Pearl liang

http://www.pearlliang.co.uk/london/restaurant/index.asp

Scores: Z 25/ H 2

Despite being in a slightly strange location in the Paddington Central development, PL is one of my favourite locations to go for dim sum. The food is very good and although slightly better can be found elsewhere PL is also very good value for money and is fairly easy to get into at short notice even on weekend afternoons.

The dim sum menu is mostly traditional apart from a few more modern items such as wasabi prawn dumplings.  We had the following items from the dim sum menu:

WASABI PRAWN DUMPLING (£3.60)

KING’S CRABMEAT WITH EGG WHITE DUMPLING (£3.80)

IMG_1321

SCALLOP DUMPLING (£3.60)

SHANGHAI DUMPLING WITH PORK (£3.50)

IMG_1320

BARBECUED PORK PUFF (£3.50)

IMG_1318

PAN FRIED CHICKEN SHANGHAI DUMPLING (£3.50)

CHEUNG FUN WITH: KING PRAWN (£4.20)

IMG_1323

As usual all were very good, although the XLB could have been slightly lighter and I have certainly had better turnip cake and Chung Feng. As well as dim sum on this occasion we also had lobster noodles which were very good too.

Pearl Liang on Urbanspoon

Chiltern Firehouse

http://www.chilternfirehouse.com/

NEW

This restaurant is the result of collaboration between Nuno Mendes (Viajante RIP) and André Balazs of the Mercer and Standard hotels in NYC and thus the restaurant attempts to have a ‘NYC vibe’. The first thing I found was that, while the service was certainly friendly, everything was slightly too overbearing, albeit in a casual way. I mean, do I really have to have “hi” or “good evening” said to me five times between the front door and sitting down?   We were sat at the counter which was a little cramped but watching the chefs at work was good fun.  There seems to be a nice bar scene and the cocktails were good.

IMG_1300

Crab-Stuffed Donuts

IMG_1302

Sea trout crudo with yellow mole, coriander

IMG_1303

Grilled Octopus with aubergine & mushrooms

The menu all looked very tasty and it was difficult to choose just 2 courses each although we also had the crab donuts from the bites menu.  These were the real lowlight as although they were nice (in a strange way) I had to remove two bits of shell/ cartilage from my mouth- not ideal! All the rest of the dishes were very good but the octopus was particularly excellent and the pork was perfectly cooked.

IMG_1306

Chargrilled Iberico Pork

IMG_1305

Roasted Turbot, cooked and raw heritage carrots

IMG_1308

Frozen Apple Panna Cotta

This was a very enjoyable meal and I would certainly go back; however, this appears to be the new ‘Dabbous’ in that is seems to be overhyped and according to our waiter there is already a three month wait for a reservation.

Menus:

IMG_1296

IMG_1297

IMG_1298

IMG_1307

Chiltern Firehouse on Urbanspoon

Yauatcha

http://www.yauatcha.com/soho

Scores: 1 M*/ 3 GFG / Z 27/ H 1

This place should require no introduction and although it is slightly pricy for me it produces some of the best dim sum in London and IMO definitely the best all day dim sum.

King crab dumpling

Venison puff

Scallop shui mai

IMG_1273

Chinese chive and prawn dumpling

IMG_1274

Spinach ball with prawn and cuttlefish in black bean sauce

IMG_1275

Wild mushroom dumpling

IMG_1279

Striploin beef and enoki mushroom cheung fun

IMG_1295

Chicken Shanghai dumpling

IMG_1288

Yauatcha on Urbanspoon

 

Outlaw’s At The Capital

http://www.capitalhotel.co.uk/restaurantbar.html

Scores: 1 M*/ 6 GFG / H 2

This is the first venture from Nathan Outlaw outside of Cornwall. On a Thursday this restaurant offers free BYO, which is an exceptionally good deal. I find it strange that it is offered on a Thursday as most BYO offers seem to be on a Sunday or Monday.  For those who are interested, a very good list of restaurants in London that currently offer BYO can be found here.

Fish balls and pea (AB)

Fish balls and pea (AB)

Unfortunately the restaurant had sold out of the Lobster Risotto, Orange & Basil, Lobster Dressing (£17), although the Red Gurnard, Crab and Fennel (£14) was a great dish, perhaps the best one of the night.  Although the others were of a very high standard as well.

Red Gurnard, Crab and Fennel

Red Gurnard, Crab and Fennel

Cured Mackerel, Horseradish Yoghurt, Apple & Turnip (£12)

IMG_1249

Cod & Cuttlefish, Red Pepper & Ink Sauce (£26)

IMG_1252

Bass, Leeks, Saffron & Mussel Sauce (£32)

IMG_1253

The food here was very good indeed, although perhaps one of the reasons that this may have been the case on this occasion was that Nathan himself was in the kitchen.  I will definitely be returning, probably on a Thursday as if you bring your own fine wine this makes the final bill that bit more pleasing.

Outlaw Seafood & Grill at the Capital on Urbanspoon

Kai Mayfair

http://www.kaimayfair.co.uk/kai/kaihome.html

Scores: 1 M*/ Z 25/ H 4

Kai is the only currently Michelin starred restaurant in London that is not part of the Hakkasan group. It has been around for quite a while and has a bit of an old Mayfair vibe going on. On this occasion, we tried the following dishes.

