Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Recipe - Thai Beef Curry

Last week, I made rendang. I won't go on about it on here again but this most recent time was probably the best attempt yet. Also, one of my diners said it was the best thing I've ever cooked so I'm pretty pleased with that. It's probably because I've now cooked it four times and each time I've corrected a previous mistake. This time, I think I was sufficiently able to pack flavour into the dish and that's at least 50% down to the fact that I could find all of the ingredients. In one place! I love Whitechapel Sainsbury's. I've waxed lyrical about how much and why to at least four different people but really, it's so lovely and makes me feel so at one with the world and like we're all one big happy worldwide community and sigh when you can get all the various niche ingredients from all the different cuisines of the delicious, often spicy world in one place. Anyway, I'll stop being lame now. The point is, I've had galangal and dessicated coconut to use up. So I'm going to use my surplus and the scant research I've done on their uses into becoming more adept with Thai food. Perhaps it won't be the most traditional Thai food and it will almost certainly be more Malaysian leaning (because that's closer to the Indian subcontinent flavours that I'm accustomed to) but it'll be rather more Thai than things I've cooked in the past. No more store bought curry pastes! Not that there's anything wrong with using a paste but if I have all the ingredients already, why not put them to good use, hmm?
(No photo because no phone)

Multicoloured Thai Beef Curry
2 onions, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 thumb sized piece ginger, finely chopped
2 stalks lemongrass, finely chopped
2 bird's eye chillies, crushed
1 tsp chopped galangal
Coriander stalks, crushed

Mix together these ingredients in a pestle and mortar until crushed.
Fry on a medium heat for about 5 - 10 minutes until highly aromatic.

400g stewing beef
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 tin coconut milk
4 tbsp dessicated coconut
1 red pepper, sliced
Large handful of broccoli florets

Fresh coriander, chopped
Juice of 1 lime

Add the beef and fry in the paste until brown.
Add the tomato puree, turmeric and coriander and cook for a further five minutes.
Add the bay leaf, lime leaves, coconut milk, fish sauce and dessicated coconut and simmer for an hour and a half.
After that time, add the pepper and broccoli and a touch of salt and cook for about 3 minutes.
To finish, sprinkle over fresh coriander, fish sauce and lime juice to taste.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Review - Angrid Thai

Remember this conversation? Of course you don't. Well, firstly, I'm glad to report that Contrary and Earnest and I have managed to maintain a friendship filled with silly conversations in the post-Oxford days. Secondly, I can report that I've somewhat changed my view on what I like to do with capitalised Friends. (The word boyfriend makes me think of playing kiss-chase in a playground and makes me squirm.) While I'm still happy to do nothing but laze around and eat pudding, I've now been persuaded by the idea that it's actually fun to do activities too. There's plenty of time for lazing around AND doing activities. In fact, I think a balance is desirable. In recent times, I keep being reminded of how it's enjoyable to go to galleries and shows and even (sometimes) to clubs (as long as you don't lose your phone) with partners. The last one was just a weirdo who didn't like doing anything except holding opinions on philosophy so stringent that it made normal conversation difficult. As a result, I'm still surprised when I suggest going somewhere and the response is an unhesitating, unquestioning yes. I suppose I should've realised earlier that if someone always refuses to do things you suggest, they're probably a bit of a miser who's incompatible with you. I KNOW BETTER NOW. I really should've realised when they stopped meeting me at the station for no good reason(/rowing). It's nice to have someone to help with bags/generally hold one's hand through life. It's especially nice when that person registers that you're super-hungry and so you stop off somewhere on the way home for dinner. Angrid Thai! Two separate people had previously mentioned it to me. In particular, they'd mentioned that it looks rather scuzzy but was surprisingly tasty. And very, very cheap.
We were persuaded by the penang duck and the suspiciously generic spicy thai noodle with beef. I know I always describe noodles as slippery (and I wish I didn't since I started reading Alan Hollinghurst) but that's what they were! When I use that word, I mean they're evenly coated in just the right amount of sauce. These particular noodles were dark with soy and spicy with sriracha. The beef tasted as if it had been marinaded and was evenly soft and the vegetables retained the crunch that I recognise as a positive sign. Tasty but forgettable. The penang on the other hand was humming with lemongrass. The sauce somehow managed to taste balanced and interestingly while keeping lemongrass as the key flavour. The duck could've done with being a little crispier but had soaked up the lovely ambience of the sauce. The pork belly skewers managed to be soft despite not being slow cooked and had a smoky, deep marinade. I wish I had discovered place this while living in Oxford.

