THE CHEF BLOG – The Chef House http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk Fri, 15 Jul 2016 14:14:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 AlexChefHouse Breaking News: Nachos Are Very Very Average http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/the-chef-blog/alexchefhouse-breaking-news-nachos-are-very-very-average/ http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/the-chef-blog/alexchefhouse-breaking-news-nachos-are-very-very-average/#respond Thu, 05 May 2016 15:09:07 +0000 http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/?p=12722 Admit it, nachos are categorically the most bang average dish on the whole planet.

I’ve thought this way for a while and after venting to a friend I thought I’d write something short about it to see how many people agree without admitting it until now.

First of all I’d like to say that I’m not saying nachos are terrible as I’ve definitely ordered them before and I definitely will again. What I am saying is that they’re never THAT good.

There’s three main reasons I think that nachos are average, please observe:

1) People always recommend ‘the nachos’ when you are discussing a restaurant that serves nachos, even if the nachos in question are absolutely pony.

– You must have experienced this as many times as me? If you haven’t then beware of the following phrases:
“Oooooh you’re going to X? You MUST get the nachos”
“If you’re near X then you MUST go into X. They do AMAZING nachos”
“OMG the nachos were amazing”

Basically all of these phrases = the nachos are big and have some cheese on them and average shop bought salsa, sour cream and guacamole. If someone really won’t shut up about ‘the nachos’ then there’s a chance there’s some weakly spiced chilli con carne also made its way on there.

2) If you really love nachos that much then you can always make them better yourself at home. Warning, this takes a miniscule amount of effort.

– Fair enough I understand we’re all busy people and opening a pack of Doritos, grating some cheese on top, hoying it all in the grill for like what, 3-5 whole minutes, can really seem like too much sometimes. I probably shouldn’t go on to mention that you could even spend 30 minutes making an average chilli to make it better. I’m not going to say you can make AMAZING nachos at home, since the point of this article is that nachos are average, but you can definitely make better nachos than the nachos you easily pleased hoodlums ruin our evenings with by recommending them on the back of being AMAZING. If you are going to make them at home, however, don’t make your average nachos even more average by…

3) Putting them in a f****** bowl!

– If nachos weren’t struggling with being bang average as it is, why on earth would you stitch them up even further by cooking and plating them in a bowl!?
‘I know, what I’ll do is put my nachos in a bowl so that only the top 1/5 of them is covered in my average chilli, cheese, sour cream, salsa and guacamole, leaving the bottom 4/5s lovely and dry and tasteless’.

Whilst not being quite as bad, overloaded nachos also fall under this quarm as a similar effect is achieved by overstacking and isolating the nachos at the bottom of the pile. They’re both an absolute liberty.

o
Any amounts of dry nacho

So yeah, if you’re guilty of any of the above then what I suggest is to first make and enjoy your own perfect nachos at home, before admitting to yourself that they’re better than any you’ve had in a restaurant and climaxing with the realisation that nachos aren’t AMAZING at all.
God forbid if you’re still struggling to face the truth, the next time you find yourself touching whichever sexual organ you possess at the thought of AMAZING nachos, instead use that hand to beat yourself silly in the corner of the room that I hope you’ve already had the foresight to take yourself in to.
Cya

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Skills for chefs http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/the-chef-blog/skills-for-chefs/ http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/the-chef-blog/skills-for-chefs/#respond Wed, 13 Apr 2016 16:08:18 +0000 http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/?p=12575 Afternoon All,

 

A big thank you to David McKown from Skills for Chefs – AGAIN !!!

For the 7th year in a row David is offering 4 places ( 3 students and 1 lecturer ) for this Year’s winning Team to attend this year’s Skills for Chefs 6th and 7th  July – with accommodation !!

Please see attached document to see the fantastic Chefs such as Nathan Outlaw, Richard Bainbridge, Grahm Barrett , Rob Kennedy and  Mick Burke to name a few ..

