Chinatown review (Sep 2011)
This is out-of-date! I have been here again since I wrote this review
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Had a little stroll through Chinatown this morning. It's pretty tiny, the Chinese Empire only strecthes to two streets in London -- Gerrard Street and Lisle Street. Gerrard Street is the best one because that's the one with the big Chinese gateways and lanterns strung across the pavement. It was pretty early in the morning so they were still setting out their stalls and emptying all the gear out the lorries. Pavements were festooned with bags of rubbishs and wooden crates stacked high with rice and vegetables. The smell of sweet trash all over the place.
I reckon about 75% of the shops are restaurants, and the rest are either Chinese supermarkets and herbal remedy shops or travel agents offering one-way tickets back to Beijing. They've got a few fast-food joints but not like McDonalds. The Chinese version of Kentucky Fried Chicken has got the chickens hanging in the window, for all to see, all cooked and browned and suspended from the ceiling. The supermarkets don't look like Sainsburys either. The ones I went into just had wooden pallets on the floor piled high with rice sacks as big as compost bags, and huge army-sized drums of cooking oil. I was going to buy some sweets but all the prices were in Chinese.
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I’ve been here more than once…