Edinburgh Eats · Food and Drink

Mixing Traditional and… Not-so-Traditional

As I mentioned in my last post, Mr OneBigStressball and I moved to a new flat a couple of weeks ago, and we have been taking our time exploring the surrounding eateries. When we lived in our old flat, I was always reluctant to walk too far to find a good restaurant (I get really tired after a meal, okay?) so we had a few favourites that we went to over and over again. Though Mia Italian restaurant and Los Amigos steak house both served us well, it’s high time we tried other things, and lockdown restrictions easing somewhat is allowing us to try and support businesses that are starting to open up again.

So, I hear you ask, what have we tried recently that has been a hit in our household?

Just around the corner on a busier street than ours is a Chinese restaurant called Street of Beijing which has turned out to be an absolute gem of a place.

It successfully mixes the traditional Chinese foods such as dumplings and Chinese pancakes which Westerners may not be as accustomed to but could be persuaded to try, and not-so-traditional but staple meals one would normally find in a Chinese restaurant in Britain – chicken curry, sweet and sour chicken etc.

I’m not in any way bashing meals that have been changed to suit the tastes of Westerners, but it was a lovely to look at a menu and see things like fried breadsticks and fresh congee (Chinese porridge).

We’ve sat in the restaurant a few times and have absolutely loved the atmosphere, but since we have moved to this new flat, we have ordered takeaway from them at least once a week, and have been absolutely blown away by the service. The manager, Sing, loves chatting and always has time for us, even when he’s swamped with orders.

This past weekend we had a friend come round for a socially distanced dinner, and the food was top notch once again… I barely remembered to take photos I was so hungry and keen to get started!

We ordered:

1/2 Peking Duck
Pork and Preserved Egg Chinese Porridge
Crispy Shredded Beef with Honey Chilli Sauce
Fried Rice
Salt and Pepper Chicken
(with the order we also got a portion of Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings on the house)

The Peking duck was incredibly juicy and tender, and was so easy to shred by ourselves: the meat practically slid off the bone. There were plenty (almost too many) pancakes, and the spring onions and cucumber were chopped to the perfect size. Though for me the chilli beef was a bit too chewy (I’m a wuss with my teeth), it went down really well with Mr OneBigStressball and our friend, and the massive portion was more than enough for us all to share and pick at after we had devoured the duck. The Salt and Pepper Chicken is something that we always order- you just can’t beat it – and was flavourful and tender as per usual. Then the congee, which is something that I have never before been able to find in a mainstream Chinese restaurant… but then again I’ve probably just never looked hard enough to be fair. It’s the quintessential childhood food that always makes me feel super nostalgic, and I have fond memories of it – congee, made from rice, is very bland on it’s own, so whenever we were sick as children, my mum would make it for us… it’s sort of the Chinese version of having dry toast when you have an icky belly! When you aren’t sick though, you can top it off with pretty much anything savoury, and it makes for a delicious, filling meal. I order it every time we have Chinese food now, and though I would like it to come in larger sizes, I absolutely love it and devour it as soon as it arrives.

For people who are in a rush and/or like to stick to more traditional-but-non-traditional meals, Street of Beijing also offer meal boxes made up of things like Chicken Curry and Fried Rice, which also come in huge portions – my brother loves having this and it’s a large enough portion to satisfy even his massive appetite. And for people who would like to start trying new things, there are things like Chinese-style burgers, and dumplings to satisfy even the least adventurous eaters out there.

Also, my mum even gives this place a thumbs up, and she’s really hard to please when it comes to trying out new Chinese restaurants!

So, if you’re in Edinburgh and near the Tollcross area, hit them up. You’ll be greeted by the happiest manager at the front dumpling/pancake making station, and the price of the food certainly won’t hurt your bank account!

PS I know that my food photography skills need work, please bear with me!

C x

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