Thursday, 29 January 2009

The Year of the Ox

To all our valued readers may we at 'Aroundtheworldin80dinners' Global Headquarters, Beijing, wish you a very Happy Chinese New Year and may the Year of the Ox bring you good luck and good fortune.


The Great Kathmandu

Is it just me or has there always been a schism between Chorlton and Didsbury? I ask only because on a recent outing to the Great Kathmandu in Didsbury I invited Vivienne to lunch as she so kindly offered to show me how to navigate my way from Chorlton to Didsbury by public transportation. A nightmare that would try the patience of Hilary and Tensing.

Which laboured pun allows me to neatly segway to the wonderful Nepalese food served up by the Great Kathmandu. We had Dal Tarka, Aloo Bringal and a fantastic Keema Karahi that was just the right side of moist, aided and abetted by 2 large bottles of Kathmandu beer.

Vivienne and I talked of our disparate histories and how we came to be in Manchester, and how it has made us welcome. And I thought of a small band of Gurkas, refugees and chefs with talent who took that treacherous trek from Nepal to Didsbury and that glutch of excellent restaurants that I have never seen anywhere else. My own hazardous trip by the 47 was but a speck of punyness in comparison

Sunday, 4 January 2009

HuNan Cuisine Restaurant

After the long flight from Beijing and the heavy work load overseeing the building of 'Aroundtheworldin80dinners' Global Headquarters, I needed some R and R. I added the HuNan to my list a while ago as Hunan cuisine (Xiang) is one of the 8 recognized regional Chinese styles of cooking. Along with the long established Cantonese (Yue) and the ever expanding Szechuan (Chuan), Xiang is a welcome red dot on my map.

The food was excellent, but remember to ask for the Hunan menu and you will not be disappointed. Aided by the ever charming Ling, we had Hunan chicken in Green chilli, cabbage in vinegar and chilli, as well as 'Ants Climbing Trees', a dish of mince, bean thread noodles and yes, more chillis. Hunan cooking is hot and dry but not as 'mala' (hot and numbing) as Szechuan and very tasty. It was also the favourite of Mao Zedong, a Hunanese 'oldboy'.

Lucia was content to play 'Lady Vengeance' (see the poster for Park Chan-wook's movie) and scare the other customers, some who left without ordering! Be afraid.