Regional Chinese cuisine done right
|Double cooked spicy sliced pork|
Since Dim Sum and Duck opened in Kings Cross at the peak of Covid, it became perhaps one of the most in-demand Chinese restaurants in London. But before Dim Sum and Duck came along, there is already a great Chinese restaurant in Kings Cross in the name of Kaki. What set this place apart vs other Chinese restaurants is that its main focus is on all the regional Chinese cuisine which is still fairly unknown to the British public. the majority of Chinese restaurants in the UK is Cantonese based, but Kaki tapped into other regional classics, such as Jiangsu and Sichuan.
|Wonton pork dumpling|
|Salt and pepper soft shell crab|
For my visit, I opted for those regional dishes that are less common in a typical Cantonese restaurant. The Sichuanese sliced pork belly was wok-fried with Sichuan peppercorn and plenty of chillis, very aromatic and big on flavours, but I found the pork was a touch chewy which really shouldn't be considering it was thinly sliced too. Deep-fried soft shell crab was done right, it had a lovely crispy texture while the seasoning was spot on with a hint of garlic and peppers. The Kaki signature squirrel fish was a masterpiece in knife work by the chef, finely deboned and cooked really well, the sweet and sour sauce had a balance and not a hint of unpleasant aftertaste which you would find in many other Chinese joints, it was the dish of the day.
|Oolong tea braised pork belly|
Kaki was far from perfect, but that is not an issue as they are one of the few restaurants in London that can turn out authentic regional Chinese flavours, and what I really like about this place is that you won't be rushed with your meal, you can relax and take your time till you are ready to leave. When it is sunny, the restaurant also has a garden dining space where you can overlook the Regent's Canel. Kaki for sure is a great addition to London.
What I paid:
£34 per person
Average cost without drinks and services:
125 Caledonian Rd, London N1 9RG