Friday, 25 January 2013


I hate white-whining (this might be surprising to you since I do it so often) but this introduction is primarily centred around one. How do you choose between trying a possibly wonderful new restaurant and going to a definitely wonderful one you've already visited it? This is particularly a problem here since there are so many to choose from and most of them look smart, presentable and like they would sell tasty food. That's why I usually opt to try somewhere new rather than stick to the familiar. The patron of City Spice told me 'better the devil you know than the devil you don't' when I rejected him in favour of Sheba because it was new territory. There, the decision was the right one as Sheba was much better. But it isn't always, as my experience at the Lemon Tree confirmed. Then there's the additional problem of how well can you really judge a place based upon one visit, particularly if you're only ordering one course as someone with my means can usually only afford to do? But then why would I choose to give somewhere else another pop at my limited means when it disappointed? There is no solution to these idle 'problems' but I thought I'd discuss it since this blog is about some places which I loved the first time and have recently visited again. These visits have made it much more tempting to just go to everywhere I've already been and eat through everything on the menu.

The first time I went, all we ordered were curry dishes. Now that I've tried the mixed grill, I don't know why. The curry is glorious but the grilled meat is really where it's at. The rubs on the chicken, tikka and tandoori, are so smoky and vibrant. The lamb is where Tayyab's really comes into its own though: the chilli heat in the moist kebab, the crust which forms from perfect grilling on the lamb chop. We ordered two mixed grills and that defeated four of us. But I'm not sorry, I wouldn't have had it any other way. We still had some karahi ghost and I'm glad we did, it was still as good as I remembered it and perfectly accompanied by fenugreek potatoes and soft, velvety pumpkin. I've now begun to think about what we didn't manage to finish and that makes me saaaad.
E Pellicci
The first time I visited here, I was hungover and not really in a state suited to eating. This time, I was fresh as a daisy and ravenous. I decided to try one of their traditional Italian dishes. Bolognese! You could taste the generations of Italian blood (and probably sweat and tears too but whatever) that had gone into flavouring this bolognese. The result was extraordinary and however much I might simmer mine, it never ends up tasting this rich. I also went for a potato croquette for no other reason than I fancied it. I thoroughly enjoyed that too.
I was also hungover for my first visit to Cafe 338. This was a pity as the generous portions are a difficulty to finish on a full, healthy appetite. It's only a five minute walk away so there has been ample opportunity to visit again. What sticks out in my mind from my inaugural visit was that I should've ordered something with salad for a chance to try the carefully constructed, complex mixtures they throw together. To rectify this, I ordered the tuna mayo jacket potato. While it wasn't as big a potato as last time, it was still sizeable but perfectly baked with a crisp jacket revealing a buttery interior. There was a mountain of tuna, well-mayo'd and with a sprinkling of fresh, watery sweetcorn. The salad excelled itself again. A little pot of salsa and a little pot of tartare were the fanciest and possibly most delicious bits. It's hard to choose just one favourite though; the radishes and cherry tomatoes and grated red cabbage and glorious coleslaw and indeed the several other slaws each had their highs. The only problem is that when I got into Cafe 338 the menu threw me into disarray yet again and actually, I rather regret not choosing the 338 breakfast. I will never be satisfied.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Review - Brasserie Zedel

