Fried rice fame has been renewed thanks to the YouTube phenomenon “Uncle Roger”, the cranky Asian uncle created by comedian Nigel Ng. Uncle Roger has taken to criticizing various chefs for how they (wrongly) prepare this Asian classic. From Gordon Ramsey to Jamie Oliver (whom he mercilessly mocks), many chefs, celebrity and otherwise, have fallen victim to his relentless criticism.
According to Uncle Roger, egg fried rice is such a simple dish that it doesn’t need fancy ingredients to taste great. Below, we recommend the best places in CDMX to try chow fan, as the Chinese version of fried rice is called, but you’re sure to find other delicious delicacies too.
The term Asian food encompasses a wide variety of cuisines spanning distinct countries and cultures. Fried rice, for example, has several variations depending not only on the country, but also the regions within them. Thus, you can find bokkeum-bap in Korea that is made with kimchi, yakimeshi in Japan, chow fan in China, khao phat made with jasmine rice in Thailand, and nasi goreng in the Malay archipelago. Each with its own particular ingredients and flavors.
And if you don’t know Uncle Roger, check out a video for his tips on how to prepare fried rice – use a traditional wok (no Teflon!), cook with neutral oil, use white rice left over from the day before, add MSG, soy, and just the right amount of vegetables. But mostly he’ll tell you comically how NOT to do it.
Where to eat chow fan in Mexico City?
Claiming to be “real Chinese food,” Asian Bay makes their fried rice by the book. They describe it as a “dish mixed with vegetables, egg, meat and of course with a touch of soy.” Nothing extravagant, but with extraordinary taste. This restaurant has many delicious options representing Chinese cuisine. Black pepper beef and BBQ short ribs are some good additions to go with your chow fan.
Tamaulipas 95, Hipódromo Condesa, Cuauhtémoc
T. 55 5553 4582
Blossom is one of the capital’s best Chinese restaurants because their approach honors its traditions. With an entourage of chefs from China and Taiwan, this restaurant has focused on creating Chinese haute cuisine. Their fried rice is perfect. Under the adage “less is more,” the chow fan here is a journey through the flavors of the Sichuan and Guangdong regions. With over 30 years of service, Blossom is an experience not to be missed.
San Francisco 360, Del Valle, Benito Juárez
T. 55 5682 3478
On Avenida Revolución in the Tacubaya neighborhood (between Antonio Maceo and José Martí Avenue) there is a large presence of Chinese-Mexican restaurants. Café Kowlaan serves delicious fried rice, specifically, the continental chow fan (with ham and bacon), which is cooked to perfection. They also have an extensive menu that includes both Chinese and Mexican fare. Try the spicy chicken alongside that rice.
Revolución 107, Tacubaya, Miguel Hidalgo
T. 55 5271 4504
We wouldn’t skip over Chinatown for this list and Hong King is our pick. With fresh and independent ingredients (there are several excellent Asian grocery stores in the neighborhood), this restaurant is known for its classic Cantonese style – from the kitchen to the decor. The house fried rice is a stand out, with chicken, beef, or shrimp and a generous addition of raw scallions. Pair it with the Beijing duck for a delicious combination.
Callejón Dolores 25 A, Centro, Cuauhtémoc
T. 55 5512 6703
This popular Asian fusion chain arrived in Mexico in 2009 with their aptly named P.F. Chang’s Fried Rice. You can order it with chicken, beef, or shrimp and it’s served accompanied by soy sprouts and carrots. Simple and tasty, just as Uncle Roger says. If you go, take advantage and try the Mongolian beef – soft slices of caramelized beef with scallions. A delight.
Reforma 222, Juárez, Cuahtémoc
T. 55 5533 4859