85 Lillie Rd, Fulham. SW6 1UD
Telephone: 020 7381 2900
Nearest Tube: West Brompton
If you’re mastered in the art of donning a hoodie, slouching real low and generally slumming it – then you’ll fit right in. Maybe not as snug as a hamster up Mr Gere’s ass…but a snug fit all the same. This is the demeanour we had to adopt on eventually finding a parking and dashing the 100metres into the restaurant. Not the safest of all areas. Leave the Fendi handbag and Jimmy Choo’s for another joint out.
Upon entering, our fears were allayed. Very pleasant ambience, tasteful Chinese nik nacks, grandly set white-table clothed dinner tables with decorative napkins perched grandly upon wooden stands. The restaurant is narrow but quite deep and deceptively large. A very intimate and cosy place. I was immediately impressed.
They have an ala carte menu, but we thought it was far better to go for the “Let Us Decide Feast”. There are two versions. One normal for £21 per head and one seafood based for £23. Lovers of seafood, it was a no-brainer. But we were very unprepared for the on-slaught that followed. Keep in mind, the chef decides what he will prepare for you.
Seven starters (count ‘em) arrived in steady succession.
Fish soup in quaint tall bamboo vessels. Chunks of white cod immersed in a flavoursome soup flavoured with lemon grass, basil and white peppercorns. Fragrant and cleansing, it was welcomed with slurps of approval.
A plate of wholesome meaty pork dumplings complemented with vinegar sauce.
Individual plates of fried small prawns with deep fried shallots, nestled in a lettuce leaf. Unusual and scrumptious, with the shallots highlighting the prawns both in texture and flavour.
Burning hot crispy deep-fried long green beans coated with a light, tempura-like batter. Hit the spot and burnt the tongue. Felt like I could have curled up with a bowl of these in front of the TV.
Some sort of firm white fish fried in a sweet and sour sauce. Not heavy on the sweet though. Suited my palate.
Salt and pepper deep fried cuttlefish. Not the usual dish you get in Chinese restaurants. This one had real Sichuan peppercorns. If you’ve had them before, you’d know they leave a tangy, acidic coating on your tongue that's hard to get rid of. Avoid eating the peppercorns if you can.
Peking Duck. Not as nice as the one in Mandarin Kitchen – a bit on the dry side. But a nice surprise as weren’t expecting it.
The mains appeared with rice. Deep breath. Please allow for gastric reflux….
Oyster omelette with a very heavy, corn-starchy sauce covering it. Nice but why on earth do you need a thick gluggy sauce on top?
Deep-fried fish with spicy chilli sauce. As you would expect the fish wasn’t very fresh…but then again, that’s why they serve it deep-fried.
Stir-fried chicken with veges. Ordinary. Too full to tell anyways.
Stir-fried fish with veges. Tasted the same as the one above.
By this time I think we were all regurgitating our stomach contents. This was way worth our £23. Although some of us did look around expectantly waiting for a barrage of desserts to arrive. After 10 mins, we asked the waitress. Alas no. That was all.
Well we were well impressed anyway. What a feast! And so cheap!
Can’t wait to go back again, but am anticipating the same combination of food to show up. Will try again and keep you posted.
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