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  • ellenday2002

The venture away from sweet and sour chicken

After mentioning once that I liked sweet and sour chicken and receiving possibly one of the most terrifying death stares from my friend Rochelle, who was born and raised in Hong Kong, she told me I had to go to a proper Chinese restaurant and try some proper Chinese food. Apparently us Brits like to westernise things? Who knew? ;) So she took me to her favourite in Leeds called ‘Home’. I let her take control in terms of ordering, trusting her being a true foodie and Chinese would be a combo that wouldn’t let me down. This trip provided not only incredible food but also entertainment, with both Rochelle and I crying with laughter after the waiter approached me, and me only, looked me dead in the eye, and bluntly asked “Do you need a fork?”. I would love to say that I was able to decline his offer but, not wanting to show myself up with my abysmal chopstick skills, I had to accept. I am determined to have mastered the chopstick game by the time I go again!

We probably did order too much on the night but I wanted to try as much as possible and experience as many traditional (so not sweet and sour chicken…) dishes that my stomach could physically handle. We ordered braised pork belly (紅燒肉), spicy eggplant with minced pork (魚香茄子) and stir fry beans with minced pork (四季豆炒肉碎). To go with this we also got a mixed platter which had spring rolls, salt and pepper chicken wings, spare ribs and seaweed. The platter arrived only shortly before the rest of the dishes but the combination of being extremely hungry and having spent the 5 hours prior in the library meant we both had eaten a fair bit of the platter in the time in between. The spring roll was so perfectly crisp with the vegetables inside also having a subtle crunch. The spare ribs and chicken wings were both tender but also had a slight chew and their respective flavours were amazing. The sweetness of the spare rib sauce made it impossible to not lick my fingers and after telling Rochelle I could actually drink the sauce, I was advised by her not to. I was already eating with a fork and drinking the spare rib sauce would have made me look even whiter than before. The braised pork belly was a bit fattier that I would have liked but the fat itself was soft and provided a great umami flavour which paired perfectly with the sticky sauce. The eggplant and green bean dishes with minced pork both provided a great level of spice and warmth with little slices of red chillies that helped balance out the sweetness from the other dishes. I have to give my honourable last mention to my favourite of them all- the seaweed. I genuinely got a bit addicted to this, going back for more and more despite my trousers starting to feel tighter and tighter. The seaweed itself was so crispy and it was mixed with salt and sugar- something I had never tried before. It was the most perfect balance of sweet and sour and instantly made me feel happy after each mouthful. Pure heaven!

It was so good to try some authentic Chinese cuisine after being brought up with M&S providing my Chinese takeaway. No hate to M&S at all- anyone who knows me know how much I love M&S- it’s pretty much in my genes. But it's just not the place to go for authentic Chinese food. I’ll be back with Rochelle soon to try out a Cuban restaurant on Leeds for my birthday so stay tuned for a post about that :)

p.s. please enjoy the photo evidence of me licking my fingers. You are so welcome for that.

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