I have been extremely fortunate to be  involved with Skills for Chefs for 19 years and seen it evolve to where it is today

David as always – thank you very much – for more details please see link below

 

Skills for Chefs 2016 – Nathan Outlaw – Richard Bainbridge – Graham Garrett – Rob Kennedy

 

Skills for Chefs 2016

 

 

 

 

 

All the best

 

Murray

 

Murray Chapman MCGB Master CGC

Director

FIRST CONTACT CHEFS

 

Tennage Cancer Trust – Sheffield Snooker – Rob Walker

 

 

Thank you all very much for your help and  support  2016 J – Great Partners ……

Adnams Southwold , Alimentum Restaurant, Anglian Free Range Eggs, Anglia Produce, APC, Bildeston Crown, BPEX, Café Spice Namaste , Callebaut Chocolate, CK Meats , Colettes Restaurant – The Grove Hotel, Craft Guild of Chefs,  Dingley Dell Pork , Direct Meats, Flying Visits , Freedom Food, Gourmet Classic, Infusions 4 Chefs, Loch Duart Salmon, Mara Seaweed ,  Marr Fish,  Master Chefs of Great Britain, Norfolk Quail, Nurtured In Norfolk , PACE,  Russums, RSPCA Assured,  Steelite Plates UK, Skills for Chefs , Titchwell Manor , Zest Quest Asia

 

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Chefs wanted! http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/the-chef-blog/chefs-wanted/ http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/the-chef-blog/chefs-wanted/#respond Sun, 10 Apr 2016 19:07:23 +0000 http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/?p=12560 >>]]> bluetop-ad

We’ve just teamed up with Bluetoppersonel to help out chefs looking for work! For all your needs contact Peter.

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Charity Dinner, Ups and Downs http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/the-chef-blog/12388/ http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/the-chef-blog/12388/#respond Tue, 22 Mar 2016 18:37:23 +0000 http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/?p=12388 Hi All,

“ A Passion to Inspire “ has been invited to support the fantastic Charity Ups and Downs with their 10th Anniversary Dinner www.upsndowns.co.uk

Along with some of the countries finest College students we will be creating a 3 course menu for 400 covers working with Great Chefs such as  Rob Kennedy and supporters of the Charity in the past have been Matthew Hoggard, Alan Shearer , Denise Wise and Teddy Sheringham .

 If you would like to be involved creating a course , a canapé , a petit four or have any Brilliant produce you wish to showcase please get in contact .

And being Cheeky – if you have anything you could donate – dinner for 2 etc we could raffle – we will make sure your name and business is on the menu .

The event is 18th June at Wicksteed Pavilion , Kettering.

And for any Chefs we will  be providing accommodation .

Thank you 

All the best 

 

Murray 

Murray Chapman MCGB Master CGC

Director

FIRST CONTACT CHEFS

Tel:  0114 2458696

Email: Murray@firstcontactuk.com
Web: www.firstcontactuk.com

Twitter : @murraykc

 

Good Fish Guide- Free App – Marine Conservation Society

This E-mail from First Contact  expresses the views of the sender and not necessarily the views of the Company. The E-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential to the intended recipient at the E-mail address to which it has been addressed. The E-mail may not be disclosed or used by any other than the addressee, nor may it be copied in any way. If you are not the intended recipient please contact the sender as soon as possible and delete any copies of this message. Please note that although this E-mail has been checked, we cannot accept any responsibility for any transmitted viruses. It is therefore your responsibility to virus scan attachments (if any).

First Contact  is a registered company of England and Wales with company number 6810429 – Registered address – Copia House, Great Cliffe Court, Great Cliffe Road, Barnsley, S75 3SP

ups n downs

UpsnDowns Biography

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Master Chefs of Great Britain – Finn Crisp Challenge- Skills for Chefs http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/the-chef-blog/master-chefs-of-great-britain-finn-crisp-challenge-skills-for-chefs/ http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/the-chef-blog/master-chefs-of-great-britain-finn-crisp-challenge-skills-for-chefs/#respond Thu, 03 Mar 2016 16:34:43 +0000 http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/?p=12044 Afternoon All,

 

Ever thought of eating at your best restaurant in GB for Free and Visit Skills for Chefs 2016  ??

