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Taiwan Village

85 Lillie Rd, London, SW6 1UD, United Kingdom

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Taiwan Village is tucked away in a parade of shops in West Brompton. It has a narrow frontage and a ground floor dining room, with a further basement room. The dining room has a wooden floor, comfortable chairs and various silk flowers and wood decorations. It has grey walls, and the wall by the table at which we were sitting had various splashes and stains on it, which did not give a good impression. However, I should emphasise that the establishment had a perfect five star hygiene rating on the Scores on the Doors scheme at the time of our visit. The chef is from Taiwan, and the menu has various Taiwanese, Hunanese and Sichaun dishes on offer.

There was a wine list with choices such as Rioja Escudero Becquer Doca 2008 at £22.90 for a wine that is sold in the high street for around £7, and Marc Kreydenweiss Gewurztraminer Kritt les Charmes 2011 at £36.50 for a wine that retails at around £20.

The exotically titled “nest of imperial jewels” was actually lettuce containing chopped prawns that had been pan-fried with mustard greens and diced carrots. This was quite enjoyable, the prawns cooked properly although rather tasteless, enlivened with some chill and given freshness through a liberal dash of lemon (12/20). The best dish I tried was General Tso’s chicken, chicken pieces that had been stir-fried with chilli, garlic, ginger and rice vinegar with a little sugar. The balance of sweet, sour and chilli heat worked well, the chicken of modest quality but properly cooked (13/20). This oddly-named dish was probably invented by a Taiwanese chef, which despite its reference to a 19th century Hunanese general is a dish apparently unknown in Hunan itself.

Less good were Sichuan prawns, which had an oddly bland sauce, lacking in much spice at all, ending up a gloopy mess, though the prawns were cooked properly (10/20). Morning glory with garlic was pleasant, cooked a little longer than ideal but nice enough (12/20). Taiwanese radish omelette was rather dull, lacking much in the way of the promised radish (barely 11/20). However Singapore noodles had good texture (12/20) and egg-fried rice was fine. 

Service was a little forgetful but friendly enough, the bill coming to £30 a head with beer and jasmine tea to drink. Overall this was a pleasant and quite cheap local restaurant, with at least one dish definitely of a higher level than the high street norm, though overall it not entirely consistent in standard.

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