23 Mar 2018

The food of Cuba Street: Mr Circle's chicken jianbing

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 3:08 pm on 23 March 2018

The co-author of Cuba Street a cookbook Liane McGee admits she's more a passionate supporter of the iconic Wellington street than a foodie.

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The graphic designer got the idea of compiling recipes from the street's cafes, restaurants and street food stands into a cookbook while walking that self-same street one day.

"I've been hanging on the street for 30 years, I love the cafes, I love the culture... let's do a book about it."

The organiser of Lower Cuba Street's Wellington Night Market Lily Kao directed Liane to the Mr Circle food truck. 

Their speciality in Jianbing – a street food popular with students and office workers in China.

"It's essentially a crepe full of crunchy wonton wrappers that you grab on the way to work."

Recipe: Mr Circle's Chinese crêpe (Chicken Jianping)

Mr Circle's chinese crêpe: chicken jianbing

Mr Circle's chinese crêpe: chicken jianbing Photo: Cuba 116 Sat Night Market 1.1.indd

Mr Circle boss Dong – a former 3D architectural designer who left that industry for a change of scene – had to convince Liane to even try Jianbing.

"But once I bit into it I was like 'Oh my god, it's so good'."

Liane says she's mastered making Jianbing at home now. Here are her tips:

  • The crepes can be made gluten-free by replacing the plain flour.
  • It helps if you have a flat crepe pan.
  • Make sure the chicken is pretty much cooked before you start to make the crepes.
  • If you don't want to deep-fry wanton wrappers for whatever reason, potato chips will do.

Havana Bar and Restaurant is the cover star of Cuba Street - a cookbook, which also includes recipes from Floriditas, Midnight Espresso, Logan Brown and the iconic Matterhorn which closed earlier this year after 55 years of service.

The book retails at $50 and is available online or in select stores.

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