Visit Chinatown and eat well
Restaurateurs behind some of Chinatown’s best restaurants have detailed the downturn in business and upturn in racist abuse and assumptions occasioned by the coronavirus outbreak. Jinli general manager Martin Ma told the BBC that “it’s a hard time,” estimating that the Newport Place site lost £15,000 over last weekend thanks to cancelled bookings and a massive drop in walk-ins; another restaurant manager anonymously said that “people are scared, they are staying away.”
This “fear” — ungrounded in science, debunked by public health bodies’ advice on coronavirus, and linked to a spread of misinformation and exaggeration about the source of the outbreak at a Wuhan wet market, is summarised by Eater’s Jenny Zhang as a manifestation of racist prejudices that “frame Chinese people as uncivilized, barbaric “others” who bring with them dangerous, contagious diseases and an appetite for dogs, cats, and other animals outside the norms of Occidental diets.” A global health emergency is cause for some alarm, sure, but not such that quickly mutates into racist assumptions and places and people. There is no reason whatsoever to avoid London’s Chinatown: go, support the restaurants, and eat well. [BBC]
And in other news...
- Brexit day occasioned a lot of mournful eating of fancy tinned fish on London’s restaurant scene.
- The Melbourne restaurant that has Heston Blumenthal’s name on it, but is not owned by Heston Blumenthal, stole at least £2.3 million from staff in unpaid wages over four years.
- Looking for a Valentine’s Day dinner in London without the schtick?
- Next year’s Michelin-starred restaurants will be rated for “sustainability” by the Michelin Guide, the only restaurant guide inextricably linked to car manufacture. [Big Hospitality]
- Big-boss restaurant group D&D will open a “flying saucer” restaurant in Stratford. It’s not had a good time recently, with ventures into New York City slammed by the critics. [Evening Standard]
- Good tweet:
Eat the crust on your sandwich what are you a fucking child— HEAVY IS THE HEAD (@stormzy) February 3, 2020