Monday, July 24, 2006

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!


Blogger beth said...

that's so funny... we were just there on sunday! josh is a huge chinese food aficionado (we live near chinatown in nyc) and decided that he had to further explore the options here in london!

6:58 pm  
Blogger lulu said...

hi beth,
do you guys find a dimsumplace you enjoyed? there are so many and it's so hard to know which ones are good.

1:27 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reminds me of a Chinese guy called Eugene Chiu I met off and on over a period of 2 years whenever he visited Bangalore. The one thing he loved about India was...hold ur breath... "Chinese Food". " "Indians make Chinese food better than the Chinese themselves", said Chiu. His favorite dish was "Gobhi Manchurian". It was quite a novelty, coz u cant find Gobhi in Manchuria. So that definitely is one Indian hardware making its way into Mainland China.


5:12 pm  
Blogger lulu said...

hi bystander
i did read about the origin of gobi manchurian in vir sanghvi's collection of essays on food. quite hilarious! haven't yet tasted indian chinese in london but there were a few awesome indian chinese restaurants in new york.

9:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello !
Am a regular reader of your blog.

I have been wanting to buy a wok as well but read its a pain to maintain.

I intend using it primarily for stir frys and making fried rice.

Would you recommend buying one ?Are there any specifics to watch out when picking up one?

Any experiments using the wok for south Indian karis once the veggies are boiled?

A very nice and entertaining blog!

8:46 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The BEST place fro Dimsum is CCKs (Cheun Cheng Ku) its got a big totenpole above the main entrance and its on Wardour Street. great on a saturday/sunday afternoon. they do it in the evening on weekedays but the selection isnt so big. Best place ever.

1:00 pm  
Blogger Parrat said...

The world is so random, I came across this post - and I live in London, am moving to Bengaluru and actually I know Eugene Chiu from a lifetime ago - when I lived in Delhi and before he moved to Canada!

2:56 pm  

Post a comment

<< Home