The only experience I’ve had so far of eating Chinese or Oriental cuisine is those £5/box takeaway places. The kind of Chinese take away that’s great to eat when you are dead hungry but makes you sick after! You would think really?! After all the food I eat, I couldn’t find a decent place that serves Oriental cuisine? Well the answer is no! There’s always something wrong with the food- too watery, too much salt, too much this or that!! And I always end up going to these take away places because the food is just….well there! In front of you, asking you to eat it!!
So my friend Heggie decided to take us to some Chinese place in China Town, Leicester Square. Needless to say, I was expecting some buffet style and badly served Chinese food completely expecting to puke afterwards! But lo and behold, this is what we stopped outside.
Already intrigued, I knocked the big wooden door. The door opened and I was greeted by a pretty Asian lady.
NOTE: Before I write more about this place, let me tell you this is a Taiwanese place and NOT Chinese. I’m not going to be ignorant and make the mistake of assuming both cusines are the same like a lot of people do with Pakistani and Indian cuisine!
Surprisingly, there was a long queue last time I was here and it was going down the stairs. You can’t tell when you enter. I guess that’s the whole allure of this place. In the evening it was a wait of around 30 minutes but the next time I went there on a Sunday afternoon, we did not have to wait and instantly got a table by the windows.
I am a sucker for soups so ordered the Hot and Sour Chicken soup as a starter and it’s great for a cold winter afternoon. What you definitely MUST order are the Turnip Puffs (under the Dim Sum section). They are to die for!!
The soup is delicious- it’s hot, tangy, lovely texture, not too watery and the right level of spice for me. I did not have to add any more seasoning to it. However, it may be a bit salty for some so take that into consideration. The turnips puffs were a revelation- crunchy on the outside and soft from the inside. The explosion of textures was amazing. We also ordered the Spinach and Prawn Dim Sum as a starter. Again, lovely textures and to be honest the starters filled me up!!
Next up were the mains. I made my friend order the Kung Pao Chicken that is served on a bed of dried red chillies and when I say bed I mean a freakin’ bed! You’ll see when you check out the photos. It’s great that its served on a bed of red chillies rather than chillies mixed in the dish because you can make your dish as much or as less chilly as you want. We also ordered the Chilli Crab. Now we thought it was going to be small fried pieces of crab in a sauce with some vegetables. What came on the table was the whole “shabang”!! The crab in all its glory- stuffed and fried. We were not expecting that at all!
And if all this food was not enough, we also ordered the Stir Fry Beef with Garlic and a side of Chicken Stir Fried Rice.
The total bill amounted to £70.00 for 4 people and this was including the drinks, which is quite reasonable when dining out in Central London. We were full to the brim and walked out K-O’d!!
This place is a definite visit for anyone looking for an Oriental feast. My second visit back and it will definitely be one of my regulars.
Location: I always remember it as being next to the big arch in China Town. I know there are several. But I am talking about the one where HSBC is. Just walk down that road and take the first left and it is right around the corner. This is how I remember it. If I have confused you- please ignore this! Ha Ha!
Till the next foodie adventure, ta ta!