“There is no place like home.”
There is nothing more fulfilling than to be able to get a taste of home through its cuisines.
This was the first thought I had when I visited Three Uncles 三叔.
Nestled in Holloway’s The Upper Place market, Three Uncles- founded by, literally, three uncles: Uncle Lim, Uncle Sidney, and Uncle Mo- serves authentic Cantonese cuisine and amongst it is most notably its roast meat (燒味/‘siu mei’) dishes. Aside from the neon sign that pays homage to the visual identity of old Hong Kong, the classic, nostalgic visual of the roast ducks/pork/barbecued pork/steamed chicken hanging by the window is a sure sight to behold. There was also a display of the various herbs and spices used to marinate the roast meats (fun fact: the roast duck uses 17 different herbs and spices!)
The menu also includes the traditional lo mein (撈麵/literal translation: ‘stirred noodles’) and dim sum (點心) dishes. One of the Easter eggs I’ve noticed in their traditional siu mai (燒賣) dumpling was that they were using fresh roe rather than having steamed it together with the rest of the dumpling - that definitely gave a nice fresh twist to an old favourite!
One of the BEST dim sum dishes I had was the char siu bao (叉燒包/Barbecued pork bun)! Oh my GOSH, I haven’t had such a good one for a long time - the bread was so fluffy and chewy, filled with a sublime and well-balanced (in both consistency and taste) barbecued pork filling inside. For a moment, I was back in my childhood; in good, old Hong Kong.
I really enjoyed all the roast meats - the siu yuk (‘燒肉’/roasted pork belly) had the perfect crunch to its skin and well-balanced saltiness of its meat; the char siu (叉燒/barbecued pork) had its signature smokey taste; and the roast duck had the spot-on consistency of crunchy skin and soft, rich meat.
To wrap up the afternoon, we had a taste of the Hainanese chicken rice. What I liked most about this dish was the rice being done perfectly- it had that classic fragrance without being too oily; the perfect balance to go with the moist chicken and the scallion ginger sauce!
Yes, indeed, there are authentic shop lots serving Chinese food in China town, but what I found to be part of Three Uncles’ charm is that it is located within a community of different foods and cultures- authenticity catered to a mixed-culture region; bringing the true Cantonese taste to the table.
In addition to that charm, the atmosphere in the food market itself definitely is a complementary nod to the history of the three uncles’ friendship and the establishment of this food stall- gathering around and sharing moments over good food with good company.
Keep an eye out for the neon sign as Three Uncles will be opening at Liverpool Street in August!
In the meantime, you can show them some love on their Instagram: @three.uncles
Thank you for reading.
Name one of your favourite Cantonese/Chinese dishes in the comments area down below!
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