Andrew Wong has an unusual background for a chef, having started studying chemistry at Oxford before deciding to go into cooking. He travelled and worked in China for some time before returning to London and taking over Kyms, an unexceptional Chinese restaurant in Victoria. He is taking a more modern approach to Chinese cooking rather than being rooted in the identikit Cantonese menus that we are used to in London. He has also spent considerable time researching and fine-tuning his dishes, as can ben seen in his eight course Peking duck meal (see separate review).
One nice feature of the dim sum menu here is that the items are priced individually, so if you are not dining with a large group you can still try lots of dishes. Shanghai pork dumpling (£1.50) had a very thin dumpling containing a liquid centre of pork and just a little ginger-infused vinegar (strong 14/20).
Quail egg puff (£1.75) had a soft-boiled egg at its centre, with a delicate outside coating (14/20). Pork and prawn dumpling (£1.30) came topped with a little pork crackling (14/20), and the classic har gau (£1.30) prawn dumpling was excellent too, served with a sweet chilli sauce and citrus foam (14/20).
Scallop puff (£2) with tapioca powder and XO sauce was unusual but enjoyable (14/20). Chinese chive pot sticker dumpling (£1.50) came topped with a pretty fried potato net (14/20). Deep fried prawn ball (£1.75) came with abalone and chilli vinaigrette (14/20). At a further lunch soon after this one, I tried some more traditional dishes like crispy duck and Singapore noodles. These were also good, the noodles having excellent texture - a far cry from the usual Chinatown versions.
The bill for all this, with jasmine tea, came to just £18 before tip. If you had alcohol and went in the evening you might pay £40 a head, a bargain for some of the most interesting Chinese cooking in London.