I've been to see not one but TWO excellent plays this week. (The Master and Margarita and Twelfth Night.) And they were both for FREE. I've often considered writing reviews of non-food things I do but I know even less about them than I do about food. So I'll stop doing THIS and talk about where I went to sup before theatre. Finding somewhere to eat before the theatre is always a challenge. Firstly, it means eating at a silly time. I find it so baffling that some people eat at six for no reason other than they want to. But obviously when I go to the theatre I have to eat at six to ensure that I'm not late. Then you have to ensure you go somewhere where you won't have to wait for a table and the service won't be at a silly pace. And then there's the nightmare of finding somewhere to suit my meagre budget in the most extortionate parts of central London. Everywhere cheap and good in Soho will be upsettingly busy. Everywhere expensive and good will probably also be that busy. So you're left with places which probably won't be very good but will probably still be busy. So where to find a satisfying pre-theatre supper, hmm? A friend who has lived in London for much, much longer than I have was going to see Les Mis a while back and she mentioned she was eating at Brasserie Zedel before the show. So, copycat that I am, I followed suit and (just to be safe) booked a table there for 5.30. I did try to book the table for 6 but they persuaded me that 5.30 was more sensible because we wouldn't be able to eat in time if we go there at 6. They were wrong. But that's OK, we went to a nice pub after the meal. Anyway, back to the eating. We ordered the salmon with buerre blanc and leeks, confit duck and creme brulee to share.
The salmon was absolutely perfectly cooked. The skin was SO crisp (but not burnt) but the inside was still a little almost-rare. I love that you could see the griddle on the fish. Unfortunately, it was a little underseasoned but that was easily rectified. The leeks were buttery, the sauce creamy and the cayenne pepper surrounding it provided a nice contrast. The confit duck was less impressive. While the beans were swimming in a mellow tomato sauce, they were a little cold and lacklustre. The duck had a nice texture but unfortunately had the same heat issue and, as if to counteract the salmon, overseasoned. The french fries were crisp and sparked a conversation about if it's less awful to order fries in a french restaurant because they're french. I was confused, it's never bad to order fries. Apart from maybe with sushi. We shared the creme brulee (aww) but the explorer let me crack the top. It wasn't as satisfying as it could've been but it still had a nice crust revealing little black flecks of vanilla throughout the slightly-too-slippery custard. Overall, the meal was satisfying enough but not spectacular. It was rather forgettable. This fact is redeemed by the fact that the service in there is attentive and the scenery is bright and ornate.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Recipe - Lamb and Turnip Tagine

Last week I had lots of 'blonde' moments. The best of these was when I forgot what a year was. We were discussing the significance of numbers in nature and my friend was telling me something about how some animals hibernate for a prime number of years and I was all 'but surely that's a coincidence because how long a year is is arbitrarily chosen?' and they were all '...' and then I remembered that no, what months are is arbitrarily chosen but that doesn't extend to years. Apparently years have something to do with the sun or something? This conversation was probably the biggest lapse of silliness I've had in recent times. A lesser but slightly different flavour of stupidity also came through during one of my shopping trips. As it turns out for the past twenty one years I've been confusing swedes for turnips. As in, what I thought were turnips were actually swedes. I discovered this because I bought a root vegetable packet from Tesco to make some elements of Christmas dinner but I didn't use the swede and I asked me mum if she'd cook the turnip. She did, it was delicious and filled with fenugreek and nigella seed and mmm and I was craving that last week. I thought I'd involve it in a slow cooked tagine with a nice bit of lamb. And that's exactly what I did. Only when I got to the shops did I realise that swedes were swedes and turnips were turnips. I still did my stew with turnip though.
Lamb and Turnip Tagine
400g diced stewing lamb
1 onion, finely sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Thumb sizes piece of ginger, finely chopped
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
Half teaspoon fennel seeds
2 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp paprika
2 turnips, peeled and chopped into small cubes
1 large potato, peeled and chopped into small cubes
Half courgette, sliced into half moons
A handful of chopped fresh coriander

In about two tablespoons of olive oil, fry the onion over a medium heat until starting to brown.
Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a further two minutes.
Add the lamb and brown.
Add the spices, both ground and whole, coat everything well and fry for a further two minutes.
Add the courgette, turnip, coriander and potato and combine everything well.
Add enough water to cover two thirds of the mixture.
Turn the heat down to low and simmer for an hour, covered.
Uncover and simmer for a further half an hour.

