Big Meal Scene 1

Stephen and Ashlie visit Chinatown to look for some cooking tips.

Do the Preparation task first. Then watch the video. Next go to Task and do the activity. If you need help, you can read the Transcript at any time.


Before you watch

Think about the following questions:

  • What do you do to celebrate your birthday?
  • Do you enjoy eating unusual foods?
  • Do you like to cook?

Now, watch Stephen and Ashlie as they enjoy the taste of Chinatown.



Stephen: Hi there. This is China Town, right in the centre of London. This is one of London’s most exciting areas. The streets are full of Chinese shops, Chinese restaurants and markets.

Ashlie: It’s my birthday today and we have got some friends coming over to ours tonight for a special meal and Stephen has kindly agreed to cook us all some Chinese food.

Stephen: And hopefully today, I’ll be picking up some great cooking tips and some fresh ingredients.


Ashlie: Wow! This place is amazing. Look at this, Stephen. I don’t even know what half of this stuff is.

Stephen: Yeah - what do you think this is?

Ashlie: I don’t know, but I hope you’re getting some ideas for the meal tonight.

Stephen: Yeah, absolutely. I’m getting great ideas for tonight. Come on, I know a great restaurant that does really good Dim Sum.

Ashlie: Dim Sum. What’s Dim Sum?


Ashlie: This looks incredible. Is this what you’re planning to cook tonight, Stephen?

Stephen: Let’s go inside and try a few things.

Ashlie: Hmmm. I can’t wait to try some of these amazing dishes.

Stephen: Come on. Let’s see if it tastes as good as it looks.


Stephen: Wow. I’d love to know how they cook this stuff. Do you think they’d let me visit the kitchen? I’d love to meet the chef.

Ashlie: Let’s ask the waiter. Excuse me?

Waitress: Yes. Welcome to the Golden Harvest. Can I help you?

Ashlie: Everything is fabulous, in fact the food is excellent.

Waiter: Thank you.

Stephen: I wonder if you could do me a favour. I need some help.

Waiter: Yes, sure.

Stephen: I have to cook a special Chinese meal tonight and I was wondering if I could go to the kitchen and meet the chef. 

Waiter: Do you want to meet the chef?

Stephen: I wanted to ask the chef a few questions. You know - get a few tips on how to cook Chinese food.

Waiter: Ah, yes, sure. He’s very busy but let me see if he’s got the time to talk to you.

Stephen: Thank you very much indeed.


Stephen: Hello, thank you for seeing me.

Chef: How you do, Sir, thank you.

Stephen: I was wondering if you could give me a few quick tips on how to cook Chinese food.

Chef: Yeah, to cook Chinese food, one, you must have a very good chef.

Stephen: The chef is very important.

Chef: Very important.

Stephen: And number two?

Chef: And number two, the food must be fresh.

Stephen: Fresh ingredients.

Chef: Yes, fresh ingredients.

Stephen: And what are we going to cook today?

Chef: Today we’ll cook Kung fu lobster.     

Stephen: Kung fu lobster.


Stephen thinks: "A take away menu... this might come in handy later."


Stephen: That was great. Really interesting and a bit scary! I learned a lot and you know what? I’ve got a list of all the ingredients that I need for tonight’s meal.

Ashlie: Well, you have no excuses now. I’m expecting the perfect meal tonight. Come on, let’s finish the shopping. So you can get home and do the cooking.


Ashlie: So is that everything, then?

Stephen: Let me see, garlic, noodles, lobster, mushrooms - yep. That’s everything.

Ashlie: Except one thing.

Stephen: What’s that?

Ashlie: A chicken foot. 

Stephen: Ugh!

Task 1

Task 2


Average: 4.3 (6 votes)
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Submitted by JustAlex on Fri, 24/04/2020 - 09:16

I really like to try out foreign food, especially Chinese food. Don't get me wrong, I like Austrian food but its always a nice experience to taste things you didn't taste before. The downside is, that there is not really any Chinese grocery stores nearby so if I wanted to cook my own foreign food, then I would need to go and buy the things somewhere else. A multicultural city like London has an advantage for People who want to try out new things.

