Pearl Liang

8 Sheldon Square , Paddington Central, London, England, W2 6EZ, United Kingdom

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Pearl Liang is in the large Paddington Central development, a set of connected modern flats near the railway station. If travelling by car, actually getting there is an interesting experience, since the restaurant is tucked away within the complex. We were greeted at the barrier by a very helpful security guard who directed us to the parking for the complex, a short drive away. When we arrived there we were hailed by another guard who evidently had been alerted to us coming, and sent us off down a maze of deserted roads past assorted bulldozers and other heavy earth-moving equipment that finally led to a car park disconcertingly marked “private”. From there we made our way to a glass elevator, up a story to a concrete amphitheatre, along the side of which were a few shops and our goal, the Pearl Liang. 

If you make it past all this, the restaurant itself is a pleasant surprise. The room has an attractive bar on the right as you enter, the large dining room being mostly to the left. Little red lanterns hand from the ceiling, and there is an attractive mural along one long wall.  The floor is tiled and the upholstery is bright pink. The menu is fairly conventional Cantonese. The wine list has Louis Roederer champagne at a very fair £44, and a decent selection of mostly French wines. Jasmine tea was of good quality. I was wondering if we might be the only diners given the journey, but the place had a decent sprinkling of customers, many of whom were Chinese. There was some rather over-loud muzak playing.

We started with soups: hot and sour, and crab meat and sweetcorn. These were both very pleasant, the hot and sour soup having a pleasant stock and nicely balanced flavours (12/20). A prawns and chive dumpling had tender prawn filling, though the texture of the dumpling was a little heavy (12/20). A wasabi prawn steamed dumpling had similar characteristics. Better were the main courses. Steamed sea bass was served off the bone, with black bean sauce and a garnish of fresh coriander. The bass was extremely well cooked, the flesh of just the right consistency, while the sauce did not overwhelm the fish (14/20). Gai lan (here called “kai lan”) was light steamed with garlic, and tasted fresh, with lovely consistency (14/20). Singapore noodles had good texture (13/20), while egg fried rice was also fine (13/20). 

Service was excellent throughout, very attentive and friendly. Overall, a place which exceeded my expectations.  I am not sure how well it will do commercially given its eccentric location, but the cooking deserves a wider audience than I suspect it will get.

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  • Name unavailable

    I went do Pearl Liang during my one day trip to London. The flight back was out of Heathrow so it was kind of convenient for me to grab a bite in proximity of Paddington station and Heathrow Express. I like dim sum, and furthermore I fell frustrated that quality of very good Chinese restaurants is only to be found in London! Paris and Amsterdam had their modest shares in past though. Since in my hometown proper dim sum is nowhere to be found wile in London I tend to concentrate to nothing but the best. In past fifteen years I've been in almost every single highly rated establishment in London, by Hardens, Square Meal,Michelin Guide and Andy. My impression is that Pearl Liang has nothing to be ashamed of. A touch of Mandarin Kitchen glorious days is obvious in meal selection. To my surprise service was excellent. I had a nice experience with waiter who made a sympathetic joke about me printing a menu in advance. Interior is sexy and modern, and it is a lucky dining option for people working in vicinity. Perfect dim sum lunch of high quality ended up 22 GBP, and it was heaven for senses. And no Royal China “trying to double tip you” tricks!

  • Simon Holz

    Being weekly Dim Sum regulars at Royal China we heard of Pearl Liang through a friend. It was a very pleasant surprise through and through. Andy's review hits the nail on the spot...finding parking and finding the place for the first time is not easy. But once you get there, the interior makes you feel welcome and the food is definitely worth the trip. BBQ Pork Bun, Prawn n Chive Dumplings, Shiu Mei are all of high quality and taste. We especially liked the Xiao Long Bao (Shanghai Soup Dumplings).

  • Helen Yuet Ling Pang

    Thanks for this Andy. I look forward to eating there, if I can find it! The dim sum was recommended by a couple of people, so let's see!