CHINESE RESTAURANTS AND SPICE SHOPS – GENEVA
by Chené Koscielny and Alexandra Belz
Still in the festive mood after the holidays? If you are disappointed the celebrations are over and looking for another reason to gather with your friends or family. Don’t worry, here is another excuse to let the celebrations continue. Chinese New Year takes place January 25 till 8 February. Even if you’re not Chinese, this is a great excuse to gather a group of friends around a table for a meal with a difference.
YEAR OF THE RAT
This year, the biggest festive event of the Chinese calendar begins on the 25 of January and continues for the following 15 days. It ushers in the Year of the RAT. The Rat is the first in a 12- year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. Although most people consider the rat not adorable it has characteristics of an animal with spirit, wit, alertness, delicacy, flexibility and vitality. Therefore, in Chinese culture rats represent working diligently and thriftiness. In the Chinese culture if you are born in the year of the Rat you are considered to be wealthy and prosperous.
CHINESE RESTAURANTS IN GENEVA
Geneva has some great Chinese restaurants where you could celebrate in style – here are a few recommended by our Chinese friends.
This is a family friendly, casual and cozy place serving traditional and authentic Chinese food Sichuan style. As a starter, try the steamed hot dumplings Siu-Mai or with shrimps at CHF12 for four pieces or the home-made shredded smoked chicken at CHF38 for a main course.
They also serve the full menu of Peking duck at CHF128, which is normally for a minimum of 2 persons (if not three) and includes roasted duck skin, duck soup, fired duck in black bean sauce, shredded duck sautéed with soda sprouts and 2 portions of fried rice.
NOTE: The restaurant’s entrance near the train station is easily overlooked, so look for the red sign above the entrance and walk one flight of stairs down into the cellar.
Rue des Alpes 22
Another restaurant near the train station is this fabulous place in a simple but very authentic setting and great for a dinner with the family or friends. Overall very affordable for Geneva standards and n summer there are some tables outside.
Specialities include steamed pork and vegetable dumplings or Vietnamese chicken spring rolls at CHF9, and sweet and sour chicken served with rice at CHF17,50.
You can order online for home or office delivery (please check out the website below for more details)
Rue Chaponnière 3
This is the right place for authentic fresh Chinese noodles – whether served in soup or fried, formed as ribbons, or cut by knife, they are delicious and recognised as ‘authentic’ according to our Chinese friends.
In addition, they also other Asian specialities including Taiwanese bubble tea or beef ragout made in Sichuan regional style.
Fried beef, chicken, sliced pork or shrimp noodles – will set you back around CHF18 – so, not bad for Geneva, and around the same price for soup noodles – with all the ingredients you can imagine.
Very affordable and family friendly.
56 Rue de Lausanne
COOKING YOUR OWN CHINESE MEAL
If you fancy cooking your own Chinese meal, there are many Asian spice shops in and around Geneva where you’ll find a great selection of Asian products.
If you do not feel like driving over to France, this is a good, but more expensive option about 10 minute’s walk from the train station. You can find all kinds of Asian spices as well as fresh produce you need to cook your meal including fresh meat and fish.
Rue de Servette 49
Opening hours: Monday- Sunday 09:30- 21:00
OTHER CHINESE SHOPS IN FRANCE
Asia Shop, 86 rue de Genève, 74240 Gaillard, France
Sunday to Saturday, 9am – 7pm; closed Mondays
Ho Wan Chinese Supermarket, 147 rue de Genève, 74240 Gaillard, France
Monday to Fridays, 10am – 1.30pm and 3pm – 8pm; Saturdays 9.30am – 7:30pm; Sundays 10am – 1pm and 4pm – 7pm
Supermarché International, 72 rue de Genève, 74240 Gaillard, France
Monday to Sunday, 9am-8:30pm
Wo Wo Chinese Supermarket, 366 rue du 18 Août 1944, 74100 Etrembières, France
Tuesday- Sunday, 12:00 – 2.30pm and 7pm – 10.30pm; closed Mondays
OUR CHINESE HOTPOT RECIPE
Like fondue, Chinese hotpot is all about eating together round a single, shared pot. And like fondue, it’s also incredibly easy to prepare. A fondue pot, with burner, will double up nicely as a hotpot for your Chinese feast. The essential ingredient for hotpot is a stock base and dipping condiment. What you put in the hotpot after that is entirely up to you, with limitless possibilities. Lamb is traditionally included in a New Year version.
Possibilities for other ingredients include: Chinese cabbage, sugar snaps, mange tout, boneless fish fillet such as cod or salmon, strips of beef or pork, mushrooms (any variety), glass noodles, tofu (soft or fried), prawns, peppers… if the item is suitable for poaching and you like it – throw it in!
With the stock simmering and the ingredients readily to hand, you and your guests simply add – and keep adding – whatever takes your fancy. Cooked ingredients can be transferred with a slotted spoon to a serving plate and passed among diners to help themselves.
Each diner has their own bowl with a small quantity of dipping sauce which they can use to further garnish their cooked ingredients, perhaps with a sprinkle of sliced spring onion or a few coriander leaves… and that’s it: eat, eat, EAT!