Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Cat got your duck tongue?

I love trying new things. I have eaten ostrich burgers in South Africa, fried flies in Nigeria, mushed-up dates passed from hand to hand in Oman but, as it turns out, you don't have to fly across the world to try some interesting foreign dish. Look no further, for example, than China Town in Soho, London.

Here, a plethora of oriental eateries are waiting to be tried. I tried the Chinese restaurant Super Star on Lisle street and, not being a connoisseur of Asian delicacies, had the good fortune to be with people who had tried and tested this establishment. From the outside, the restaurants all look much of a muchness and as we wandered upstairs to our table, it appeared that it was a similar story inside.

The paper table cloths and laminated menus do not reek of sophistication but glancing around you can see that the place is home to many Chinese natives as well as local Londoners to give it that air of quality.

We tried a variety of delicious dim sum, parcels of steamed rice, a look-a-like sausage role that was in fact pork in a delicious sweet sauce surrounded by puff pastry.

After many comments to the waiter about the time it was taking for the food to arrive at the table, half an hour from my last mouthful, a platter of what looked like shriveled brown cockroaches arrived at the table. I wasn't told what they were and dived in. I would have thought duck tongues would be succulent and juicy, as it turns out they are chewy and boney. But, hey, at least I can say I tried it.

The pièce de résistance, however, was the lau sah bao. It is a sort of light fluffy bread with a warm coconut custard centre. It looks a bit like an egg but tastes delicious. I could have had several. Its sweetness finished off the meal nicely, although, apparently, it is meant to come with the main dishes. It was in fact ordered all together, but as you may have noticed from my subtle hint earlier, service was not Super Star's forte.

Looks like an egg, tastes like heaven

It was a delicious meal and not too pricey but was lacking somewhat in speed and style. However, it did provided another culinary tale to tell.


Where: China Town, Soho
Price: About £20 a head
More info:  http://www.chinatownlondon.org/page/superstar/157
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