A. Wong’s dim sum offering differs from the norms of Chinatown in a number of ways. For a start, you can order by the individual piece, so if you are dining by yourself or with one other person you can try a much wider variety of dishes than is normally possible, where each order normally brings three or four identical dumplings. In addition, the dim sum themselves are not the usual staples – there is no har gau, xiao long bau or cheung fun on the menu here. Instead there are either modern interpretations of classic dim sum dishes, or quite innovative dishes that you simply don’t see in other restaurants.
The meal today started with quail egg croquette puff, which had a delicate exterior and came on a bed of crisp seaweed (14/20). Sichuanese chicken and peanut bon-bon had a liquid centre within a fried coating, with a complex blend of flavours and spices (15/20). Rabbit and carrot glutinous puff had rabbit meat inside a carrot coating, with a garnish to make the finished product resemble a carrot (14/20). Scallop dumpling came with a coating of red-coloured tapioca, the shellfish tender and working well with the texture of the tapioca (14/20). Pork and prawn dumpling came topped with a little crisp of pork crackling, which was a clever touch (14/20).
Gai lan in a steamed rice roll had a liquid egg yolk which worked quite well with the broccoli (14/20). Deep fried prawn ball was mixed with abalone and came with sweet chilli vinaigrette that nicely lifted the flavour of the shellfish (14/20). French bean salt and pepper fritters was essentially bean tempura, and had impressively delicate and light batter that would not have been amiss in a Tokyo tempura restaurant, with well balanced seasoning (16/20). Clear shrimp dumpling came with a citrus foam and a sweet chilli sauce, the citrus bringing some pleasing freshness to the dish (15/20).
Chinese chive pot sticker dumpling was also good (14/20) but I particularly liked the honey baked pork pasty, which had excellent meat, a nice touch of honey and delicate pastry (16/20). Wild mushroom and truffle steamed bun was delicate and had a genuine aroma of black truffle (14/20). A custard tart dim sum was quite effective as a dessert, tasting rather like a warm doughnut with a custard filling (14/20). Finally there was a very clever “mahjong tile” white chocolate , complete with the mahjohn tile marking, inside which was a filling of with strawberry ice cream and gingerbread, a combination that was very effective (16/20).
Service was good, with a new manager in charge today. The bill came to £33 a head for an implausible amount of dim sum plus tea to drink. This is the most inventive, and also some of the very best, dim sum in London.