Submitted by David S. on Tue, 21/04/2020 - 17:04

I prefer to make my own food at home, because I know exactly what is in my food. For me, restaurants are places that are meant for celebrations. Also eating at home is more comfortable than in restaurants. Cooking makes me feel good and i can be proud of myself if i create a masterpiece. But i don't dislike eating in pleasant restaurant with good staff, because the meal usually taste very good and is quickly prepared. In Austria we have a lot of different foreign food. Chinese and Italian food is very popular in our country. I personally like the Italien food very much. But every taste is different.

Submitted by _Jonas_ on Tue, 21/04/2020 - 16:23

I think variety is the best choice. I really like cooking my own food, but going to a nice restaurante with friends or family is also really enjoyable. If I would have to decide between those two, I would coose eating at home. We have a lot of different food cultures in Austria like, American fastfood restaurants such as McDonalds, Burgerking or KFC. We also have a lot of Chinese and Italian as well as some Indian and Mexican restaurants in our country.

Submitted by Dorum8000 on Tue, 21/04/2020 - 16:23

I prefer eating at home because I like cooking my food myself so I can make it just the way I like it. Eating at home is also cheaper and healthier over all. In Austria is the Chinese food the moste common than comes the Italian and the Greek. I prefere the Chinese because I love Duck.

Submitted by shorty on Sat, 18/04/2020 - 12:57

I prefer to eat at home, because it is important to know how to cook and maybe one time you live alone and then you can't cook. But after a long day at school i enjoy it to go in a restaurant and don't have to cook for myself. At the weekend the most of the time I eat at home, because i invite a friend and then we grill and drink a little bit beer. I'm living in Austria and we have really much various eating cultures. We have the east with Chinese, India, Turkie and much more. From the south we have the Italian, Croatia and we have the American Steak and Burgers from the west. I love the American food.

Submitted by Nadroj on Fri, 17/04/2020 - 16:48

In my opinion, cooking yourself is an important activity that will continue to be useful in the future. Restaurants are nice places to have a good time with people or to celebrate something. It is clear that you do not have to cook anything yourself in restaurants and it is also quickly made and tastes delicious. But creating something yourself is still a different feeling, according to my own experience. That's why I prefer to cook my own food. If it has to be fast, I prefer to go to an Austrian restaurant. Although I really appreciate the variety. All in all, Austria is a multicultural country and that's wonderful.

Submitted by Amar Mujakic on Fri, 17/04/2020 - 16:41

Although I really like eating in restraunts, I would prefer to eat at home. My Mom always makes fresh food with fresh ingredients and eating her dishes always releases a feeling of nostalgia and happiness. Here in Austria there also are restraunts which show the food of foreign cultures. For example here in Austria we have a lot Asian and Chinese food restraunts, we have also got a lot classic fast food restraunts (like McDonalds etc.). We have also got restraunts with traditional Austrian food like Wiener Schnitzel and other delicous dishes. I still think that the most popular foreign food comes from Italy. Everybody loves Pizza.

Submitted by friday on Fri, 17/04/2020 - 15:58

I prefer eating my meals at home because you have your private room and as much time as you want to do so. I also think it´s funnier to cook by myself or with the company of my friends. I enjoy learning new receipts and try to get better if it flops for the first time. I think restaurants are a nice thing if you´re going out and want to spend your time with something fancier. If I had to choose I would prefer Chinese and Italian restaurants because I love their food. Besides, Mexican and Turkish food is common in Austria as well.

Submitted by Ireneusz on Fri, 17/04/2020 - 15:45

I prefer to eat at home because it gives me more options. Overall I like cooking and I enjoy it. For this I have a rather specific taste and prefer to season the food myself. By cooking myself, I also have an influence on the products from which I will make the dish, their quality and freshness. The only thing that sometimes speaks for eating out is the cost and time of preparation. I don't always have these minimum 2 hours to cook. Another plus is that you don't have to worry about washing dishes after all. Meals are often bought in disposable packaging. Personally, I recommend eating at home after all. It can often be better for our health and you can have fun preparing food.

Submitted by JaRe on Fri, 17/04/2020 - 11:37

I personally prefer to eat at home because I think that the food at home tastes better than in some restaurants. My family and I don't go to restaurants very often, although there are good ones in our region. In Austria you can eat nearly everything. I think that Chinese and Italian food are the most popular foreign foods.