Spanning almost a hundred years, this rich and evocative
memoir recounts the lives of three generations of remarkable
Their extraordinary journey takes us from the brutal poverty of
village life in mainland China, to newly prosperous 1930s Hong Kong
and finally to the UK. Their lives were as dramatic as the times
they lived through.
A love of food and a talent for cooking pulled each generation
through the most devastating of upheavals. Helen Tse''s
grandmother, Lily Kwok, was forced to work as an amah
after the violent murder of her father. Crossing the ocean from
Hong Kong in the 1950s, Lily honed her famous chicken curry recipe.
Eventually she opened one of Manchester''s earliest Chinese
restaurants where her daughter, Mabel, worked from the tender age
of nine. But gambling and the Triads were pervasive in the Chinese
immigrant community, and tragically they lost the restaurant. It
was up to author Helen and her sisters, the third generation of
these exceptional women, to re-establish their grandmother''s
dream. The legacy lived on when the sisters opened their
award-winning restaurant Sweet Mandarin in 2004.
Sweet Mandarin shows how the most important inheritance is
wisdom, and how recipes--passed down the female line--can be the
most valuable heirloom.