Smoked Goose (£24)- had a nice smoky but balanced flavour.

Goose

Goose

Wasabi prawns with mango & basil seeds (£17)- a signature dish, nice but not as good as I have had it here in the past.

Lightly seared sirloin with a soy vinaigrette, shallot oil & chopped coriander (£16)- this was a highlight, almost a more Japanese style dish, with a fresh and sour sauce.

Soft-Shelled Crab with garlic, chilli & shallots spiced batter, peppercorns, green mango (£14)- good but unremarkable.

‘A Nest of Imperial Jewels’ (£13)- chopped prawns, mustard greens, butterhead lettuce wraps- this had bags of flavour and the textures worked well.

Roasted Chilean Seabass (£34) with Caramelised Chinkiang black vinegar syrup, mustard, soy. Chickpeas, shallots & ginger- an excellent dish.

Chilean Seabass

Chilean Seabass

Lobster & Lobster (£28)- Kai’s version of the classic dish of lobster and noodles in ginger and spring onion.

IMG_1237

Lobster & Lobster

Soy & Honey Marinated Roast Lamb (£18) lightly spiced with red chillies, shallots, garlic and coriander, root vegetable ‘chip’, Malaysian
cucumber & carrot ‘achar’ pickle.

Roast Lamb

Roast Lamb

Grilled marinated corn-fed chicken (£18)- this is firstly ‘poached in chicken stock to tenderise and then chargrilled to flavour. Served with sliced pork ‘lap cheong’, roasted garlic, bamboo shoots, mustard leaves & shimeji mushrooms’.

Broccolini (£14) Chopped garlic, shallot & lightly salted radish

In my opinion this is one of the consistently best Chinese restaurants in London and is worth the fairly considerable cost.

Bo Lang

http://www.bolangrestaurant.co.uk/

NEW

Bo Lang opened in September 2013 and appears to be an attempt to bring a Yauatcha styled place to the Brompton Cross.  They have gone for sleek décor, with prices to match, but you feel that this is an area where this may work.  The restaurant is fairly small but they have done well with the space.  Like Yauatcha its main speciality is all day dim sum as well as some other Chinese dishes.  We ordered a selection of stuff from the dim sum sections of the menu, including:

Chicken, black truffle shui mai £7.20

Soft shell crab with chili and lime £13.80

Pan fried chicken dumpling £6.50

Sichuan dumplings

IMG_1202

Black sesame prawn toast £8.00

IMG_1205

Fried turnip cake with XO sauce £5.50

IMG_1204

Saffron scallop and cod dumpling £11.90

IMG_1199

Sichuan pepper squid £11.00

IMG_1206

har gau served with blackberry reduction (£6.00)

IMG_1200

The dim sum here is good overall, not as good as Yauatcha or a few of the dim sum at lunch only places but definitely pretty tasty.  The nicest pieces were probably the saffron scallop and cod dumpling, which was very well made and, surprisingly, the black sesame prawn toast which was far from the greasy, tasteless form found in many a takeaway. On the other hand the chicken shui mai really did not need the black truffle, which made it too rich, and although it was not offensive the har gau did not need the fruit sauce.  Bo Lang is also far from cheap but in this area very few places are.

Bō Làng on Urbanspoon

Kurobuta (Kings Road)

http://www.kurobuta-london.com/

NEW

Kurobuta on the Kings Road is a pop-up version of the soon to come full restaurant on Kendal Street in Connaught Village, although it is rumoured to be extending its residency to stay permanently.  Kurobuta is modelled on izakayas (Japanese pubs) so the atmosphere is causal with emphases on the drinks as well as food.  The pace was rammed so we were taken to stand by the bar until our table opened up.  There is a good selection of house cocktails and they served draft beer with the option of an ice smoothie head to keep it cold.

Beer with a frozen top

Beer with a frozen top

The menu is based on plates to share and there is a good selection of food separated in different groups there were also a few specials on the board but all but one of these was sold out by the time we sat down at 9. We had the seven dishes below:

Grains and Greens Salad with Honey-Soy-Ginger Dressing (£6.5)

Salmon Gravadlax and Avocado Tartare with Dill Mayo, Rice Crunchies and Fresh Yuzu Zest (£11)

Yellowtail Sashimi with Kizami Wasabi Salsa and Yuzu-Soy (£13)

IMG_1188

Free Range Chicken Kushi-Yaki with Japanese BBQ Sauce (£8.5)

IMG_1193

Wagyu Beef Sliders; Brioche Bun, Crunchy Onions, Pickled Cucumber and Umami Mayo (£19)

IMG_1195

Squid Kara-Age with Jalapeno Dipping Sauce (£8)

IMG_1192

Kombu Roasted Chilean Seabass with Spicy Shiso Ponzu (£18)

IMG_1189

The yellowtail, sliders and ‘sea bass’ were the highlights here, although everything was at least average. The service was very friendly but also very forgetful thus getting more drinks etc. is difficult.  Also if you are seated in the front, near the window, beware of the chill that will appear when the door openS, which is frequently.