Showing posts with label City Road. Show all posts
Showing posts with label City Road. Show all posts

Wednesday, 14 March 2012 (takeaway)

It struck me the other day that I hadn't really talked about takeaways at all on this blog which is surprising because I do have takeaways a couple of times a month. So why haven't I?

I suppose it is because, unlike with restaurants, I tend to stick to the same couple of places. Local, reasonable, reliable. I am not as adventurous when bringing food home. Takeaways tend to be reserved for those occasions when I have arrived home too late, or I am too tired to be bothered with cooking rather than seen as a treat.

Generally most takeaways have uninspiring menus. Low quality ingredients, poor value and full of MSG.
The other option is to look at restaurants which also offer takeaway, or even better, a delivery service. One upshot of the current economy is that restaurants looking to increase their revenue are starting to see this as a viable additional service where previously it was seen as taking their food down-market (a bit like when film actors decided, post Keifer Sutherland on 24, that TV wasn't so bad after all).

So, I was very excited to find out that .cn, a restaurant reviewed and praised by food bloggers in recent months had started offering not only takeaway, but a delivery service. Utopia!

The website describes the food as 'influenced from the Northern provinces of China' although with a strong presence of chilli and Sichuan pepper on the menu the food reminded me more of my brief visit to Guilin in the south.
Ingredients for the adventurous (shredded pig maw, beef tripe and chicken gizzard) sit alongside the more usual but no less tasty options (lamb breast, meatballs, sea bass). What is immediately obvious is that this is no ordinary menu sanitised for Western tastes.

This is the second order from .cn that we have had. The first (Sichuan chicken, crispy pork in Peking sauce with pancakes and guotie) was so good we went back for more the following week.

The guotie last time were a revelation so this time we ordered a stuffed steamed bun each. The bun was fluffy and the filling of pork, leek and spring onion was savoury and moreish. I smiled like a loon with every mouthful.

The mains were pork in Sichuan pepper and chilli sauce (left) and crispy lamb breast with ground chilli.
The pork was good, plenty of chillies in the sauce and if you were unfortunate enough to bite down on a piece of Sichaun pepper it felt like you had lava in your mouth (in a good way)
The lamb was delicious, the layer of fat was soft and full of flavour, although the dish had maybe been compromised a bit by the necessity of transporting the meat in a plastic container. This had the unfortunate effect of steaming something that should be crispy. I can only assume that is what happened since I haven't been to the restaurant yet and it's hard to see how they could avoid this happening.

The thought that has gone into a varied and challenging menu, the care that is taken over the ingredients, the high quality cooking all results in an impressive all round experience and you still get a strong sense of the personality of the place when eating this food at home.

I'm already planning my next order!
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