loon fung chinese supermarket
i made a trip to chinatown yesterday. h suddenly had a craving for chinese food and had visions of steamed wontons, spicy eggplant and sauteed bok choy in garlic sauce. i went to waitrose on high street kensington to buy all the ingredients but was utterly disappointed by the lack of specialty chinese items. i couldn't even find chinese eggplant or chilli garlic sauce leave alone wonton wrappers. agh! how i missed my kalustyans and whole foods in new york.
i had to find an authentic chinese grocery store. all i knew about chinatown in london was that it was somewhere near soho. i did a few searches in google and discovered a grocery store not far from leicester square tube in central london. i took the circle line from high street kensington and changed to the piccadilly line at gloucester road, my old tube stop. once i got out at leicester square, i was in the heart chintown within minutes.
i went in search of loon fung supermarket on gerrard street. it was really easy to find. i was reminded of india bazaar in the bay area. these guys stocked everything you need for cooking chinese food - from fresh vegetables, fruits and meats to spices and oils, utensils and dinnerware to frozen meals. it was mostly chinese people shopping. you could tell that the few non-chinese in the store were hard core cooks or total novices like me who had to ask where each and every item i was looking for was located in the store.
i bought the things i needed for the dinner i planned to make as well as random stuff that caught my fancy including peanut oil, canned litchis, wonton wrappers and bok choi. however, my two important purchases were a wok and a bamboo steamer. i've been wanting to buy a wok for a while now having been dissatisfied with using a big sautee pan for stir frying but had just been pure lazy in actually making the purchase. loon fung stocked woks in a variety of sizes and i couldn't resist a 13 inch one which looked perfect for anything chinese i wished to make. i also remembered watching a uktv food show in which they showed a bamboo steamer so i decided to pick that up as well.
stay tuned for some chinese recipes coming up next at lulu loves london!