A certain someone often asks me if I would ever start up my own food venture. The man poses a valid question; I spend so much of my time consuming food and consumed in the food industry that it would seem logical to have a career in something I truly love. Sometimes, at my most cynical, I think it’s probably a luxury. But other times, like when I’m perched up at the bar in the newly opened Yuu Kitchen, I think, why the hell not?
There are a steady stream of diners coming through the front door, all greeted by enthusiastic staff and even more exuberant art work plastered across the walls. The manga-style characters are what we’d call an acquired taste, but we like the uniqueness of it. Looking around, I spot many tell-tale signs of satisfaction; lots of nodding and smiling, lots of chatter, lots of dishes flying out of the kitchen. I would be chuffed to call a restaurant like this, my own.
“Oh sure, we’ll definitely be getting a barbeque!”
That’s what we said at the start of last summer when quizzed endlessly about it by our charred-meat deprived friends. Why? Because as all stereotypes have some truth to them, every great Kiwi summer requires a great Kiwi barbie, no matter where you are. It might also have something to do with that fact that we have a decent sized outdoor area all to ourselves, complete with rickety picnic table and chairs. It’s no grassy New Zealand backyard, but it’s not bad for London.
So a barbeque made sense; they’re not that expensive anyway and of course we’d have people round all the time to make the most of it. But that’s not how it works in London is it? Not if the weather gods have anything to do with it. When the sun is shining and you decide to have an impromptu barbeque, everyone’s already busy, but when you’re a bit more organised and plan something in advance so people can actually come… the sunshine doesn’t come to the party.
I can confidently say that most of the omnivores I know start salivating at the mere mention of pork belly, and grin ear to ear whilst licking their lips when crispy crackling comes into view. I won’t insult your intelligence by denying that I am one of those omnivores, and a certain someone? Well I’m pretty sure he loves pork more than I do because he could happily eat ham sandwiches for lunch everyday. If that’s not love…
But let’s get back to the belly- I was day dreaming about that time we had those infamous Momofuku pork buns and decided to make those dreams a reality. Unfortunately Skyscanner was not finding me any affordable flights to NYC, so feeling adventurous I thought the next best thing would be to just recreate them myself. They look simple enough, right?