 

The Fat Duck- Andrew Fairlie – Le Manoir – Sketch – Le Gavroche – Midsummer House – Restaurant Sat Bains ??

 

Master Chefs of Great Britain – Finn Crisp Challenge

 

Simply click on this link Finn Crisp Challenge 2016 or see the attached document.

 

Good luck

 

All the best

 

Murray

Murray Chapman MCGB Master CGC

Director

FIRST CONTACT CHEFS

Tel:  0114 2458696

Email: Murray@firstcontactuk.com
Web: www.firstcontactuk.com

Twitter : @murraykc

 

Paul Foster “Get Involved in the Best New Restaurant “

This E-mail from First Contact  expresses the views of the sender and not necessarily the views of the Company. The E-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential to the intended recipient at the E-mail address to which it has been addressed. The E-mail may not be disclosed or used by any other than the addressee, nor may it be copied in any way. If you are not the intended recipient please contact the sender as soon as possible and delete any copies of this message. Please note that although this E-mail has been checked, we cannot accept any responsibility for any transmitted viruses. It is therefore your responsibility to virus scan attachments (if any).

First Contact  is a registered company of England and Wales with company number 6810429 – Registered address – Copia House, Great Cliffe Court, Great Cliffe Road, Barnsley, S75 3SP

 

THE FINN CRISP CHALLENGEentry2016

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UK Scholarship Award which was launched today by Le Cordon Bleu. #UKSA2016 http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/the-chef-blog/uk-scholarship-award-which-was-launched-today-by-le-cordon-bleu-uksa2016/ http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/the-chef-blog/uk-scholarship-award-which-was-launched-today-by-le-cordon-bleu-uksa2016/#respond Tue, 02 Feb 2016 22:10:47 +0000 http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/?p=11652  This is truly a once in a lifetime prize worth in excess of £35,000

#UKSA2016

UK Scholarship Award which was launched today. Open to anyone with a keen passion for the culinary arts, the awards offers a 12 month training opportunity at Le Cordon Bleu and an internship under the guidance of Clare Smyth

Clare is about to begin a new chapter and launch her own restaurant. She previously was Head Chef at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Chelsea for the past six years and became the first British female chef to hold and retain 3 Michelin Stars.

pastedImageimages

We are delighted to launch our UK scholarship award 2016!

 

Applicants are invited to apply by uploading a short video clip introducing the panel to their county or city at ukscholarship.cordonbleu.edu, complete the online application form and post a picture of their favourite British cake on Instagram.

 

https://www.cordonbleu.edu/news/uk-scholarship-award-application-now-open/en

 

London is widely considered the gastronomic capital of the world, attracting ambitious culinary and hospitality talents from around the globe. By living and studying in the UK capital, you will be at the heart of a rich variety of international cuisines and lifestyles – it is quite simply the experience of a lifetime!

Apply on http://lcbl.eu/2wc

Good luck to all applicants.

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AlexChefHouse: Shanghai, Xi’an and TRB http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/the-chef-blog/alexchefhouse-shanghai-xian-and-trb/ http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/the-chef-blog/alexchefhouse-shanghai-xian-and-trb/#comments Tue, 19 Jan 2016 07:42:40 +0000 http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/?p=11351 您 好,

In this post I’m going to cover a trip to Shanghai, Xi’an and a visit to one of Beijing’s most prestigious restaurants: TRB.

