Dim Sum has always seemed to me to be more suited to cold wintery weather, lots of stodgy dumplings etc. My experience with it has been limited to really conventional venues like the New World in Chinatown – not that there is anything really wrong with the New World, which has its own old world charm. I also was very much of the view that you just don’t bother ordering dessert in a Chinese Restaurant unless you’re a fan of lychees. A Wong however blew my misconceptions out of the water.
I had read most of the reviews, the glowing and the not so glowing, so I knew to expect something a bit different. Ken Hom raves about this place in his tweets, so I also had pretty high expectations on the food front.
I did a walk-in on a sunny lunch time (it’s best to book though, just in case you’re not as lucky as I was). The service was spot on, my menu arrived just after I had settled into my seat. I ordered a nice glass of Rosé, some tap water and four Dim Sum dishes. Dim Sum is just a small part of the menu, which also includes a tasting menu that will have to wait for another visit.
One of the things that really hit me about Andrew Wong’s restaurant was just how “Cool” it was in every sense of the word – the ambiance, the service, the clientele, and the beautifully presented food. I am sure the weather helped – it was nice to see that some diners had also chosen to eat outside in the small cordoned off section of the pavement that I had passed by many times and never seen used.
The dishes I ordered seemed just right for a summers day. I started with a quail egg croquette puff, it was hard to eat with chop sticks, but I managed – nice runny egg, crispy seaweed and a refreshing ginger dip. Then shortly after I finished that my beautifully presented Chinese chive pot sticker dumpling arrived, it was light and surprisingly refreshing. The next two dishes were more substantial. Crab, Seafood and Beancurd Cannelloni with Pickled Cockles – the Pickled Cockles adding just the right amount of kick to the Cannelloni and the Sesame buttered Smoked Chicken, a dish that is perhaps not to everyone taste, consisting of strips of smokey chicken and cucumber.
The dessert menu was so inviting I seriously struggled to choose from 3 of the 4 dessert options on offer:-
- Snowball Meringue, lychee granite, mango puree and lime sorbet
- Tobacco soaked banana, nut crumble, chocolate, soy caramel
- Coconut ice cream, glutinous dumpling, apple, pandan jelly and peanut cream
I eventually choose the Coconut Ice cream dish – which was nothing like I expected based on its description. It arrived in a martini glass topped with candy floss. It was lovely, I had to use my fingers to eat the candy floss, and all the ingredients just worked beautifully together. The people at the next table had ordered the other two desserts listed, so I also had the chance to see how spectacular they were as well. Amazing, much to my surprise I had finished my meal with a superb dessert – in a Chinese Restaurant!
The best thing I think any diner can say about a Restaurant is that they will be back, and I will be back.
UPDATE : August 2013 – popped in for the excellent value Set Lunch, had the Dim Sum basket and Scotch Beef Rump fried noddles with a glass of wine for £12.95, then I just had to go for a dessert. This time I ordered the Snow ball meringue, lychee granite, mango puree and lime sorbet, it was very light and really refreshing. I have added some more pictures from this visit.
UPDATE: September 2013 – A Wong have been awarded a Bib Gourmand – “Michelin Inspectors’ Favorites for Good Value”.
UPDATE: October 2017 – A Wong have been awarded a Michelin Star.