Explore Chinese cuisine in Camberwell
Article posted: August 21, 2020
When it comes to Chinese cuisine, outsiders often see it as a single culinary style, however there are numerous cooking traditions that reflect the country’s diversity.
While there are common flavours such as spring onions, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, bean paste, and sesame oil, the culinary traditions of China use these ingredients in distinctly different ways.
Crispy spring rolls, juicy dumplings, saucy noodles, and other flavoursome stir-fry dishes are crowd favourites, but there is much more to Chinese cuisine.
In Chinese cooking, there are said to be eight culinary traditions including Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Hunan styles, however the four major cuisines are Cantonese, Shandong, Huaiyang, and Sichuan, outlined below.
Cantonese cooking is made up of mild, fresh, and sweet flavours such as ginger, coriander, hoisin sauce, aniseed, and more.
Cantonese cuisine, also known as Yue, began in the Guangdong province, particularly in the provincial capital of Guangzhou, and nearby regions such as Hong Kong and Macau.
This cuisine favours steaming and stir-frying cooking styles and draws on almost all types of meats including chicken feet, offal, and snails.
Traditional Cantonese dishes include choy sum in oyster sauce, congee with lean pork and century egg, and stewed beef brisket.
With the northern coastline on its doorstep, the cooking traditions of the Shandong province have been heavily influenced by seafood.
Shandong cuisine, also known as Lu cuisine, often focuses on enhancing the original flavour of the ingredients and uses a wide selection of cooking methods including quick frying, stewing, and roasting.
Popular Shandong dishes include braised sea cucumber with scallion, braised prawns, and sweet and sour carp.
This cuisine is split into two regional cooking styles: Jinan style hails from the province capital, Jinan, and its surrounding areas, while Jiaodong style reflects the culinary traditions from the eastern parts of Shandong.
Huaiyang cuisine is well-known for its presentation, making these dishes as visually appealing as they are delicious.
One of the cuisine’s most well-known offerings is the sweet and sour mandarin fish that is styled in the shape of a squirrel.
While Huaiyang style is considered one of the major cooking traditions in China, the cuisine is a subgroup of Jiangsu cuisine in the east.
If you want to try Huaiyang cuisine, why not sample some braised meatballs, Yangzhou fried rice, or dazhu gansi, which is braised shredded chicken with ham and dried tofu.
Known for its love of heat and spice, Sichuan cuisine is a bold cooking style that has embraced chilli ever since it was brought to China about 300 years ago.
The Sichuan cooking tradition uses the well-known Sichuan peppercorn, in addition to other spices like chilli, bay leaf, star anise, sage, cinnamon, and dried ginger.
Sichuan favourites include Sichuan hot pot, kung pao chicken, hot and sour noodles, mapo doufu, and ‘ants climbing up a tree’, which is a spicy noodle dish.
This cooking style is so important that UNESCO recognised the capital of the Sichuan province, Chengdu, as a city of gastronomy in 2011.
Find Chinese cuisine in Camberwell
2/480 Riversdale Road, Camberwell, 3124
(03) 9042 5503
2 Burke Avenue, Camberwell, 3124
(03) 9813 1333
732 Burke Road, Camberwell, 3124
(03) 9882 7888
1 Evans Place, Camberwell, 3124
(03) 9882 2122
911-913 Burke Road, Camberwell, 3124
(03) 9882 9088
721 Burke Road, Camberwell, 3124
(03) 9882 8696