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Classy Chinese food in London

Saturday, October 12th , 2013

a-wong 5472 Peking duck-crop-v3.JPG

Janetira is a little Soho Thai restaurant that was open for almost a year serving the Thai staples that we see in every London high street. Recently it became more interesting, serving authentic Bangkok dishes such as searingly hot mackerel curry, and pork offal in five spice broth. You can still get a pad Thai if you wish, but those craving something different when it comes to their Thai meal could choose this, if only as a change from the Heron, the other restaurant in London doing uncompromisingly authentic Thai dishes. 

Peking Duck is a very elaborate dish when made properly, and fine examples of it can be found at restaurants like Made in China, Da Dong and Duck de Chine in Beijing. Sadly the London attempts at this dish are rarely a patch on the real thing, with the honourable exception of HKK. I was therefore intrigued to try the duck at A. Wong, here served in no less than eight courses. It was genuinely good, especially the delicate skin and the flavour of the meat itself. A. Wong is a very interesting restaurant, and this is another good reason to try it. Note that the duck must be pre-ordered.

Hakkasan has started to offer a dim sum set menu on a Sunday lunch, and it is superb. The quality of the steamed dumplings there is up there with the very best in Hong Kong, and even the dessert I tried was superb. I can never get over how consistently good the food here really is, given the huge scale of the place. Still, I am not complaining. 

Apsleys is a regular haunt, its kitchen producing the most sophisticated Italian cooking in London. A tasting menu this week included some superb pasta dishes which are a trademark, but also a dazzling foie gras dish and terrific “beef a pomodoro”, amongst others. Service was excellent, and the only drawback is the costly wine list. Chef Heros de Agostinis was sous chef at 3 star Michelin Pergola in Rome, and his experience shows. It has one Michelin star, but my recent meals there have been at a solid two star level in comparison to restaurants in Italy. 

In other news, long time two Michelin star chef Diego Guerrero left Club Allard in Madrid, reportedly having wanted a break and to pursue new opportunities. At present he has no specific plans for a new restaurant.

I did an interview with Business Insider which seems to have generated some interest, even making it to the LA Times.

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