Mar 12 2014

A Wong

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This is now one of my favourite Chinese restaurants in London. I absolutely love it. My friend Paul, who beats me in knowing where the new trendy and good restaurants are in London, took me out for dinner here. A Wong is located in Victoria and owned by Andrew Wong (hence the name) who works in the kitchen and runs the place with his wife who seats and takes care of guests. Andrew’s wife had just given birth so I did not see her during my last visit. I saw Andrew though, working hard in the open plan kitchen (so rare for Chinese restaurants to have a trendy modern open plan kitchen) and he was lovely and had a conversation with us in the middle of his cooking. Andrew at first studied chemistry at Oxford before becoming a Chef and he has travelled and worked in China.

The food and the menu are seriously exciting. You can order food a la carte, from their dim sum menu or chose to have the 10 course taste of China menu or the 11 course Peking Duck menu. I think these set menus are great value for money. We ordered the 10 course taste of China menu for £45 and got incredible dishes and ingredients, it is one of the best value for money set courses I have ever had. Next I am eying the £38/person Peking Duck feast (which has to be pre-ordered 48h in advance) as that looks very good too. Each duck is taken through a series of processes over a 2 day period before reaching the table in the form of an 11 dish banquet. The décor inside is very casual, you can sit by the bar or by wooden tables and it has a modern, almost Soho/ Shoreditch type of feel, which is unusual for Chinese restaurants. If you order from a la carte (or chose dishes from the taste of China set menu) the dishes range from across China, not from a set region like most Chinese restaurants do this.

As I said we went for the 10 course taste of China menu, and I was truly amazed by the breadth of the food you could get across China as many things I did not know and were taught in A Wong. Before we ordered our menu though, as Paul was late, I also ordered some spicy Chinese pickled cucumbers, seriously good. First as part of our set menu, we were brought a plate of small Chinese dips and also 2 very interesting, not your average, both different crackers that Paul and I had to share. Our first proper course was the “dim sum duo” and the waiter explained that there are two places in China which are known for dim sum, the first one being Hong Kong and here we could see dim sum from Hong Kong. The 2 different dim sum were creative, not like the ones you see in Royal China and seriously good.

“63 degree ‘tea egg’ with shredded filo and satay powder” followed and the egg was cooked at 63 degrees, very good. When the waiters brought us the next dish they said that when they brought the Hong Kong dim sum they mentioned that Hong Kong was one of the places where to have dim sum, the other being Shanghai, and here they gave you the typical Shanghai pork dumplings, which I love and literally order every time I am having dim sum. But the trick here was that the chef had put ginger infused vinegar inside the dumpling (usually these Shanghai dumplings you dip in vinegar with ginger and then eat) and it was great how the dumpling tasted exactly like the dumplings I dip in vinegar, so skilful to fuse this together. Next dish was maybe a bit simple, but as I like vegetables, I loved it, “Mixed Chinese market green vegetables with dried shrimp butter, fermented bean curd and pickles”. Paul though thought it had a bit too much butter. “Poached Scottish razor clam with sea cucumber, pickled cucumber, vinegar tapioca and wind dried sausage” followed and this dish had a serious amount of flavour, a lot. Interesting combination of all these things together that worked very well.

As for the next dish “Xinjiang barbecued lamb with cumin and chilli served with pomegranate salad”, Paul and I both agreed that the favours of cumin and chilli were delicious with the lamb, but the problem was that the lamb had a bit too much fat on it, I did not eat 1/3 of it as it was too fattening. The next course “Yunnan seared beef with mint, chilli and lemongrass served with a truffle tofu crisp” had just as much flavour but had less fat and so we enjoyed it more. And the truffle tofu crisp was absolutely fascinating. The waiter told us that there is only one place in China where you can get truffle and that is the Hutong province and here we got a truffle sandwich which consisted of crackers, truffle and tofu and was hard to eat as it was breaking but tasted so strong of truffles but in a very pleasant way. Our last savoury course was “White cut corn fed chicken with peanuts, ‘Gong Bao’ sauce and Sichuan aubergine” and as the name suggests this came from Sichuan, where they love spicy food. I love Sichuan food and A Wong did it so well. The food was not too spicy, it was perfect for me (I loves spicy food though) and I especially liked the aubergines, so soft and tasty and full of flavour, I could not stop eating them, one of the best Chinese aubergine dishes I have tasted, miles better than the dish I had in Bar Shu and I thought that was excellent.

After the main courses we had desserts and we were given two larger desserts and to finish our meal two white chocolates. First arrived “Chilli barbequed pineapple with Beijing street yoghurt”. I did not like the savoury Beijing street yoghurt, but the barbecued pinapple was sweet and very good. The other dessert was “Snow ball merengue, lychee granite, mango puree and lime sorbet”, refreshing and delicious.

I had a great meal at A Wong and it is now one of my favourite Chinese restaurants in London. The food was incredibly creative and I loved the whole concept of serving dishes from various areas of China and educating you along the way. The flavours are Chinese yet the execution is sometimes close to molecular cuisine, and it is so interesting to see Andrew Wong cook such exciting food. I will be coming back to try the Peking duck menu.

Date: 13/ 03/ 14
Price for 2 people with a bottle of wine: £153
Location: Victoria

A. Wong on Urbanspoon

Maija rated: 

4.50

Location: 

A Wong
70 Wilton Road UK SW1V
London
United Kingdom
GB
A Wong Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 4.5