All things old China - books, anecdotes, stories, podcasts, factoids & ramblings from the author Paul French

Chiang Yee’s Yorkshire Pudding in Shanghai (1933)…

Posted: August 24th, 2021 | No Comments »

I wonder if anyone can solve this old Shanghai query? Sadly Chiang Yee doesn’t recall the name of the establishment he dined in. Here’s the background – it’s 1933 and the Jiujiang artist and magistrate (having just resigned and decided to travel to England) Chiang Yee, aka The Silent Traveller, is about to set sail from Shanghai for England (where he will live until 1955). Later in 1940/1941 Chiang will travel from London to Yorkshire to paint, draw, write and produce his book The Silent Traveller in the Yorkshire Dales. ‘Some friends’ (he doesn’t say whether they were Chinese or British) take him for a meal at a Shanghai restaurant that specialises in ‘foreign’ (British?) food – I hesitate to use the word ‘cuisine’ relating to Britih food in 1933. Chiang writes 12 years later recalling this experience:

‘It was the first time i heard the name ‘Yorkshire’…You can perhaps guess that i met the name in connexion (sic) with Yorkshire Pudding on the menu. Yorkshire pudding in Shanghai! It was like having Peking roast duck set before one in a Chinese restuarant in London.’

Of course there were any number of restaurants offering ‘foreign cuisine’ including the famous Astor House Hotel Grill Room, the Horse and Hounds pub in the Cathay Hotel, across the road at the Palace. But any ideas of where Yorkshire pudding was on the menu?

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