Most weekends, we head off to London’s Chinatown. We love the vibrant ambience, the culture and of course to eat our own body weight in Chinese sweets and treats.
We are very lucky that we only live an hour and a half from London so it is something we look forward to all week. We always go to the same shops and stalls. Not because we don’t like change but simply because we have our favourites. It always starts with a trip to The Chinatown Bakery.
(Please note: Apologies for the bad quality photos! I had to take all the photos quickly whilst we were walking around, before my kids ate all the goodies! *laughs*)
The bakery is clean and inviting inside, the range is outstanding for a tiny shop and the prices, well, they are very reasonable indeed! The kids favourite is their Taiyaki (or ‘fishies’ as my children call them). These little fish shaped cakes are filled with a slightly lemony custard.
Taiyaki is made using regular waffle batter. The batter is poured into a fish-shaped cast iron mold, one for each side of the fish. The filling is then put on one side and the mold is closed, then cooked on both sides until golden brown. They are delicious and always cooked fresh. They are hot when you bite into them and ooze their filling. A sweet cheap treat at just £2 for 4.
Some of our other favourites from The Chinatown Bakery include Banana Cake, which is always moist and full of flavour. Great with a bubble tea! A good family size cake for £2.
Next we have the custard cakes. These are £1 each and are flaky pastry with a thick almost purée like egg custard inside. Very tasty.
Another one of our favourites are the almond cakes, again a bargain at £1 each. These are very much like a crunchy frangipani. These are large and flat and are bigger than my hand.
And then comes my favourite…. The fresh fruit vanilla cream roll. Oh, its so light its like eating fruity creamy air. The base is an unbelievably light plain Swiss roll with the filling of vanilla cream and fresh peach chunks. On top vanilla cream is swirled and adorned with fresh fruit. A complete bargain at £2. I love these and have one each time we go 😉
So after all that, as you can imagine, we are thirsty. A Chinatown trip would not be complete without a visit to Happy Lemon.
We all have our favourites, my eldest loves the classic milk bubble tea, my youngest loves the lemon honey green tea and I love the grapefruit lemon smoothie… although it’s not a smoothie with ice cream or yoghurt, it’s crushed ice with juice, fruit and jelly inside. So more like a slush or snow cone. Either way, it is delicious and refreshing.
After our stop at Happy Lemon, we walk a few steps to Baozi Inn. They sell the beautifully delicate and light steamed bao buns and other savoury treats.
The steamed bao bun is one of our family favourite Chinese street food treats and wherever we are, if we see them, we just have to have one (or two ;)) each. The Baozi Inn buns are always fresh and fluffy and filled with minced pork and vegetables.
They also do an open steamed bun, it looks like a steamed bun version of a taco, filled with Chinese pulled pork and cucumber. This is not the most attractive of buns but it tastes so good!
Our last stop of our evening was at the Wonderful Patisserie. A bakery, and shop full of gifts and general chinese snacks.
Our favourite snack in here is the Baby Star Dodekai Raman, which are bit like fried dried raman noodle crisps. Yum!
So there you go! I hope you enjoyed our Chinatown sweets and treats visit, next time I’ll take you around all the Chinese supermarkets too 😉