City of London is crying out for a high-quality Chinese restaurant, I used to go to Shikumen often but the place is going downhill recently. The hotel restaurant Mei Ume in Four Seasons Hotel is an alternative, but at a much higher cost, so is the cost justified? I would say so given I have eaten there a few times, and each time was better than the last. Head chef Tony Troung is the driving force of the operation, his menu is all about classic Chinese cuisine with a modern makeover. You would see dishes such as sweet and sour pork or Peking duck, but his version at Mei Ume would be an instant upgrade for sure. For my fourth visit, I opted for some of the new dishes he has specially put together for Chinese New Year.
|Yin Yang Soup with Scallop, Prawn and Crab Meat|
|Deep fry Dover sole with sweet and sour sauce|
To start, it was the "Loe Hei", a traditional Malaysian fish salad dish for Chinese New Year. The Mei Ume's version contained some high-quality raw salmon, tuna, and seabass, the homemade plum sauce was light, refreshing and worked like magic with all the greens and fishes. It was easily the best Loe Hei I have tasted. The crispy Dover sole was another highlight, the bone was deep-fried and seasoned to the level that you can eat it like a giant crisp. The fish fillet itself was lightly battered with a melting texture, it is so funny that I discovered the best fish and chips dish from a Chinese restaurant in London. The chicken and abalone clay pot was a classic Cantonese dish but done in such a refined manner. The meat was so tender and packed with some beautiful aromatic savory taste, the mushrooms and abalone also added a hint of earthy and smooth texture.
|Wok Fried Scottish Beef with spring onions and gingers|
|Chicken and abalone clay pot|
|Sea urchin and prawn stone pot rice|
My dinner at Mei Ume was was pretty special, I got the chance to sample some classic Chinese dishes at such a refined level, and got to experience some very creative and interesting dishes at the same time. I personally think Mei Ume is now at a level that is better than Hakkasan in every way, from the food to the decor and service, so it is puzzling for me that Mei Ume was overlooked in the latest Michelin Guide for a star. I would rate Mei Ume to be one of the top 5 Chinese restaurants in London right now, and easily the best one in the City of London.
Average cost without drinks and services:
10 Trinity Square, London EC3N 4AJ