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Friday, 13 February 2015

Ching-He Huang's Yin And Yang Evening At Harvey Nichols Manchester

Eeeeeee! I've had such a great time tonight. I went to Harvey Nichols for an evening of food and demonstrations from Ching-He Huang and she is lovely, really, so nice! I'm writing some of this now and I'll add photos but I'm not going to post this until the morning (before mum arrives) because I think I drank too much to effectively spell check and photo edit. Suffice to say it was an incredible night. I was a tad concerned about going on my own but the people at my table were so nice and I have had an incredible evening. I ate far too much incredible food - as I was alone I received 2 persons portion for each course as they were sharing dishes - and I ate most of them! Starters reminded me i'm not keen on tofu but that I will now eat and love cashew nuts. Mains included the best spring rolls I've ever had - so fresh and not greasy, duck with rice and cashews, poached chicken, and I tried crab balls and prawn and scallop wontons - sadly confirming I don't like shellfish but they still tasted great - my table mates gladly ate what I couldn't. In the morning I'll add a photo of the menu for you. SO GOOD. Sleep now though.

Spring Rolls
Well, it's the morning after the night before and I thought I'd leave the bit that I wrote last night as it kind of conveys my excitement after the event, even if I was right about my spelling abilities - apparently I received potions instead of portions! I arrived slightly late, as we were being seated but got noticed, and complimented, by Ching-He Huang for my hot pink Chinese jacket. I received a Happiness cocktail on my way to my table (lucky number 7), which was, according to the menu, a twist on a Kir Royale with rhubarb, ginger, lychee and plum liqueurs instead of cassis, happily for me, it didn't really taste of ginger, and was in fact very tasty. Whilst enjoying my cocktail, I watched Ching demo spring rolls and I learnt to throw away the first few layers of wrappers as they would be too dry - very useful as I just bought some gyoza wrappers for when I don't have time to make them myself.
Prawn and scallop moneybags
The food was incredible (and if you don't believe me or want some for yourself, Harvey Nichols is serving the menu from the 16th to the 28th). The starters were a trio of small dishes including yummy five spiced peanuts. There were 6 main plates, so you can understand why I had difficulties eating all of them on my own! Although, I have to admit that it wasn't too much of a hardship to eat 5 of the best spring rolls I have ever tasted - they were so fresh and light, without the greasiness that spring rolls so often have. There were two courses that I tried but was't keen on - prawn and scallop moneybags and crab pángxiè (they're a little like fish cakes) - but that was nothing against the food itself, just that I dislike shellfish. We ate duck for fidelity and misua noodles for longevity. The chilli oil that went with the poached chicken was delicious and when I bit on a chilli seed by accident, it numbed half my mouth!
Longevity noodles
At the start of the evening I bought Ching's Fast Food cook book, to be signed at the end of the evening, and the recipes look great. I think I'll make one for Sunday lunch - I'll let you know how it goes. After the meal we opened the hongbao at our places to find a very cute card saying 'be a ram in a flock of sheep' and a number which could have won us one of 3 prizes (sadly I didn't get one but the evening was as good as a prize in itself). We were also given a pineapple cake for pudding, but by that point I had eaten so much that I popped it in my bag to take home. I might eat it now, actually. 

Duck with cashew nuts
Whilst I was aware that I would be on a large table and possibly the only single person on it (as proved the case), I hadn't anticipated just how lovely and welcoming my dinner companions were, regardless of how incredible the food was, it was the company that was the icing on the cake, so if you're reading this - thank you so much!

Pineapple cake
恭禧发财 - Happy New Year!

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