The year of the monkey and the best Chinese restaurants in the UK
Published: 23 Feb 2016
Chinese New Year welcomed in the Year of the Monkey with typical aplomb (and fireworks—lots of fireworks). The zodiac claims those born in this year are intelligent, gentle and honest but also reckless and short-tempered. The celebration of Chinese food in the UK is not limited to those born under the sign of the Monkey, but every one of us. If the quality of the best restaurants is anything to go by, the British love affair with the far East shows no signs of abating.
Chinese food became popular in the UK back in the 1950s and 60s, but its current incarnation is quite different from those days. A revolution in thinking about this foodstuff means that it is now often made at home. This is due to a high number of Asian food stores, but also because it's a chance to eat healthily. Chinese and Asian food that is made at home contains a lot of vegetables and is ludicrously easy to prepare. It's gotten to the point that more 'traditional' Chinese restaurants are suffering because they are considered 'unhealthy' by comparison.
Despite this setback, certain Chinese restaurants are doing very well regardless. Restaurants in the Chinatown districts of major cities have stayed open, but the real success stories are independents who are rethinking what they offer the public. More and more we are seeing regional Chinese cuisine making inroads, with the likes of Sichuan and Cantonese foods both interesting a more adventurous public. Dim Sum is also increasingly popular, consumers enjoying the chance to 'mix and match' their flavours. More and more people are aware that what the UK thinks of as Chinese food isn't anything like what people in China actually think of as their national cuisine. There's no need to accept substitutes any more.
Hakkasan is one of several high-end Chinese restaurants, employing a fusion style using rarer ingredients and serving in a stylish setting. Of course, this means the prices are much higher than your typical takeaway, but the appeal is obvious. These types of restaurants are pushing hard to get away from the cheap and cheerful label that has begun to harm their business. The key is to impress upon the public that there are types of meals you should leave to the experts—that you cannot recreate these flavours at home in your kitchen. But at the same time working to distance these flavours from the greasy takeaway we are all so familiar with.
Working with Chinese cuisine isn't limited to sweet and sour and MSG nowadays. There's a real opportunity to experiment and innovate new dishes and new products, whether you are working as a chef or as a technologist. With excellent recruitment sites like yourfoodjob.com, you can use our highly customisable search engine to narrow down exactly what kind of job you're looking for, in whatever aspect of the business you're most interested in. Using our site you can also set parameters like salary and to exclude jobs you are under (or over) qualified for, making the process of finding the right position that much faster.
Yourfoodjob.com holds a continuously updated list of available food and drink innovation jobs, working in all sorts of different sectors of the industry. If you sign up for our jobs by email service you need only set your requirements once. After that, we will inform you whenever a job comes up that we're sure you'll be interested in. You can even set the frequency of emails you receive (although we recommend a daily alert to keep you ahead of your competitors). Take the first step into a whole new life for yourself, simply click the link. The Year of the Monkey is your chance to start an adventure in Chinese cuisine.