Shanghai

We’ll start with Shanghai because food-wise I didn’t really see anything interesting, though in Shanghai’s defence I wasn’t really looking. I went for New Year so you can probably guess what was at the forefront of my mind while I was there…

Tiger

tsingtao

Yanjing

Shanghai as a city was amazing though. The architecture was a pleasant break from the ‘sameness’ of Beijing and The Bund skyline was of course impressive. Here’s a few shots of it:

IMG_2331
Me bumping into myself at The Bund

IMG_2383
Me being a smug bastard

In terms of food I had there, I had the pleasure of paying £23 for this beauty…

Club Sarnie

Desert

Shanghai is far more expensive than Beijing but again, in Shanghai’s defence, I was eating in probably the most expensive area of the whole city and therefore probably the most expensive area in China. It was worth the treat, but at the end of the day it was a club sarnie. The ridiculous looking ribbon thing was my desert (strawberry and white chocolate cheesecake) which was amazingly disappointing but a few bites of the rich triple pressed chocolate cake behind it satisfied my sweet tooth.

In terms of the other meals we had, one night we went for the best curry we’ve had since coming to China (we were drunk though so this could impact this viewpoint) and the other that I remember we ate at Starbucks so I’m not going to comment on that at all.

So yeah, Shanghai was a bit of a blur but an amazing experience overall. When I go back in April and it is not New Year I’ll probably be able to be a bit more helpful.

—————————————————————–

Xi’an

You’ll probably be happy to hear that I have far more productive things to say about Xi’an, despite there being not much there.

We read a review of an organised trip to Xi’an which said something along the lines of ‘something good to kill time on Xi’an when you are bored of it on your second day’ and I’m afraid the statement is justified. The Terracotta Warriors were extremely impressive, though. Here’s a photo of me and the men themselves:

IMG_2721

Warriors

It was a whole day activity and if you find yourself in the region of Xi’an you should definitely go, and not just because there’s nothing else to do.

The highlight of the trip for me, though, was visiting Xi’an’s thriving Muslim Quarter. In Beijing they have fantastic Chuan串 restaurants everywhere and we visit one at least twice a week, so after learning they had a whole area of the city dedicated to the fantastic cuisine we couldn’t wait to try it.

Check out of the photos below for the rundown of what Xi’an Muslim Quarter had to offer:

Minging Rice Cake
This dish was a kind of sticky rice cake that was extremely unpleasant. The texture resembled the awful McDonalds steam bun from my first article and there was nothing sweet about it at all.

Pom Juice
Delicious fresh warm pomegranate juice!

Quails Eggs
Quail eggs

Rank Tofu
Tofu. I can’t stand tofu but if you like it then I’d imagine this would be your thing.

Loads of Snowt
Loads of snowt

Spicy Noodles
Spicy noodles. This dish was recommended to us by a few people. Though it was quite nice, we felt as though it was over-hyped.

Flavoursome Bread
Flavoursome bread. One of the highlights! Lush crispy bread topped with spices and herbs.

Honey Comb
Honeycomb

Ground Nut Powder
Ground Nut Powder

Crab and Squid
Deep fried whole squid and crab. Unreal.

You can download two videos of the street by clicking on the below links:

IMG_2578

IMG_2572

So, as you can probably tell, I thoroughly enjoyed £1 for five sticks of meat etc from the street food of Xi’an. What I enjoyed more though, and what I argue is more value for money, was a trip to Temple Restaurant Beijing before Christmas.

———————————————————–

Temple Restaurant Beijing

When you talk about value for money it can come under two main headings:

A ridiculously large quantity of a passable quality product for a really cheap price

or

Amazingly unbelievable quality product for a fair price
As you can guess, Temple Restaurant Beijing falls under the latter; it was absolutely unreal.

We went for the weekend brunch option, which costs £30 for a choice of five courses and an additional £20 can be paid for wine pairings that match your chosen course. So that’s five courses, with wine, for £50 which is value for money in itself in a capital city. What made it truly special though was how actually unreal it was.

My favourite course had to be the Foie-Gras Terrine with White Chocolate and Green Apple. When I saw it on the menu I thought that, although I don’t really agree with how they produce Foie-Gras (though I have read good argument and counter arguments), I hadn’t tried it yet and I thought if I am going to then I may as well try it with something that sounds really weird. I’ve often found that if something sounds too weird to be good, it usually is good (apart from a strawberry and chicken dish I’ve had before, which was too weird to be good).

