The first recorded Chinese restaurant in London, England was opened. The rise in the number of Chinese restaurants in the UK only began after the Second World War, and has been attributed to returning service personnel. In 2003, the first British Chinese restaurant achieved a Michelin star. In the United Kingdom, the business employs a large percentage of Chinese immigrants (90% in 1985). Opening a restaurant or takeway gave a relatively low capital cost entry for Chinese families into self employment, many takeaways served a pseudo-Chinese cuisine based around western tastes, and the limited cooking skills and experience of the shop owners.
A number of different styles contribute to Chinese cuisine, but perhaps the best known and most influential are Guangdong (Cantonese) cuisine, Shandong cuisine, Jiangsu cuisine and Sichuan cuisine. These styles are distinctive from one another due to factors such as available resources, climate, geography, history, cooking techniques and lifestyle. One style may favour the use of lots of garlic and shallots over lots of chilli and spices, while another may favour preparing seafood over other meats and fowl. Jiangsu cuisine favours cooking techniques such as braising and stewing, while Sichuan cuisine employs baking, just to name a few. Hairy crab is a highly sought after local delicacy in Shanghai, as it can be found in lakes within the region. Beijing Roast Duck (otherwise known as ‘Peking Duck’) is another popular dish well known outside of China. Based on the raw materials and ingredients used, the method of preparation and cultural differences, a variety of foods with different flavours and textures are prepared in different regions of the country. Many traditional regional cuisines rely on basic methods of preservation such as drying, salting, pickling and fermentation.
In 1969, symptoms of “Chinese restaurant syndrome” were attributed to the flavour enhancer glutamate (commonly found in Chinese food) largely due to the widely-cited article “Monosodium L-glutamate: its pharmacology and role in the Chinese Restaurant Syndrome”. However, no link has ever been established.
handong Cuisine is commonly and simply known as Lu cuisine. With a long history, Shandong Cuisine once formed an important part of the imperial cuisine and was widely promoted in North China. However, it isn’t so popular in South China and even in the all-embracing Shanghai.
Shandong Cuisine is featured by a variety of cooking techniques and seafood. The typical dishes on local menu are braised abalone, braised trepang, sweet and sour carp, Jiuzhuan Dachang and Dezhou Chicken. Various Shandong snacks are also worth trying.
Dim sum, literally “touch your heart”, is a Cantonese term for small hearty dishes. These bite-sized portions are prepared using traditional cooking methods such as frying, steaming, stewing and baking. It is designed so that one person may taste a variety of different dishes. Some of these may include rice rolls, lotus leaf rice, turnip cakes, buns, shui jiao-style dumplings, stir-fried green vegetables, congee porridge, soups, etc. The Cantonese style of dining, yum cha, combines the variety of dim sum dishes with the drinking of tea. Yum cha literally means ‘drink tea’. Cantonese style is the unique and charm dishes, which enjoy a long history and a good reputation both at home and abroad. It is common with other parts of the diet and cuisine in Chinese food culture. Back in ancient times, and the Central Plains on Lingnan Yue Chu family has close contacts. With the changes of dynasty historically, many people escaped the war and crossed the Central Plains, the increasing integration of the two communities. Central Plains culture gradually moved to the south. As a result, their food production techniques, cookware, utensils and property turned into a rich combination of Agriculture, which is the origin of Cantonese food. Cantonese cuisine originated in the Han.