Chinese Takeaway – Round 1: Yipin China

Spork London heads out on its Chinese Food Oddity – read on “G.N.”

YIPIN CHINA– is supposed to be all about Hunan Cuisine. After doing some rough research these are some of the flavour profiles that we can look forward to: hot and sour, salty, smoky, fresh, not sweet.

And so it begins…..We are dashing into the unknown here, ordering some pumpkin cakes as a snack, the waitress didn’t smirk when she told us they were a dessert. Needless to say the goofballs(us) upped their game and ordered fiercely and maybe out of kindness,  and with encouragement the waitress let us know that we were hitting all her top dish buttons whilst ordering. Feeling full of ourselves and with a clink of our Tsingtao, this night’s eating looked promising.

You order things with cool sounding names and from eyegasmic  photos. You’re blind to any other way of ordering, because tastes won’t translate into menu descriptions. It’s lucky dip and this place is a hit. Five Spice smoked fish – black on the outside. Real five spice with peppers necessitating slight numbness to the mouth. Smacked Cucumbers Hunan Style- what images conjure up in your mind? Salted and served with chiles, so maybe smacked with heat. I’m not sure, but even with the chile, the dish serves as a palate cleanser. With all the dishes coming highly seasoned or bold in flavour this wet, cool respite prepares you for the next chop-stick take-down.

Preserved duck egg with roasted peppers- the garish green yolk wobbled gently as it rested on translucent slices of egg. The roasted peppers took me to Spain but the egg fermented the idea that this was all Chinese. Stewed pork belly with preserved vegetables- A hill of a dish, bands of the salty sliced pork belly came apart as you poked at the mulch looking vegetables under-neath, a barley flavour permeated the brown mound of pig greased compost.

Steamed spare ribs with glutinous rice brought out in a steamer. Before you sits a  circle of rice rectangles, and inside each of these of sticky sticky rice rectangles was a spare rib surprise. Engaging food, food that you have to pick at, work at and even eat. The pleasure is in the process. The performance of eating. Tactile pleasures, texture running a close second to taste. A place that does not take its seasoning lightly.

A successful first outing. The dishes breathed new life into years of eating the same old things at Chinese restaurants here and abroad. It ignited a new flame, and has thrown up more light for us to see what regional Chinese cuisine has to offer. And to top it all off this place does takeout. If your in the Islington area you are in luck sunshine.

Yipin China
70-72 Liverpool Road, London N1 0QD
Tel: 0207 354 3388

Random Disclaimer
We don’t know nothing or at least next to nothing about true Chinese food. We are fixing to learn a little bit more on our adventure and at the same time find some good spots for all of you out there! If you want to drop the info bomb on us please do so –
Read this to hear how it all started ‘The Legend Begins


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Categories: Chinese Takeaway, London


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