This is it in all it’s beauty:

Apple
Foie Gras Terrine, White Chocolate, Green Apple
鹅肝派,白巧克力,青苹果

It’s very like Heston’s meat apple in the sense that it (kind of) looks like fruit from the outside but when you could into it it is all meat. The white chocolate and actual apple went unreal with it as well. A brilliant way to begin a brilliant meal.

The other courses went from strength to strength as well. Offering things like pumpkin soup with mascarpone and a parmesan-flaked soft bread slice, pigeon cooked three ways with mulberry sauce, Crispy Sea Bream Filet with Capers, Pine Nuts and a Creamy Sauce and (the only pretty average thing on the menu), Eggs Blackstone.

Intro
Bread basket

Pigeon
Pan-Fried and Confit Pigeon, Mulberry Pickles, Praliné, Pigeon Juice
香煎油封乳鸽,腌渍桑葚,果仁酥,鸽子汁

Pumpkin
Pumpkin Soup, Mascarpone Cream, Parmesan
南瓜汤,马斯卡普尼奶酪,帕玛森奶酪

Seabass
Crispy Sea Bream Filet, Capers, Pine Nuts, Creamy Sauce
香酥海鲷片,酸豆,松仁,奶油酱汁

Chicken

Eggs Blackstone
Egg Blackstone, Bacon, Tomato Confit, Hollandaise Sauce
火腿蛋堡,培根及荷兰汁,油浸番茄佐荷兰汁

To finish, an extremely attractive de-constructed strawberry cheesecake, which was perfectly radioed and portioned to enjoy after a rather classy display of gluttony.

Cheesecake
Cheese Cake, Cream Cheese, Short Bread, Strawberry Sorbet, Blueberry
芝士蛋糕,奶油芝士,黄油饼干,草莓冰沙,蓝莓

I’m no wine buff but all of the wines tasted fantastic with the food, but watch out for the question of ‘would you like still or sparkling water’ since we found out the bottles cost £8 when we got the bill.

All in all we paid £65 each (after the additional supplements for some choices, the expensive water imported from New Zealand and a 15% service charge) and I’d do it again tomorrow. An unreal experience that I’ll definitely be repeating soon.

Maybe I’ll leave it for my dad and brother to treat me when they come in March.

再见,

AlexChefHouse

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AlexChefHouse: Giving Thanks, Diced Bacon and Food Poisoning http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/the-chef-blog/alexchefhouse-giving-thanks-diced-bacon-and-food-poisoning/ http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/the-chef-blog/alexchefhouse-giving-thanks-diced-bacon-and-food-poisoning/#comments Mon, 07 Dec 2015 11:23:06 +0000 http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/?p=10779 Ni Hao,

Apologies it’s taken so long to upload another addition to my world acclaimed AlexChefHouse China Food Blog. A few fans mentioned it had been a while since I had done one (my mam counts as a fan, right?) so here it is.

Today I’ll talk a bit about everything, so I’ll get stuck in faster than the first tackle at Killy vs Longbenton football in High School.

1) Pudding to Ice Cream ratios

In almost every restaurant in the UK I find myself with not enough ice cream to go with whichever dessert I have so whyyyyyy is it that I have came all the way to f*cking China to finally get the serving of ice cream I expect, pay for and bloody deserve. I had a photo of the perfectly ratio’d desert on my phone however Circle Club Beijing decided to nick my Iphone from the pocket of my coat a few weeks back so I lost it.

The desert itself was a regular cup sized chocolate fondant with passion fruit and ice cream. The ice cream they served with it was almost the same size as the actual desert! What a treat. Admittedly I left some of the ice cream after I was done but surely this is better than desperately trying to ration a diminutive, shan ‘helping’. Aside from the fact the passion fruit was obtrusive and 100% unnecessary it was a brilliant dessert and gets a solid 9 from me.

