I love the Grainger Market. If someone asks me where they can get a quick bite for lunch, or where to pick up some groceries in town, or where to find a specialist item I haven’t heard of, my answer is always the same: You should go to the Grainger Market.
Luckily for me and the thousands of others who frequent this Grade 1 listed building to buy a sandwich, another street food option has been added to give a bit more variety to our lives. Nan Bei is a traditional Chinese dumpling snack bar, providing authentic Chinese dumplings (pronounced Jiǎozi) and filled buns (pronounced Bāozi) as well as an assortment of Chinese soft drinks. When I say authentic, I mean one hundred percent authentic. I had the fortunate experience of being able to live in China for a time, and I can honestly say that when I ate my incredibly tasty pork and Chinese cabbage dumplings, for a split second I felt like I was back in my old Chinese apartment. I spoke to the lady making the dumplings, and she told me they were just like how she makes them at home. I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I would go so far as to say that these same dumplings are being sold in dumpling restaurants all over China right now. The dumplings are as legit as it gets.
The only drawback to my otherwise fantastic dumpling nostalgia trip was the price. I understand that I was never going to get the same amount of dumplings I could get in China for the same price, but for £2.50, I expect more than four dumplings. Although that portion size just won’t do for lunch, it will do for a snack, an authentic and delicious snack, an authentilicious snack if you will.
If ever you want to try some truly genuine Chinese food and not the “genuine” Chinese food you’re likely to find at your local corner takeaway, I highly recommend giving Nan Bei a try.