York is a small city but that doesn’t mean you cannot get your favourite Asian essentials! Here are some of my favourite places to get Asian food and shopping:
Hong Kong Restaurant
To all the Hong Kong students out there, Upper River Restaurant (上水站) is the one that is not to be missed! Upper River Restaurant is a ‘Cha Chaan Teng’ (茶餐廳) and for those who do not know the term, it basically refers to the type of Hong Kong restaurant that serves international fusion dishes. Back in the days when the place was still a British colony, Cha chaan teng was an affordable alternative to the costly European restaurants. It is indeed very unique to Hong Kong and a very significant part of the culture!
The Hong Kong-style restaurant serves a range of authentic Hong Kong cuisines, including Hong Kong-style roast meat (燒味) such as Cantonese barbecued pork (叉燒) and Cantonese Roast Pork Belly (燒腩仔); one-dish rice (碟頭飯), for instance, stir fry beef with flat rice noodles (乾炒牛河) and Hong Kong-style curry beef brisket with rice (咖喱牛腩飯) which is my all-time favourite. Examples of beverages include Hong Kong-style milk tea and lemon iced tea etc. And all of these are only a small part of what the restaurant offers! As a Hong Konger myself, this place has surely cured my homesickness!
Apart from my home dishes, Japanese cuisines have always been irresistible to me. My favourite Japanese restaurants in York have to be Shiitakeya and Ippuku Teahouse.
Founded by a Hong Kong couple, Shiitakeya is located on the quiet street of Walmgate where many other small-scale shops are located and await you to explore. Despite being small, the restaurant offers various mouthwatering Japanese dishes. I ordered Unagi Don, which is a rice bowl topped with grilled eel in a mild sweet sauce a few days ago when I hang out with my friends. The wooden furniture and bar tables with the yellow lighting of the shop also remind me of some of the Japanese pubs that I went to while I was travelling in Japan.
One of the things that makes Ippuku Teahouse stand out has to be its cosy and relaxing atmosphere and I personally love the atmosphere very much. The Japanese cafe does not only serves some common Japanese dishes like Chicken Teriyaki Don and GyuDon, which is a rice bowl topped with beef and onion simmered in a Japanese-style sweet sauce, the place also serves light snacks, cakes and coffee, making it a perfect place to spend time and chit chat with your friends and family.
Zaap Thai and Bamboo Thai are two of the Thai restaurants you can find in York. Both places offer a range of Thai dishes, including my all-time favourites chicken pad Thai and Massaman curry with rice. Don’t forget to also try their skewers and Thai iced milk tea! Both restaurants have special designs to add a little bit of a Thai vibe while you are enjoying their food.
When it comes to Asian Shopping, Red Chilli Supermarket is the one that I go to the most. Although my Hong Kong friends always call it a Chinese supermarket, it actually sells all sorts of different oriental groceries and thus it’s more like an oriental supermarket.
Here you can get Japanese style sauces like mirin to cook your homemade Katsudon, or Korean Kimchi to make your Kimchi fried rice! You can also get Asian instant noodles for times when you are too lazy to cook and wash, or frozen meatballs when you are fascinating a Hong Kong-style hot pot!
There’s still a lot to be explored! Remember not to limit yourself to my above recommendations!
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