2) Dice Your Bacon, Bretherin

Not all the time. Don’t kick off. I’m not trying to suggest you’re making your Saturday morning sarnie wrong or anything.

What I am saying is that any Chef that has ever cooked me a burger with bacon in (before Stuff’d of Beijing) has been doing it wrong!

So remember back to the last burger you had, it might go something like this: double 100% beef pattie cooked medium rare… cheese… BBQ/Burger sauce… bit of lettuce… what could make it better? Bacon of course!

So you order a burger with bacon in. You’re buzzing. You take the tomato out if the Chef has decided to soil your burger with a slice. You bite into the burger anndddd….. a huge slice of fatty bacon slithers out either onto your plate or into your mouth. Wherever it is, it’s not in your burger any more.

How to avoid this unnecessary disappointment? Dice your bacon, Chefs.

IMG_0670
Stuff’d Burger featuring diced bacon.

Dicing the bacon means that you don’t suffer the huge undercooked slab of bacon making the great escape from your bait. It means all the little lovely tiny bacon pieces are perfectly crispy and tasty. It means in every mouthful you can enjoy equal measures of absolute bacon pleasure. It’s just better, right!

3) Thanksgiving Dinner!

That thing Americans do! Like on the episode of The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air where all the women in the family argue over who’s stuffing is the best. Heard of it? Well I did it and it didn’t disappoint!

I’m not sure of the origins of Thanksgiving and won’t disrespect ‘Merica by condensing it into something like ‘saying cheers for stuff’ (or maybe I just did condense it there) so I’ll just stick to the fooooooood.

Apologies for all the photographs of any of the food but there were Chinese people there getting trigger happy as always and I was HUNGRY for the closest thing to my Mam’s Sunday Dinner I’ll have in 10 month so I took a quick photo, thought ‘that’ll do’ and ate.

TH

th2

th4

TH3

There was everything I could have hoped for (minus pigs and blankets but howaaay I couldn’t have it all) like stuffing, turkey, carrots, cranberry sauce, mashed potato, broccoli etc etc etc. There was also some mashed sweet potato with a walnut crust which was unreal. The side I brought along was a classic ‘Vegetable salad’ consisting of broccoli, butter and salt. Not so much a vegetable salad I know but I thought if I said I’d do a Veg Salad it would give me the scope to do whatever I wanted and in the end I just didn’t have time to do anything other than broccoli!

The pudding was class as well as you can see by the photo! I’ve never been so full in my life as I was after eating a few plates full worth of Sunday Dinner and then loads of dessert! Literally had a food coma all day. Worth it though.

4) Food Poisoning

I wanted to leave food poisoning until last since… erm… you know… but the Chinglish examples I have won’t exactly be mouth watering so I mayswell talk about this now.

So, aye, China eventually caught up with me this weekend and gave me an absolute seeing to. A quite literal ‘seeing to’ actually as after 48 hours of ‘dealing’ with the aftermath of the poisoning its safe to say my arse feels like it’s done 48 hours with Graham Norton.

Bed bound for the full weekend and if it wasn’t for Jade bringing me supplies during the ordeal I don’t think I’d be here today to bring you these mediocre jokes so you’ve got her to blame for this! Campbells Mushroom soup, bread and Lurpak has sorted me right out today.

mushroom
Lifeline

Ironically we think it was a pizza that did the poisoning and not some street food vendor/local restaurant that would usually have the finger pointed at them.

Aside from the fact it may or may not have been the pizza, the pizza itself was good. Check these out:

PIZZA

Those, my friends, are two 24″ pizzas! Lush

Voted the best pizza in Beijing for a couple of years running and I can see why. Huge, well priced and lush. They just maybe, possibly, could, give you food poisoning.

5) Chinglish

It will probably be a common theme through the year that I’ll finish each post my sharing some funny Chinglish examples I have seen. So… here are a few of the best in the last few weeks:

lish
Explodes Fries the Peas

ching
Bad Fish and Chips. At least they’re honest?

