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Chefs know best: where Tong Chee Hwee gets the best low-cost Asian grub in London

Posted at 5:00 pm, March 3, 2015 in Food & Drink

Tong Chee Hwee © Louise Haywood-Schiefer
© Louise Haywood-Schiefer

Tong Chee Hwee, Head chef at Hakkasan, Yauatcha and HKK

Where are the best noodles in town?

Koya udon bar [49 Frith Street] in Soho. I go there about once a month and tend to get udon noodles with beef [£11.80] or duck [£13.10]. There’s wooden furniture, which I prefer, and it’s peaceful. The meat isn’t over done, so it has a nice texture. The noodles are handmade in the basement, so they’re fresh and you can really taste them.’

Where can you pick up good Asian food in London?

‘There’s a lot at Spitalfields Market: Japanese, Chinese, Thai. It’s near the restaurant [HKK], so I’ll often pick up some Thai fried rice which is about £6 or £7 for a very big portion.’

Anywhere in Chinatown that you’d recommend?

Young Cheng does a good roast duck or crispy pork with rice [£5.50], and you usually get free soup and tea with it.’

You were one of the first chefs to bring dim sum to the masses. Why did you decide to do that?

‘In 2001, I came to London and went to Chinatown to try the dim sum; it was very traditional and there wasn’t much choice. People want more out of their food, so I opened Hakkasan to give people more variation with their dim sum. Yauatcha is my cheaper restaurant – I wanted everyone to learn about Chinese culture and try dim sum.’

Find more great cheap eats in London.

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