Wannabe Foodie #11:Beijing Dumpling, London Chinatown

When it comes to dumplings, peoples’ experiences can often be hit or miss, but with this little gem in Chinatown you will be satisfied with these hand made bundles of joy.

Beijing Dumpling will probably catch your eye as you stroll through Chinatown because of the queue that is often seen outside the door and the window display that beholds the churning out of fresh dumplings. Once you are inside you will be seated quickly and given a paper menu on which you tick off what you want to try. The turnaround in here is pretty quick, so perfect for casual dinner.

Pork Dumplings

We went in as a group of four and decided on getting a range of starters (so we could try as many dumplings as possible) rather than mains, so we could try different bits and pieces.  In terms of dumplings we went for spicy pork and pork xialongbao (soup dumplings), sea food dim sum platter, pan fried pork dumplings and spicy chicken dumplings in soup. We accompanied this with crispy duck pancakes, hot and sour soup and tom yum soup.

With a focus on the dumplings themselves I would definitely go for the spicy pork xialongbao. With a light steamed pastry, juicy pork filling and broth inside, this dumpling is an absolute delight. If you prefer milder food then go for just the pork xialongbao for the same dumpling minus the spice.

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Alongside this pork delight, the pan fried options are also great, served on a plate rather than a steamer basket, these are great if you prefer a crispier outside. The chicken dumplings in soup, has a steamed outside and are served floating in a broth. For me the soup itself wasn’t really anything to rave about, but the dumplings themselves were yummy.

The other starters that we chose (the duck and soups), we lovely, but very standard. I would definitely pay Beijing Dumpling a visit if  dumplings are going to be the centre of your meal. Although I can’t attest to the rest of the mains on offer, I cannot stress how foolish it would be to not try the dumplings.

Considering the reasonable price range, you would be surprised that Beijing Dumpling has been awarded a Michelin Star. Coming in at around £8 for a basket of the more expensive dumplings, split between a group you will not leave hungry.

Paired with an ice cold green tea, this is great place to grab a bite to eat and leave feeling satisfied and your wallet not taking the heat.

Price: ££

Check it out:

http://beijingdumpling.co.uk/

Wannabe Foodie #1: London Cookery School

I love food and I’m sure people with a hearty soul do as well. It brings memories to people and brings them together. I myself try to eat as much food as I can as much and as many different types. I just wish I could cook as good as I eat!

This year, I had the privilege of being taken to learn to make Dim Sum and it was fantastic! I went to the London Cookery School in Holborn in London.

With Dim Sum being one of my ultimate go tos, what better way to indulge in these bite size delights than learning how to make them. With Chef Will at the helm, the class got to work.

Dim Sum translates as small heart, which refers to the bite size nature of these Chinese delights. From light fried pastries to steamed dumplings, dim sum is (as referred to in class) in a way Chinese Tapas. The techniques used to make dim sum have been around forever!

I attended this class on a rainy April morning, and I hadn’t even waltzed in yet and I was already starving! I walked into the class and was greeted with a selection of Chinese teas, including Oolong and Green, alongside a recipe booklet. This was a great way to ease you into the class and get you ready for lunchtime.

Once the class was settled, with their tea, Chef told us about the type of dumplings we were going to be making and the etiquette of dim sum. The dim sum we were making were steamed, but there are of course fried ones too. Chef proceeded to demonstrate each dumpling and then we weighed out our ingredients and got to work.

We were taught how to make three dim sum:

Pork Sui Mai: Open top pork dumplings

Har Gow (prawn dumplings)

Chiu Chow Fun Gwor (Steamed dumplings)

Once we had gone through each recipe, they were steamed and we could dig in! We were given chopsticks, dipping vinegar and soy sauce. As it happens, dim sum are not actually supposed to be eaten with soy sauce as the Chinese believe that each individual ingredient should be tasted for what it is. This style resonates throughout Chinese cooking, particularly with dim sum, the natural flavours of the meats and veg is what shines through! If you notice, it is not the done thing to cover Chinese food in lashings and lashings of sauce.

I’m trying!

Overall I would highly rate this experience, and Chef was fantastic. Not only did he show us step by step demonstration, but he came round and offered solo help to let us know we were doing OK. Chef highlighted the best accompaniments, dim sum eateries and facts about Chinese cooking as we went along.  He was personable and a great teacher!

Check it out:

https://www.londoncookeryschool.co.uk/