I’d always pick Glasgow over London and I’d state how much I hate London, while deep inside I have to admit that London has those little big things Glasgow doesn’t. After years of living in the UK and my frequent visits to London, I was not ready to see Asia laid off in front of my nose . . . in London itself.
Like how much I love London’s underground transport system. Glasgow’s subway runs in a circular track, nothing like London’s spider web underground system. Or the number of theatres in London and my love for performing arts that makes it another +1 for London. Glasgow has theatres too, but London’s Piccadilly district and its theatres is just so gorgeous (apart from the fact that it is always packed by tourists). So I have to admit that Glasgow has the miniature of the things I like from London.
It has everything you can think of about Asia, from chopsticks with fine ornaments to the best baozi steamed buns in the United Kingdom. Asia is just a step off your tube carriage in London’s Leicester Square underground station in the Piccadilly line.
But what I could not accept was the fact that I love London’s Chinatown and having to find Glasgow’s Chinatown is nothing like it. I mean it was huge and pretty. It has everything you can think of about Asia, from chopsticks with fine ornaments to the best baozi steamed buns in the United Kingdom. Asia is just a step off your tube carriage in London’s Leicester Square underground station in the Piccadilly line.
Standing in the streets of London’s Chinatown, I’ve felt like I’m in the Far East with Chinese writings on shop windows and red lantern ornaments hung up above my head. I came back to Glasgow with a heavier bag filled by stuffs I’ve bought in London’s Chinatown and a growing pride of my Asian roots.
These are the top 5 things I’ve found in London’s Chinatown:
1. Chinese buffet restaurants with more than just mediocre Chinese buffet dishes
Exceptional buffet-class dishes really! Unlike those with soggy wonton pastries in most buffet restaurants. However, with the number of tourists flocking this area, a lot of them are tourist traps.
£ 9.95 for lunch
Not just bakeries, they’re the ones that suits my Asian palate with red bean paste bread and super soft chiffon rolls, or experimental peanut crusted breads. I like French bakeries, but its Asian sisters are just so irresistible.
£ 1 – 2.50 each
3. Asian kitchen shops
Not just an Asian grocery shop, it’s the shop that sells beautiful Japanese bowls and chopsticks with pretty ornaments on it. They’ve got most of their pretty bowls and teacups imported from the Far East, authentic pieces!
£ 6.95 for a Japanese rice bowl
£ 2.50 for a pair of decorated chopsticks
4. Asian snacks
From authentic Japanese mochi, Indonesian sukro peanuts to Chinese milk candies: diet what? I’ve also found Asian street foods like Taiwanese bubble tea and Chinese baozi steamed bun, the best in England ever.
£ 1.20 for a red bean baozi bun
£ 3.65 for a cup of Taiwanese bubble tea
5. A taste of home
I am an Asian. I am an Indonesian. I’ve found a piece of home.
£ 6.00 nasi gudeg at Warung Indonesia
I cannot believe it, 3 years living in the United Kingdom and I have just found this place a week ago. I am ashamed of the Asian I have became to have missed it all along.