I served this with fresh chilli and coriander cous cous.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Review - Banh Mi Bay

Meeting friends' parents is interesting for two reasons. Firstly, you get to compare the stories with the actuality. In general, the stories are negative so it's not hard for parents to fare better than the stories indicated they would. The funniest stories featuring Mama Haque are never the ones where she's most reasonable so why would I recount them? The more fun bit is spotting the traits that they share and seeing how they came to be the people they are. As a friend remarked after noticing that both my mother and I wear flip flops indoors because we hate getting our feet even a little bit wet, it's bizarre the things you inherit. Well, the behaviours are more likely learned than inherited but the point still stands. I was very curious to meet Incredibly Good Looking's parents. His main stories involving his dad included references to gout and (lots of) wine while 'Jan' mainly featured to cajole him. They do those things but what I found much more amusing was their habit of mocking his sartorial choices. The other contexts I've seen them in have mainly displayed their love of good food. Presumably that's what led to the gout. Most recently, I joined the Good Lookings at Banh Mi Bay in Holborn. I ordered the and tried a spring roll.
I enjoyed the texture of the almost transparent noodles, they were slippery but firm. I enjoyed that the vegetables were cleanly flavoured and firm. I very much enjoyed the subtle tones and softness of the pork. My one criticism is that it all lacked a little something. I'm not sure what. Maybe pizzazz? Maybe vim? I'm struggling with this list of three now. Adding chilli sauce made up the shortfall to a degree but didn't quite mask it. The spring rolls on the other hand had none of that issue, the pork and prawn combined subtly with vegetables almost stewed in flavour were a little treat.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Review - The Florist Arms

Part of what led my housemates to choosing our flat was the surrounding areas. I enjoy the hubbub and the scores of ethnic supermarkets on Bethnal Green Road where you can get pretty much any obscure cooking ingredient that you could ever want. That facet of our environs doesn't appeal to my tall housemate one bit. What he likes (I like these too) the silly little shops which sell stuff no one would buy and the cafes and pubs with board games in them. What sold our flat to them was the pub around the corner, The Florist. All around the sign and above the door are awnings of fresh green shrubbery. I occasionally see them refreshing the greenery and so I can see the progression from plain bush to jewelled flowers. It's lovely. The inside is just as lovely, the flower theme continues with daffodils (and other species) in little vases on the table and spectacular black-on-red floral wallpaper. Over Christmas, they put up lots of fairy lights everywhere and that makes the already lovely atmosphere even lovelier. If a drink didn't cost around £5, I'd spend much more time in there. I spend so little time in there that over three months had passed before I'd tried their £5 pizza. It's only £5 at lunch and on Sunday and Monday evenings but somehow, I'd evaded it. The ideal opportunity to try it arose on Sunday when we realised that schlepping a month's worth of Caribbean luggage to Cafe 338 wasn't a practical idea regardless of how good their jacket potato is. Instead, we popped into the Florist without the bags and ordered a wild boar salami pizza and 'piri piri' prawns.
It's no secret that I enjoy meat a lot so it's surprising that I felt that the protein elements of this meal were what let it down. The pizza was thin, crispy, cheesy and mellow with tomato. The red chilli heat combined well with this mellowness. Only the wild boar salami that we'd gotten so excited about was a disappointment. It had that unpleasant aroma of slightly offness that meat gets sometimes. I've mentioned this ineffable quality many times but I've still not managed to find an adequate word to describe what I mean. But anyway, the salami had it. The prawns did too. They were small and kind of reminded me of ready cooked frozen prawns so that might've been it. The 'piri piri' sauce was thankfully just a garlicky, chilli, tomato affair and was delicious. I mopped up every little bit of it with the side of traditional, pizza-style garlic bread that came with it. Next time I visit The Florist (probably in another three months), I'll be choosing vegetarianly since that appears to be its strength. 

