‘A Visit to China’ topic could not possibly be complete without sampling the cuisine. Year 1 were invited to the Chingford Chinese Restaurant on Station Road for a typical ‘Chinese Experience’ by the friendly owner, Ken, a former pupil of Normanhurst School. We were all very keen to try the rice, as we had learned in class how this staple food is grown in paddy fields and likes wet, warm weather. We also found out that rice is a highly productive crop and the Chinese climate provides the perfect conditions to produce large amounts to help feed 1.3 billion people.
Ten hungry children and two teachers arrived at the restaurant and were struck by how colourful and decorative it was. We loved all the red lanterns and Happy Chinese New Year banners and decorations. We were given the two large round tables which were already groaning with beautiful bamboo baskets, Chinese bowls and chop sticks and everything else needed for a feast. We had barely taken all this in when the food started to appear. We enjoyed crispy prawn crackers, platters of chow mein (noodles with beansprouts), plain boiled rice, Chinese vegetables, vegetable spring rolls (a popular favourite) and fried seaweed. To finish we sampled lychees and ice cream. Our friendly and knowledgeable waiters explained all the dishes to us and kept replenishing our bowls. All the children sampled food that they had not tried before. Enis and Zakariya tried everything and both enjoyed the lychee, whereas for the others it was not a favourite. Everyone developed their proficiency at using chopsticks.
This is what some of the pupils said about our ‘Chinese Experience’:
Kelly: ‘Mrs Taylor, I thought it was just going to be a small food tasting!’
Mrs Taylor: ‘I thought so too, I wasn’t expecting a Chinese banquet!’
Enis: ‘Chinese tea is the best drink I’ve ever had.’
Caitlin: ‘I tried the seaweed but I didn’t like it. The spring rolls were yummy but the noodles were the best because they were delicious.’
Noah-Hussain: ‘I liked the spring rolls because they were the best.’
Kelly: ‘I liked the white rice because it was different to the English white rice. Chinese food is better than English food!’
Emran: ‘I liked the noodles because they were soft. I liked the seaweed because it was crunchy.’
Irina: ‘I like the prawn crackers the most because they were crispy’.
James: ‘I tried the spring rolls but it wasn’t my favourite. My favourite thing was the noodles because they were yummy. The Chinese noodles are better than other noodles.’
Zakariya: ‘I liked the noodles the most. I didn’t like the seaweed and the bamboo shoot. The Chinese restaurant has a very good cook.’
Emily: ‘I like prawn crackers the most and I’ve never had a fortune cookie before.’
Izah: ‘I liked the ice cream the most because it was sweet and nice and the spring rolls because they were yummy.’
Everyone enjoyed reading the message hidden in their fortune cookie and eating the chocolate and lolly before it was time to head back to school. All the children said they couldn’t wait to come back. We all left feeling very full and decided this was a pleasant way to celebrate Chinese new Year. Our thanks go to the kind and helpful waiters who made this ‘Chinese Experience’ one we will always remember.