Before we tuck in and dive into my personal experience with Chinese heritage; I have a new restaurant recommendation.
It’s a fancy-pants one. Discreetly nestled on the 5th floor of Harrods, I’ve partnered up with Chai Wu to discuss delicious and authentic Chinese food with you.
Craving lavish lunch bites or got a special celebration coming up? Love your classics with a naughty twist? Then this is the place. I’m telling you, if you took your loved ones here, you would score major brownie points.
The interior is divine and #decorgoals. Chai Wu’s design incorporates the five elements of Chinese philosophy: wood, metal, water, earth and fire. I’m going to section up this post to discuss my personal experience with Chinese heritage and how food plays a major part in this.
If you haven’t read my blog before, I’m Monica Wong. I name my creative outlet ‘The Wong Blog’ as it’s a play on the ‘wrong’ words, *wink*. I’m British, Chinese & Vietnamese. I’m very lucky to have the best of many worlds regarding culture & heritage. I love food. I always have. I believe that if you have a good relationship with food, you’ll live a happier life.
Food is a showcase of love, and this is especially prominent within Asian communities. Culturally, Chinese parents often struggle to express and communicate their emotions to their children (in comparison to the Western culture). Enjoying food with our loved ones is important, it’s how we communicate our love for one another.
Chinese food has a diverse and complex history. With recipes and secret cooking techniques fed down generation to generation, each ingredient symbolises an experience.
In Chinese culture, red is a lucky colour. At Chinese New Year, we celebrate with a special feast. Traditionally, we eat lobster for luck, dumplings (symbolising pieces of gold) for wealth, fish provides prosperity and vegetables are for health. I learnt to fall in love with my heritage by appreciating, enjoying and spending quality with my family (a traditional Chinese dinner is bowls of rice for each member with shared dishes at the table) — we made sure we never missed dinner together as a family.
We always drink soup (bone broth) or Chinese green tea to wash down our food. This is to aid metabolism and to learn to appreciate your every bite.
Okay, so when you visit Chai Wu, I recommend ordering the following dishes above. Brace yourself. My guest & I went a bit overboard with the food. And I have hungry eyes.
The most popular dish is the Beijing Duck. It’s pricey, but it comes with a duck chef and a bonus dish of lettuce wrap or duck fried rice.
If you’re craving a steaming basket of dumplings, we opted for the lobster topped with beluga caviar and prawns with black truffle. Omfg, the Popcorn Shrimp with creamy, spicy dressing is the best thing you’ll ever taste. You can never go wrong with a side of salt & pepper squid.
We couldn’t be happier when the ice steam display came with the mixed sashimi platter. I’ve never seen anything like it; the other sushi restaurants need to up their game.
For mains, if you’re into a cocktail of tangy flavours, then go for the Sea Bass with three flavoured sauce. The sweet and sour chicken served with a dragon fruit is most Instagrammble’ of dishes: it’s pink, fruity and cheerful. Veg-wise, we ordered Gai Lan (Chinese Broccoli) with Oyster Sauce, BTW you’re not a meat-eater, they have a vegetarian menu.
I recently wrote a post on my favourite high teas in London; did you know that Chai Wu offer service this too? You can get ahead of me and book a slot on my funky widget at the bottom of this post.
Be sure to add Chai Wu on your shopping list the next time you’re at Harrods.
Location: Chai Wu, Knightsbridge, London