IMG_2003[1]
This one isn’t Chinglish but just strange. Sautéed Ox Penis with Shrimps at only £40 is an absolute steal.

So aye, cheers for reading again. I’ll be back with another update before Christmas.

Cheers,

AlexChefHouse

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AlexChefHouse: Modern China Burger Review http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/the-chef-blog/alexchefhouse-modern-china-burger-review/ http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/the-chef-blog/alexchefhouse-modern-china-burger-review/#respond Thu, 22 Oct 2015 11:11:48 +0000 http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/?p=9363 So a certain Mcdonalds burger from China has gone viral back home in the UK and I thought that since I’m a canny lad, I’d try it so that you don’t have to.

A Bit About The Burger

So the name of it is a ‘Modern China Burger’. If you like pork and spice then it should be your thing. Here is the official image:

download

Tasting and Verdict

Within minutes of devouring the burger I blacked out, only to awaken as The General Yue Fei reincarnated. I could speak fluent Chinese, cook the meanest Szechuan Green Beans you had ever tasted and could drive a moped carrying twenty children while smoking a cigarette. I could solve any math equation set before me and had contacts in every sector that’s ever existed on this planet. My Guanxi levels were through the roof!!! The Modern China burger had transformed me. I sat back and chuckled to myself, admiring the engineering behind a burger so ‘Modern’ it had altered my DNA to improve every aspect of my person.

On a serious note though, some things should be left ‘classic’; like a burger, for example. Cheeseburgers are fine. Chicken burgers are fine. There’s no need for a ‘Modern’ burger of any kind.

Here’s the full low-down on what actually happened.

I’ll start with the filling. It actually wasn’t that bad. If you peer inside a Modern China Burger you will find that the meat is two mildly spiced pork patties, flavoured with what tasted like lime and black pepper. There’s a slice of ham/bacon/something on the inside for good measure, with lettuce and a ‘mustardy’ sauce featuring in an attempt to pull the whole thing together.

As far as fillings go, it was pretty average. Quite tasty, to be honest. Nothing to worry about. Nothing out of the ordinary and so nothing like the bun.

Here is what the burger actually looks like:

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What holds the monstrosity together is a mantou-steamed bun in a sickly grey colour. The texture is sticky and wet, meaning as you try to swallow the bun it sticks in your throat, making you feel sick.

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To give the Modern China Burger its fair voice, I wanted second opinions. My colleagues kindly agreed to sample the abomination and their verdicts are below:

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Georgia found it ‘unusual, limey, but nice’

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Alex and Steve both also enjoyed the burger (god knows how).

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Sam did mention it smelled a bit like ‘old ham’ but he happily devoured his own full burger and as you can see from his photo, it almost sent him into an orgasm.

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Chris was the only person who wholeheartedly with me in that the filling was ok, but you can’t get past the strange texture of the burger.

So overall most people actually didn’t think it was that bad. ‘Moreish’ can’t be used to describe the burger however, as everyone that claimed to like it (apart from Sam) refused a second bite out of the burger and let nature take its natural course

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If you’re wondering how I was… erm… after the burger then you’ll be happy to hear I was fine.

Thankfully the thing is put to rest (hopefully forever) on November 3rd, so if you like the look of it and want a try for yourself you better book your flights quick.

You’re welcome to stay at mine.

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AlexChefHouse: China Food Blog http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/the-chef-blog/alexchefhouse-china-food-blog/ http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/the-chef-blog/alexchefhouse-china-food-blog/#comments Tue, 20 Oct 2015 02:34:17 +0000 http://www.thechefhouse.co.uk/?p=9334 Hello and welcome to the first instalment of my food blog while I’m out in China.

I’ve been in Beijing for four weeks now and have been blown away already by some of the dishes I’ve had. I’ve only been to Beijing so far, so any assumptions I’m making are based off the people I’ve met here and the restaurants I’ve ate in here.

First of all, no, I haven’t eaten dog (at least I don’t think I have). To be honest, apart from one meal (I’ll get onto this later) I have thoroughly enjoyed every meal I’ve had.