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Recipe - Coconut and Saffron Curry

I have no innate cooking ability. I can follow recipes and I can learn from mistakes which lends me to being able to make things taste nice if they're written in a foolproof manner or if I've made them more than once so I have a theory about how to correct what went wrong. But I haven't the patience or the natural talent of a master chef. A friend of mine does. Well, more than one friend of mine does but there's one in particular who has the natural talent, the patience and the not-easily-satisfied nature that you need to cook truly delicious food. There's a word for it in Bengali but unfortunately it doesn't translate particularly well, it's pronounced 'moh-nu-joog'. It translates to a mixture of patience and concentration with a touch of dedication thrown in. That's the main thing this friend of mine has that I lack. Being friends with an excellent chef is actually better than being one yourself as it means you get cooked for. I bought lots of half price cava and did some washing up while she did everything else. The results were fantastic, hands down the best home-cooked meal I've eaten in the past three months AT LEAST. Much better than anything I've cooked myself. Another benefit of her cooking it in my presence was that it amounted to a free cooking lesson. She gave me the recipe and while I missed some of her 'a dash of this and a dash of that' steps, I watched the actual process so I could see what the curry was meant to look like at every step. I tried to re-enact it for the explorer and my live-in buddy. He gave an accurate review of it - it wasn't the same (and implicitly, it wasn't as good) but it was still pretty tasty.
Coconut and Saffron Curry
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 bird's eye chillies, finely chopped
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped

8 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on if you like it that way like I do

1 liberal pinch saffron infused in a cup of boiling water
2 bay leaves
2 cardamom pods
Half a cinnamon stick

1 chicken stock cube
1 tin coconut milk
1 tbsp flour

Season the chicken thighs all over with salt.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large, heavy bottomed frying pan and brown the chicken thighs well, about 3 - 5 minutes each side.
Remove the thighs and set aside. Turn the heat down to medium.
Brown the onions, garlic, chillies and ginger until translucent but not brown.
Add the ground coriander and the tomato and cook until 'sticky'. Sticky was her choice of word and I wasn't really sure what it meant but I kept cooking the tomato-onion mixture and kept stirring it and eventually it became sticky and caramelised. Sticky was definitely the right adjective to use.
Return the chicken thighs to the pan.
Add the saffron water, bay leaves, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick and stir to combine everything.
Add the stock cube and coconut milk and cook, uncovered for about 20 - 25 minutes until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
About five minutes from the end of the cooking time, remove about a ladleful of the sauce and place in a bowl.
Whisk in the flour to the sauce then return the mixture to the pan and mix. If you don't mind thinner sauces, this step is unnecessary.

If I cooked this again, I would hold off adding the coconut milk at the same time as the chicken and simmer the chicken in just stock for about 10 minutes then add the coconut milk to avoid the coconut milk splitting. Also I regret to say that I ever so slightly overcooked the chicken and forgot to scatter fresh coriander over the top. Sorry, Maria! I served it with jasmine rice and a very boring, undressed salad. That was not a patch on the asparagus, broccoli, cabbage and pepper glory that I ate it with the first time. 

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Review - Sheba

Who does she think she is? The queen of bloody Sheba?! I would be making a similarly bad joke about Aladdin as I'd actually done some research on which places on Brick Lane actually do good food as opposed to decidedly average food which still tasted alright because curry is as hard to do badly as it is to do well. Inevitably, before we got to Aladin, a peddler stopped us and offered us £12 for starter, main, rice, a free drink and 25% off at the off licence and that just seemed too resistible to turn down. Once we got inside, we saw that the £12.50 set menu meant that we were really only getting a 50p discount and a free drink. Still, free drinks are hard to come by in this part of the world. The exception being if you have a sugar daddy, of course. I was informed of all the economics of sugar daddy daddy relationships by someone much too homely to find one themselves on NYE. I, the sugar daddy repeller, am not yet in a position to deny free drinks. And so we say down to our Cobra beers with our discounted wines and chose onion bhajis, chicken tikka, vegetable organ josh, lamb madras and lamb bhuna.
The bhajis were alright but a little bitter and too heavy. Still enjoyable in that way most fried food is though, especially with the yoghurt sauce to cut through it. The madras was average in that edible enough way so characteristic of Brick Lane and had a sprinkle too much salt in it. The bhuna was uncharacteristically delicious. Sweet, salt and finely balanced, this was meaty, spicy delightfulness. The sauce had been cooked until it was sticky and deep and made you want to scrape that karahi with the last few pieces of naan. The queen of Sheba would go back for this.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Review - Leong's Legends

