What picture do we conjure up when we think of a Sunday
morning in Chinatown in London? For most of us it’s steaming plates of
noodles, perhaps succulent dim sum or richly lacquered duck
hanging like mahogany curios in shop windows!
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An equally correct view would be of queues of local Chinese
and me outside the Golden Gate Cake Shop (Macclesfield Street, off
It’s true that most people don’t readily associate cakes and
pastries with the Chinese community but there are several colourful
patisseries in the small area of Soho each with a display of
gateaux. Don’t be put off by these gaudy offerings but squeeze into the
confines of the establishment a look at what most people crave. BUNS!
My favourite bun is Roast Pork and probably the most popular
with the more regular clients. It, and indeed most of the buns, are a
brioche type of bread with various fillings and toppings being either
or sweet. The Roast Pork has a filling, and quite a generous one, of
Pork with a thick sauce which makes an interesting contrast to the
It’s always necessary to buy 2 (at least 2) buns. It’s not
greed, you understand, but a desire to immerse myself in the oriental
philosophy of yin and yang. I am convinced that a brace of pastries is
a prescription for balance and contentment. Ok, OK, so I just like the
taste! For my second choice I’d have a coconut cream filled confection,
not oversweet but scrumptious to the last crumb or even a fresh custard
tart which is, for me, a surprising Chinese passion.
The Golden Gate is one of the more accessible pastry shops
in Chinatown as it’s self-service. This is the deal - you find a stack
of small trays and tongs by the door. The small shop is half filled
with heated racks and shelves of sweet and savoury breads with name tags in
Chinese and English. Just make your selection and the kind lady behind the
counter will box or bag your treats. Prices range from 60p to £1 so you
can indulge yourself!
So next time you visit Soho, try something different, authentic and fun.
wish you all a belated happy year of the rat! “Gong Xi Fa Cai” to all!