This chicken is rubbery!

Maybe it’s just a coincidence with CNY, but my most recent commission from the Food & Drink section at Time Out London was to photograph a Chinese restaurant, Yipin China in Islington.

The review appeared in the mag yesterday (Wed 25 Jan, 2012) and it’s also online.

Geng, the chef-owner specialises in the regional cuisine of Hunan, noted for it’s fiery chilli heat, similar to Sichuan. The above photo is of the rather prosaic Gong Bao Chicken with Peanuts, but there are also many authentic dishes on the menu that get up close and pesonal with all kinds of offal and innards.

I’ve got a long-standing joke with my mate, Chris. It’s a very un-PC throwback to the uninhibited Seventies and Benny Hill’s character, Chow Mein. Just remember Chris, it’s fine for me to laugh, because for me it’s ‘ironic’.

INT. GENERIC CHINESE RESTAURANT

CUSTOMER

Waiter, this chicken is rubbery!

CHINESE WAITER, ‘CHOW MEIN’

Fang you velly much!

All is quiet on New Year’s Day

Today’s the start of Chinese New Year. What with one thing another, I just couldn’t get my act together enough to start the blog for 1 Jan, so now I’ve got a second chance.

Also, it’s an auspicious year – the Year of the Dragon. I’m a dragon and so was my mum. So I’m looking forward to good things…

Apart from posting on the new blog, today’s pretty quiet workwise (nothing new there…). A Jan day – a good time to edit material to update my website and book.

The photo above was taken in Hong Kong, in a neighbourhood called Kennedy Town where they specialise in making traditional festive decorations for sale year round. Like all great cities, Hong Kong is more like an amalgam of neighbourhoods each with its own identity and individual character.

It’s a world away from the UK high streets dominated by the big chains. Don’t get me started on a rant, but Naomi Klein’s No Logo seems just as relevant today, even though it was published in 2000.

And if you want to feel old and depressed, the lines from U2’s 1983 New Year’s Day (War) still seem to ring true, except for the word ‘gold’, substitute ‘oil’:

And so we are told this is the golden age
And gold is the reason for the wars we wage