Angela HuiFeb 2, 2023
Stories from a Childhood Behind the Counter
Food journalist Angela Hui grew up in rural Wales, as daughter to the owners of the Lucky Star Chinese takeaway. Angela grew up behind the counter, helping take orders and serve customers, while also trying to find her place in this small Welsh town.
In her new memoir, Takeaway: Stories from a Childhood behind the Counter (Trapeze, 2022), she writes about the surprisingly central role the takeaway plays in rural Britain:
Name me one other room where you can blow out birthday candles, watch a live drunken boxing match between two rowdy customers, enjoy a steam facial from the multiple Boxing Day hot pots bubbling away on portable gas stoves, witness a hen party aftermath where the bride-to-be is sick in the corner, host a high-stakes mahjong tournament with three tables going at once, and hold an unofficial Six Nations rugby viewing, where chips and fried rice is strewn everywhere whenever Wales score a try.
Angela Hui is an award-winning journalist and editor from South Wales. Her work has been published in gal-dem, HuffPost, Independent, Refinery29 and Vice, among others. She lives in East London where she was formerly the Food and Drink writer at Time Out London. She runs the @chinesetakeawaysuk Instagram account documenting Chinese takeaways up and down the country and sharing the stories of unseen workers in the hospitality industry.
You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Takeaway. Follow on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.
Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at@nickrigordon.