IF you're planning on celebrating the Chinese New Year this weekend by firing up your wok and preparing a home-cooked feast then look no further than Lidl for your basic, authentic supplies.
The budget supermarket has a 'while stocks last' range of Asian ingredients at unbeatable prices including coconut milk, oyster sauce, soy sauce, prawn crackers, lychees. They've even got boxes of fortune cookies for about a quid.
There's plenty of goodies in the fruit and veg section to supplement your stocks such as fresh ginger, chillies, pak choi and banana shallots. And in the freezers you'll find spring rolls, prawn wontons and the like, because there aren't enough hours in the day to make your own.
I think I went a bit overboard and filled my trolley twice over.
But if you can't find what you're looking for I recommend heading to the Day In Supermarket in Cathay Street, Chinatown.
What you can't find there isn't worth looking for and I always stock up on there excellent sweet chilli dipping sauce and banana leaves - great for presentation.
But if all else fails, ditch the idea of a home-cooked feast in favor of a majestic banquet at the Chung Ying Garden in nearby Thorp Street, where you can herald the start of the Year of the Ox without the washing up!
Where do you find the best Chinese ingredients? Where serves the best Chinese food? Let me know...