Sunday 29 July 2018

Launceston Place

Behind the Pass: Sat Bains

Pigeon, carrot, dates, black olive, Moroccan spices

I have always wanted to take a trip to Restaurant Sat Bains, the double Michelin stars restaurant in Nottingham by the industry legend Sat Bain. When my beloved Launceston Place announced that head chef Ben Murphy is teaming up with Sat for a one-off chef collaboration dinner, it was the perfect opportunity for me to sample Sat's cooking without needing to travel up north. At the same time, it was great to get the chance to sample Ben's cooking one more time. Having eaten Ben's creations last year, I was really impressed with the unique innovative approach that really makes him stand out among his peers. The Ben and Sat's special dinner contain 6 courses, with each cooking up 3 dishes.

The Ledbury

Still the best

Warm Bantam’s Egg, Celeriac, Arbois and Dried Ham

Do I really need to say much about The Ledbury? the double Michelin starred restaurant is my all time personal flavorite London restaurant. The highly regarded fine dining restaurant in Notting Hill has pretty much won every single restaurant awards that are available in the UK, exquisite food with world-class service is what The Ledbury is all about. Chef-owner Brett Graham has developed his restaurant into a gastronomy temple, a place for serious food lovers. It is one of those restaurants I would just keep returning as a meal at The Ledbury guarantee you a top-notch dining experience. 

The Wild Rabbit

A brand new chapter

Iberico ham peach, cucumber, mint and lemon dressing

My 5th visit to The Wild Rabbit in the Cotswolds, but it was a brand new experience. The restaurant installed a new chef, the Michelin starred Alyn William from London. Alyn is one of the most accomplished chefs in the UK and I was excited to see how Alyn would adapt to a gastro pub environment with so much wonderful local ingredients available for him. Having eaten a few times at his London restaurant at The Westbury Hotel, it would be interesting to compare the two. The Wild Rabbit's menu is much more ambitious than most gastropub out there, with plenty of creative dishes, as well as a 7 tasting menu for anyone who is looking for the full dining experience.

Alyn Williams at the Westbury

Good to be back

Poached halibut, courgette, lemon 

It has been 5 years since I last dined at Alyn Williams at the Westbury, I am a fan of Alyn, a top class chef with an amazing personality. The main reason I never went back was mostly down to the fact that there are so many new restaurant openings all the time and is hard for me to keep up. However, I do find the quality of most of the new openings in the last few years has been pretty average, lacking the cutting edge factor. So it is about time to return to old-time favourites, and Alyn Williams at the Westbury has to be one of them. These days, Alyn is also the Executive Chef at the gastropub Wild Rabbit in the Cotswold, leaving his head chef Tom Booton taking the lead at The Westbury. 

Sunday 22 July 2018

Xi'an Biang Biang Noodles

Xian noodles shop

Hand-pulled Chongqing noodles

Regional Chinese cuisine is making a big splash in London at the moment, and Xian Biang Biang Noodles is one of the latest openings that is fitting into that trends. Operated by the same people behind the popular Chinese restaurant Xian Impression, Xian Biang Biang noodles is a casual noodle shop in the mood of a canteen in East London, specializing in make to order Biang Biang noodles, which is a special type of hand-pulled noodles that is popular in the Xian region in China. The menu is fairly short for a Chinese restaurant, with about 40 dishes in total, ranging from starters, mains (mostly noodles) and side dishes. 

Saturday 14 July 2018

China Tang London

Luxury hotel Chinese fine dining

Steamed Dover Sole

When you think of the luxury Dorchester hotel in Mayfair, Alain Ducasse's 3 Michelin stars' French fine dining restaurant would instantly come to your mind if you are a foodie. However, Dorchester also has a fine dining Chinese restaurant: China Tang. Launched by the legendary restauranter David Tang, China Tang is a celebrity hang out joint for top quality Chinese food. The restaurant is known for its none gimmick Cantonese fine dining, just pure good quality, classic Cantonese cuisine, from dim sums to classic steam fishes. China Tang also has a beautiful cocktail bar that is known for combining Asian flavours and western spirits to create something unusual and original.

Tuesday 10 July 2018


Modern high-end Cantonese cuisine in London Bridge

Dumplings of prawn, king crab and scallops & prawn

High-quality Chinese cooking is hard to come by in London, Duddell's, a new modern Chinese restaurant launched in early 2018 has given me high hope. The team behind Duddell's has already gained Michelin star status back in Hong Kong, they have appointed  Daren Liew (Ex Hakkasan) as the Executive Chef to oversee Duddell's London which sounds like a great partnership to me. The early days of Duddell's have already gathered some pretty impressive feedbacks, with a majority of high-profile newspaper food critics has given their thumbs up. Duddell's menu is heavily focusing on Cantonese style, with a touch of Western elements in the mix to make it somewhat creative and unusual.


Upmarket Taiwanese cuisine in London 

Black Mountain Goose

Xu, a Taiwanese restaurant on Rupert Street in Soho is slowly gaining a reputation and some would consider it is the best Taiwanese restaurant in London. It has recently just picked up the Menu of the Year Award by Cateys 2018, a well-respected trade award by the leading trade media title, The Caterer. From the same people behind the highly popular Taiwanese restaurant Bao. Xu is more upmarket with a bigger menu, and plenty of dishes that would not find elsewhere, as well as classic Chinese and Taiwanese dishes. This is my second visit at Xu, and in typical Asian dining fashion, we order a few selections of a la carte dishes and shared with the whole table.

Min Jiang

Fine dining Chinese with a fine view 

Wood-fired Beijing Duck

If you ask me to recommend a real top quality Chinese restaurant in London, Ming Jiang would easily be the first one to come to my mind. Located inside the 5 stars Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, Ming Jiang is on the top floor of the building with a stunning view of Hyde Park. The restaurant is all about top end Chinese cooking with a strong focus on Cantonese cuisine. I went to Ming Jiang for the first time back in 2013 and I was generally impressed with the quality of the food. 5 years later, I headed back to Ming Jiang once again and wonder if much has changed.