Having completed(ish) writing three 3000 word essays about Serious Things, I returned to London. Whenever I have serious academic work to do, I go back to Birmingham so I don't have to think about those pesky little things like feeding myself and buying milk. Also, there's literally nothing fun to do there at all. That's enough Birmingham bashing for one blog post. When I got back to Bethnal Green, I was met by an expatriated, tax-dodging explorer. He had with him a Persian rug and one of those backpacks that you can clip around your front. He looked lost and like the tube had confused him so I offered him a home for a few nights. We decided to go for dinner in the evening. His islandish cravings led him to lobster so I suggested we try the £20 affair of Burger and Lobster. Unfortunately, I couldn't get through so I was unable to book a table. Nevertheless, the explorer shed his backpack and met me in Soho. We were informed that the wait was two and a half hours. We decided to move on to a place we'd tried to visit before. Then, we'd been deterred by a fifteen minute queue. When compared to a queue ten times as long, that didn't sound so bad. We settled in and watched a chef do an inventory of the freezer we were perched next to. It was full of prawn toast but no dead bodies. Reassuring. We slowly snaked up the stairs and were sat in precisely fifteen minutes. That had given us ample time to decide upon what delicacies to try. Their house soup dumplings, aromatic chilli lamb, Sichuan style noodles with pork, sticky rice with shrimp and scallop.

First came the lamb and sticky rice. The rice was presented in a small barrel that it had been cooked in. It sure was sticky! The little serving teaspoon kept getting stuck like it would on maple syrup cement. The barrel had really intensified the flavours but the seafood was a touch untempered, a kick of heat or kiss of sweetness would've done it wonders. The lamb was perfect. Soft yet still a little chewy, surrounded by fiery red chillies and a mellow yet highly spiced sauce. The fresh, vibrant mangetout and red pepper were the finishing touch that set it apart. The noodles and dumplings were almost as delightful. The noodles were well textured and topped with a sort of Sichuan bolognese, meaty and rich. The cucumbers topping it added freshness just as the mangetout did to the lamb. The dumplings, a rogue dim sum choice didn't really go with everything else but who cares when they're this good? A firm bite into the exterior led to a burst of the most intricately spiced soup. They were amazing. A thoroughly enjoyable meals for £30 with drinks. The explorer enjoyed it too.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Review - Suey Hong

I've been rather quiet recently. I can explain it! It's a very boring explanation. I've been at home to write essays on some super-cheery topics ('what is death?') because home has no chores. While shopping for food and cooking can be quite pleasing, they're still chores and so I haven't had to do those either. As nice as it is to not have to consider feeding yourself because parents with 25 years of cooking experience are doing the considering on your behalf, it means three hasn't been much to blog about. And my parents don't really do restaurants. Well, sometimes I've made them but that's usually been when they've come to visit me in Oxford and they feel nice seeing me well fed. But when I'm at home I'm constantly well fed with delicious ricey goodness so that reason isn't very applicable. They just don't really enjoy the eating out experience that much so it would be a bit dick-daughter of me to make them. That was a really circuitous way of me saying I haven't been cooking or eating out so nothing to blog about. I recognise that sometimes my blog isn't very food related at all but I haven't had much non-food related stuff to report either. My life is very predictable and boring to recount. It was before but it's even more so now. I go to class, I tutor, I read The Economist on the tube, I make the occasional job/internship application, I cook, I eat, I go to art galleries, I clean, I see my boyfriend and every two weeks I drink too much, annoy people then apologise about it afterwards. Enjoyable (not the cleaning) but hardly riveting. The last of these activities is what I did last night as is expected of a twenty-something on new year's eve. Before embarking upon embarrassment central, we cracked open some half price cava and ate super-cheap Chinese from around the corner. I went for beef chow mein, my little friend went for chicken chow mein. It was thick and greasy and slurpy and sticky and slippery. Absolutely devoid of nutritional value and not very pretty. However, the beef had been fried in a mixture of sauces to give it a glaze. While it wasn't the most balanced glaze in the world, it tasted pretty good. There were no vegetables in the chow mein either but at least the onions and beansprouts were soft but still had a bit of bite. It had no refinement or finesse but it cost £4.20 for a large and didn't give me food poisoning as I was semi-expecting it to. I think this will become a regular for lazy evenings.