The Rain: England vs Tibet

The Tibetan plateau is one of the driest places on earth: many areas receive less than 10cm of rain in a year. According to strict definition, this makes Tibet a desert region. Did you know that deserts can just as well be cold places as hot? When you consider that some areas in the Arctic and Antarctic circles qualify as desert, it seems less surprising that parts of Tibet can be defined as such too. And yet, Tibet is also Asia's biggest freshwater reserve. It the source of most of the continent’s biggest rivers, including the Yellow River, the Yangtze, the Mekong, the Salween and the Brahmaputra. This so-called "river region", characterised by fertile mountain valleys, is the part of Tibet

A Haircut And An Offload

Thank you SO much to everyone who ate with us at the Christmas Light Festival last weekend. We are always flabbergasted by the support shown to us here in Oxford. A few months ago, riding high on your enthusiasm and encouragement, we came really close to opening up our own four walls in the centre of this beautiful historic city - until pulling out at the eleventh hour. We serve big, but we are still a tiny operation. We struggle with staffing, logistics, and understanding the nature of business. We have built an amazing commercial kitchen that has been a real lifesaver for our business, but additional premises in a city as expensive as Oxford feels like a risk too far for the present time.

MSG-Free Zone!

In the many years that I travelled and lived in China, I ate out a good deal. I loved uncovering small, local, sometimes hole-in-the-wall type eateries, where customer turnover was high, and the food was simple but fresh. I really enjoyed Chinese food, but I was no foodie. I often closed my eyes and ears to how the food was prepared, and for various reasons I was happy not to look inside the restaurant kitchens. Out the front, the waiter or waitress would usually ask when taking our order if we had any specific dietary needs, and after I'd been living in China a while I noticed that foreign dining companions would often request "no MSG". Up until that point it had not occurred to me how wide

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