Made in China (SW1)

37 Monck Street, London, England, SW1P 2BL, United Kingdom

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  • 020 7222 2218.
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Made in China is tucked away in an obscure side street in Westminster. It is smartly decorated, with floor to ceiling windows, grey tiled floor and a modern feel. There is a part of the kitchen open to the dining room, so you can see the steaming of the dim sum. Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2008 was listed at £35 for a wine that costs around £16 to buy in the shops, Bishops Leap Sauvignon Blanc 2008 was £24 compared to a retail price of around £8, but for those in a celebratory mood the bargain of the list is Dom Perignon 1998 at £160, which is less than it costs in the shops at the moment.

One unusual feature is all-day dim sum (mostly £3 for the steamed items, £4 for fried or grilled). Har gau (steamed prawn dumplings) were very good indeed, the prawns perfectly cooked, the dumpling covering delicate (14/20), while a pair char sui buns had good meat in the centre but were not quite as light and fluffy as the best of their breed (12/20). Hot and sour soup (£4.50) was also good, if not quite as rich and complex as it can be elsewhere (12/20), while crabmeat and sweet corn soup (£6) tasted properly of its elements (13/20).

Things slipped when it came to main courses. Szechuan prawns (£9.50) were fine, nicely cooked and served with chillies and stir-fried vegetables in a noodle basket (13/20). But Singapore noodles (£7) managed to be remarkably dry (10/20), while gai lan was correctly cooked but the kitchen had used larger pieces of broccoli than ideal, meaning that this was not quite as tender as it could be (12/20). Egg fried rice was fine (12/20). Bizarrely, given the otherwise moderate prices, a double espresso was charged at £4. Service was friendly and efficient.

Oddly, although the restaurant is now serving Chinese rather than Japanese food, the ownership is unchanged. The owner also has a couple of more basic Chinese restaurants, such as the Bamboo Basket in the Westfield shopping centre. Despite this unpromising transition, the food was pretty good here, certainly better than plenty of Chinatown establishments. The bill was £33 a person, which did not seem unreasonable.

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