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)

Submitted by YannP on Wed, 02/01/2019 - 18:42

Hi Thanks to British Council for this website which is so helpful to improve my english. In the transcript of Big Meal Scene 1, at 0:26, it's written : "we have got some friends coming to ours tonight" I think that maybe a word was forgotten. It seems to me that Ash says : "we have got some friends coming OVER to ours tonight" What do you think about it ? Thanks for all, Yann
Profile picture for user Kirk Moore

Submitted by Kirk Moore on Wed, 02/01/2019 - 20:40

In reply to by YannP


Hello Yann

Yes, you're right, Ashlie clearly says 'coming over to ours'. I've corrected the transcript accordingly.

Thanks very much for taking the time to tell us about this!

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by chen2qu on Thu, 15/11/2018 - 13:43

I prefer eating at home because my mom lives together with us and she cooks for us. I can have the tastes I love from my childhood. I live in Beijing. Here are several popular foreign foods, like Japanese food, Thai food, and Italian food.

Submitted by cenzino.scaringi on Thu, 01/11/2018 - 18:16

I live in a small village in an Italian region called Tuscany. This is a rural area, our hills are scattered with plants and trees typical of the Mediterranean scrub. The wild boar is the true king of our land. So the food in our area is very typical and the recipes are almost the same of the medieval centuries. In the Italian cities is different, of course, and also in Italy, like in the UK, the most popular foreign food is the Chinese food.

Submitted by cenzino.scaringi on Thu, 01/11/2018 - 18:01

I love both. I like eating at home especially when my wife and/or I have plenty of time. Then we can prepare carefully our favourite recipes. I'm quite good at making a tasty bread or some delicious recipes of pasta with seafood, and I like going shopping buying special ingredients. My wife and I prefer going to the restaurant when we don't feel like cooking or when we would love something special which we are not able to cook, fried fish, for exemple, but we also like going around getting some tasty and spicy street food.

Submitted by Dania92 on Tue, 24/07/2018 - 17:17

i do not like cooking so i prefer eating outside also there is many foreign food like indian food and chainese food