I’m going to start by confirming some differences I’ve noticed between authentic Chinese food and the UK version:

Chinese people do not eat prawn crackers.
I was shocked as well. I love a prawn cracker back home but apparently most people here haven’t even heard of them.

They have no idea what ‘curry sauce’ is.
Another nightmare! I love Chinese curry sauce back home but again, it doesn’t exist here.

– Chicken Chow What?
The only ‘Chinese’ dishes that I’ve seen here that are similar to back home is sweet n sour sauce and duck pancakes! As for the rest, it either doesn’t exist or I’m yet to discover it.

It’s not just Italians who love garlic.
I’ve never eaten so much garlic in my life. Those that know me personally will know I’m in my element. The Chinese lace pretty much every dish with a ton of garlic and chilli and as you can imagine, it’s fantastic. The hero dish for me so far has to be Szechuan Green Beans. They come in a variety of different ways (depending on the restaurant). Green beans have never tasted so good!

They LOVE peppers .
You can find peppers lurking in pretty much every dish. If you weren’t a fan of them before, you will be after you try them here.

Being vegetarian/vegan/lactose intolerant/gluten free/allergic to pretty much anything would be kind of impossible here .
There’s meat in everything. Even in veg dishes you will find cubes of fat or meat there for the flavour. Think selecting your own ingredients for a hot pot is safe? Remember everything is cooked in the same oil. As for allergies, firstly I wouldn’t trust things here hadn’t touched nuts etc and secondly, good luck trying to ask them if they have. Learning the language is fast becoming my number one main priority.

Western food is rare, but some places do it pretty good.
Yes there is Mcdonalds, KFC, Subway, Pizza Hut, Dominoes etc and yes I have already tried a few of them. But Red House, for example, in the Wudaoko district does amazing wood burning pizza oven pizzas with generous toppings

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Meat Feast Calzone Pizza from Red House, Wudaoko District.

Ok so they are some of the main differences I’ve noticed so far. Don’t get me wrong, some days I crave a ‘normal Chinese’ from back home. The simple fact is that you cannot say which is better because they are both so different. They both serve their own purposes. You can get amazing Chinese food back home but, like I’ve said, it’s nothing like the food here. Not all Chinese food is good however…

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Lets talk about Hot Pots

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This is more of an example of a Korean hot pot than a Beijing Hot Pot but it gives you an idea as to why I don’t like them.

They basically fill up a cauldron full of spicy oil and water and allow you to select which ingredients you want to boil in them. We opted for this selection, not realising it came with baked beans and what looks like super noodles.

It was rank! It’s put me off restaurants hot pots for a while. There is a local hot pot takeaway shop near our accommodation which is good, but I’m still not their biggest fan

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Restaurant in the Summer Palace

So we went to the Summer Palace the other day (one of the tourist attractions in Beijing) and had a decent day, despite the smog. Here it is on a nice day…

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When you were younger did your parents ever tell you not to eat food in major tourist attractions?

“It will be expensive”
“It won’t be nice, mind”

Well yeah, we were starving and ended up eating in an expensive restaurant (£6 a head – seriously that is expensive here) and it was rank.
Where we were expecting beef, we were served a plate of onions and where we were expecting chicken we were served a plate of tofu!?

No explanation was given. I picked at some rice, paid the bill and went to KFC. As you can expect, I didn’t take a photo of the food since it was awful.

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Chinglish

Definition: The literal translation from Chinese to English, often with humorous results.

Here’s some of my favourite ‘Chinglish’ on food menus that I have came across so far:

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Or ‘Chopsticks’ for short maybe?

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Chicken head dish named ‘Energy Saving’

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Garlic Juice Donkey mmmmmmmm

I’ll be uploading more funny examples as time goes on. One notable addition (I forgot the get a photo) was a dish affectionately named ‘Grim’. Safe to say I didn’t order it.

More updates to follow… For now you can follow me on instagram: @1AlexT

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