Welcome! I am Lillian Luk, a Shanghai native living in Marylebone. Growing up in Shanghai with my grandmother, a consummate cook and a culinary fountain of wisdom in her community, I ate like a princess even though she only had peasant ingredients to work with. She was a strict vegan but cooked non-vegan dished for the family without actually tasting them for seasoning. Yet somehow, she always managed to get the taste perfectly right. Her younger brother was a professional chef at one of the most venerable Shanghai restaurants, Lao Fan Dian (Old Restaurant), and yet his kids preferred my grandmother’s cooking to his.
Characterised by fine knife work and a generous use of soy sauce, rice wine and dark vinegar, in taste authentic Shanghai cuisine is more similar to cooked Japanese food than it is to the Cantonese cooking which tends to dominate Chinese food in London.
While London has seen a proliferation of regional Chinese cuisines in recent years, when it comes to savouring Shanghai’s more niche delights, Marylebone and indeed London in general is pretty poorly served. It is for this reason that I have decided to start my own: offering a takeout menu, catering, cooking lessons, and pop-up dinners in Marylebone.