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A. Wong The Cookbook
by: Andrew Wong
Mitchell Beazley, a division of Octopus Publishing Group 2015, $29.95, Hardbound
Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Spring Volume: 2016 Issue: 23(1)
The cover says the book has recipes for “extraordinary dim sum, exceptional street food & unexpected Chinese dishes from Sichuan to Yunnan.” All are for “A” which is not for Andrew, the author, but for his parents, Albert and Annie. His father was chef and restaurant owner who named his eatery Kyms for his mother, this book’s author’s grandmother. The tradition continues at the original site. This book, the author says, is a celebration of all the wonderful people who shared recipes and teachings, a delicious thank you to all guests, friends, and family for making it so.
With a Foreword by Ken Hom who declares it “some of the best Chinese cooking...in a long time,” he professes being seduced by course after course of innovative and creative food at Wong’s restaurant. We were seduced in this book filled with “passion and soul,” and would that London were closer so we could taste it fresh from this chef’s wok. We will the next time we get there, but now it is fresh from his pages. The results please this editor and her table-mates; as do the chef’s tips on many of its pages that help along the way as do his upgraded notions including the foie gras in the sticky sesame dumplings, the pork broth gelatin in the Shanghai Steamed Dumplings, the wasabi mayonnaise for the Shrimp Balls #2, the poached Wontons with Chili Soy Sauce, and the Tofu Chips with Smoked Duck & Pickled Onion. Suggest you try them all and all the other recipes within its pages.
On the simpler side, try his Lotus Root Chips, Crispy Chile Beef, Stuffed Chicken Wings with Black Bean Sauce, Chinese Greens with Fermented Tofu & Dried Shrimp Butter, and the Sichuan Pepper Ice Cream, among the many other recipes. Lest we forget, the page by Zeren Wilson titled “Matching Wine with Chinese Food” has interesting ideas including the notion of blending oolong tea, yuzu sake, and lemon, also drinking sparkling wines with your Chinese chow.
There is much to try, taste, and have your palate tickled from traditional items to modern applications. One reviewer calls it “Modern British Chinese Food.’ We call it delicious and worth your effort. The dishes we made, were a joy and perfect!