Good morning! It’s time for another guest post from our blog series Authors Unbound! Today I’m excited to welcome Hudson Lin on the blog. Please give her a warm welcome!
Asian Food the World Over
If you’ve read any of my books, you’ve probably figured out three things about me: I’m Asian, I’m a foodie, and I love to travel. If you love Asian food and travel as much as I do, read on for a short list of my favorite restaurants in some of my favorite cities in the world.
Rol San in Toronto
I’m from Toronto, so it only makes sense to start at home. Established in 1994, Rol San is an institution in Toronto’s Chinatown, serving dim sum for lunch and dinner, seven days a week. I like to call dim sum the Cantonese version of tapas—the dishes are small and meant to be shared by several people over a drawn out and conversational meal. Dumplings and buns filled with pork, shrimp, and vegetables in dozens of varieties, served in small bamboo steamers, this is the food of my childhood.
Xi’an Famous Foods in New York City
Xi’an is a city in central China that was once part of the Silk Road. Food in this region is spicy—like really spicy. Flat wide noodles in fragrant soup, topped with lamb or beef, this stuff is the epitome of comfort food for me. Xi’an Famous Foods started out as a food court stand in the outskirts of New York and was eventually expanded across the city by the original owner’s son. With hip hop music flowing unexpectedly from restaurant sound systems, this chain has even attracted the likes of Anthony Bourdain.
Lanzhou Lamian Noodle Bar in London
Lanzhou is another city in central China known for their hand-pulled noodles. Chefs take a ball of dough and stretch it out again and again until they get handfuls of long, thin noodles. As they work the dough, the chefs slam them against the counter to get just the right consistency and chewiness. The noodles are served in a broth-y soup with meat and vegetables—perfect for a cold rainy day. The Noodle Bar in London can be cramped with a line of people out the door, but I gladly wait for a bowl of noodle soup whenever I’m in town.
Song Fa Bak Kut Teh in Singapore
Bak Kut Teh translates as “meat bone tea,” but as far as I know, there is no tea involved in this dish. Rather, pork ribs are served in little bowls of peppery and garlicky soup. Served with rice and plenty of vegetable side dishes, this is the first thing I eat when I visit Singapore. I’ve even dreamed about it, that’s how much I love this dish. Song Fa started as a push-cart stall in the 1960s and has since evolved into a chain of restaurants all around Asia. They even have packages of soup base for diners to recreate their dishes at home!
Chong Qin Xi Chuen Restaurant in Hong Kong
Last but certainly not the least, Chong Qin is yet another central Chinese city in Sichuan province, known for its numbingly spicy food. This restaurant in the Soho neighborhood of Hong Kong has taken the signature Sichuan peppers and applied them to fried chicken. The result is juicy boneless chicken thighs covered in crisp spicy batter that is making my mouth water even as I write this. While this is a little more Asian fusion than the recommendations I’ve made above, it is definitely just as good.
Are you hungry now? I know I am! If you have suggestions for great Asian foods in a city near (or not so near) you, I’m open to recommendations. You can find me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook at @hudsonlinwrites, posting about—you guessed it—writing, food, and travel.
Hudson Lin was raised by conservative immigrant parents and grew up straddling two cultures with ofttimes conflicting perspectives on life. Instead of conforming to either, she has sought to find a third way that brings together the positive elements of both.
Having spent much of her life on the outside looking in, Lin likes to write stories about outsiders who fight to carve out their place in society, and overcome everyday challenges to find love and happily ever afters. Her books are diverse romances featuring queer and disabled people of color.
When not engrossed in a story, Lin knits, drinks tea, and works the 9 to 5 in the beautiful city of Toronto, Canada.
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