Chinatown London is celebrating National Dumpling Day this year with a special Dumpling Day Giveaway on Wednesday 26th September.
For those of you who love these delicious little doughy parcels, this is a date to mark down in your calendar. Whether you like your dumplings soft or crispy, sour or spicy, meaty, soupy, gluten-free or vegan, you will find a dumpling to suit your palate in Chinatown London.
Seven restaurants are going to be giving away their dumplings on the streets of Chinatown this year to celebrate this special day. They will be preparing and serving a total of 1800 tasty parcels from midday on 26th September until they run out. So, if you are in the neighbourhood why not pop by and try one or two and take a culinary tour of East Asia. Don’t leave it too late in the day though, as you may be disappointed, as they are sure to disappear fast.
So what can you expect to sample? Well you will find Deep-fried Malaysian Dumplings from Rasa Sayang, Premium Wagyu Beef Mandu from Korean BBQ joint Olle, Cantonese Chicken Sui Mai from Haozhan, Grilled Pork Jiaozi at New China, Sichuan inspired Spicy Chicken Dumplings at Plum Valley, Mushroom and Jicama Gyoza at Ichibuns, Grilled Chicken Dumplings with fresh Vietnamese herbs, pickle and chef’s homemade sauce at Viet Food.
The reason 1800 dumplings are going to be offered to the public, is that according to legend, a gentleman named Zhang Zhongjian actually invented the Chinese stuffed dumpling around 1800 years ago during the Han Dynasty. One winter, on returning to his ancestral village, Zhang noticed that many people were suffering from frostbite and decided to cook up some mutton, chili and healing herbs, wrapping them in scraps of dough. Because the frostbite was worse around the ears, Zhang folded his dumplings to look like ears, boiling them and then giving them out to his poor afflicted neighbours.
For your chance to win a dumpling feast in Chinatown London, all you need to do is snap some photos of your dumplings from Chinatown and post them on Instagram, making sure you tag in @chinatownlondon #1800YearsOfDumplings.
The participating restaurants are Ichibuns and Viet Food in Wardour Street; Rasa Sayang and Olle in Macclesfield Street and Plum Valley, Haozhan and New China in Gerrard Street.
Simon Burrell is Editor-in-Chief of Our Man On The Ground Travel and Lifestyle Magazine, a member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.
Photographs by Nina Sarkhel