standing at the window making fresh dumplings. We had to get some of those dumplings.
They had some specials for the day, but we decided to order from the regular menu. And then we discovered they had bubble tea! And did you know that bubble tea can also be a hot drink? I found out only that night!
So my vegetarian cousin asked for Vegetable Noodle Soup with Pearl Tea.
The vegetables were crunchy and had a good bite to them. Others ordered Vegetables in Oyster sauce and Pork Dumplings…
…which were promptly heaped with chilli and black vinegar, to make it extra spicy and sour.
Once the dumplings had been polished off, what remained was this amazing oily, sour and spicy liquid, that could burn your lips and tongue. Totally worth a swig.
For myself, I ordered Roast Duck with Noodles. See the crispy glistening layer on top? This is one of those food-porn moments for me.
We were so full by the end of the meal, that we totally had to pile ourselves with dessert. Like my friend says, she and I have a separate stomach for sweet things.
We didn’t have to go very far, because right next door was Pandora Japanese Crepes. I love how they make plastic food to display in the window. So voyeuristic and so Japanese!
We just HAD TO grab some. I had my favourite Mixed Fruit with Cream and no Ice Cream.
Incidentally, they were also selling Takoyaki, a Japanese squid preparation (which I will have the next time I go there).
So that was the last meal of 2010. Hope yours was as eventful.