It's not just American Jews who can have kosher Chinese on Christmas Day. British Jews are also getting in on the act, Kaifeng dishing up a terrific Chinese experience.
For years, our US cousins have always looked forward to Christmas Day as a day unofficially adopted for eating Chinese food. While no-one is certain where this tradition came from, it's here, and both the frum and the not-so-frum will indulge in a spot of Chinese.
This year, Christmas Day coincided with the first night of Chanukah, so it only seems appropriate that the 'Chan' in Chanukah should be Chinese. And in honour of this, we decided to feast on kosher Chinese from the north-west London Kaifeng.
This Hendon establishment is known throughout the UK Jewish world as being one of the premier kosher restaurants in London, and delivers a sumptuous experience bar none. Takeaway was the most apt, as we could then indulge in that other great British institution, the Queen's Christmas speech, while finishing off some crispy duck, spare ribs and sweet and sour chicken.
So how did the kosher Chinese Christmas Day experience go? We ordered an eclectic range of food, with starters including spare ribs (lamb), and chicken sesame toast. Middle course was crispy duck with plum sauce and pancakes, and mains were sweet and sour chicken (schnitzel style chicken with sauce to pour over), beef with straw mushrooms, beef with mango and deep fried shredded beef. Sides were braised mixed vegetables and mixed vegetable noodles.
Enough to feed nine people, our order, with 10 per cent cash discount for takeaway, came in at £127. Superb value for some equally superb food, from a very classy place. When you do it like this, there's no point waiting for each course. Simply put it all on the table and tuck in. Who said spare ribs should only be for starters?
The only downside was that the duck was not shredded in advance which meant we had to cut it up ourselves – nor were any chopsticks provided, as these cost extra. (complimentary chopsticks would have been nice). But despite these two issues, the quality of the food overcame the problems,and shows once again why Kaifeng delivers not just high quality food but real value for money.
For more information: www.kaifeng.co.uk