I love conveyor belt restaurants. I remember the first time I saw one of these on TV and my reaction was pretty much the same as when Cartman found out about homeschooling in that episode of South Park – pure eye-opening joy.
For many years the only conveyor belt restaurants you could find in this country, or anywhere in the world, were sushi-based. We made good use of this in Japan with visits to conveyor sushi restaurants in Kyoto and Hiroshima as well as many visits to Yo Sushi back in the UK.
So when I first walked past Shuang Shuang on the corner of London’s Chinatown I just knew this was a place to visit. Never before had I seen a non-sushi conveyor restaurant – not even when I was in the homeland of conveyor belt restaurants.
A few months later I actually got around to visiting Shuang Shuang with my work bestie in order to try it out for myself. In essence it was a Chinese hot-pot (or Japanese shabu-shabu) conveyer belt restaurant with the dipping ingredients circling around. As well as a selection of meat, vegetables and noodles there was a certain list food:
Shungiku, or chrysanthemum leaves in English, is one of those ingredients that I am pretty sure I encountered when in Japan. The thing is that I was never able to corroborate this whilst in Japan.
I am guessing that this is on the food list as it is one of those warming food staples that you don’t quite get over here (similar to having something like turnips or salsify on the list). A local food that you would get similar results would be the humble spinach. Shungiku has more of a bite to it and has a less metallic taste than spinach, but the comparison can be made.
I can see shungiku being one of those essential soup greens (it is so much nicer than kale) where it is readily available. However, it is not really worth any extra cost when compared to cheaper and locally available greens.