All reader reviews by theneonhub
The restaurant was almost empty when we ate (10.30pm) but the helpful manager livened up the room with his enthusiasm in helping us choose our dishes. There is also a private room that has no room charge and can feature karaoke for celebrations.
We’d go back when we need a blast on the taste buds. We’d re-order the Sichuan-Folk Special Flavoured Chicken and try the Steamed Pork in Pumpkin and Fragrant Chicken with Dry Chilli. What we ate...
Sichuan-Folk Appetizer Platter – £12.80 - A sharing plate with a large portion of Sichuan-Folk Special Flavoured Chicken in the middle and four accompaniments around the side; Walnut Kernel with Sesame, Green Beans with Ginger Sauce, Sichuan Spare Ribs and some pickled vegetables. The chicken was delicious, soft from being poached and covered in a creamy nut sauce despite being the spiciest of the five dishes. The crunchy Green Beans were a second favourite disappearing almost immediately while a few Spare Ribs went back to the kitchen as they were a bit too fatty to eat the whole portion.
Sichuan-Folk Twice Cooked Pork – £6.90 - We loved this dish of sticky belly pork, sliced thinly with chewy caramel-like frazzled fat. The pork came with some vegetables and soft pillow pancakes to wrap the pork and soak up the delicious sauce.
Fish-Fragrant Sea Bass – £13.80 - This dish was left until last which was a big mistake. The intense heat of frying the fish had curled it so the tail nearly almost touched it’s mouth, by the time we got through the pork the fish had drooped and lost it’s crispiness. However it was still moist with a thick sticky coating.
Drink - 4 Tsing Tao beers
Friday, February 10, 2012
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 7
The dining room is absolutely beautiful but the interior was slightly bizarre. When you enter (from Victoria side) there is a beautiful run of elaborate ceiling that stretches horizontally across the restaurant but this is cut off by the private room. Another visual barrier was a flower stand that hits your eye as soon as you enter, assuming it is to increase privacy, it was placed far back into the dining room and with few tables behind it the effect was lost. The other disappointing element was a huge wall of empty shellfish tanks, apparently they did not provide enough space and oxygen but with the £18m refurbishment of The Grosvenor we’d hope for more consideration for the crustaceans. Room aside the service redeems, is attentive yet discreet and representative of a top-drawer hotel.
We’ll be back for the duck, homemade noodles and the exceptional service but would love to experience it in a rearranged dining room with some curtains hiding the busy Buckingham Palace Road. What we ate...
Prawn with Mustard Sauce – £10 - The flavour of the mustard picked up the prawns and it was a punchy way to start the meal.
Baked Mussels with Garlic Butter – £8 - The plump and very fresh mussels come in a bowl with sauce rather than laid flat bathing in baked butter. We were dying to chuck in some cream and get a portion of chips but refrained.
Peking Duck with Pancake – £46 - A whole duck was wheeled over to the table and the server demo’d his nifty knife skills by first slicing off the crispy skin followed prime slices of meat for the 10 pancakes, the rest went back to the kitchen to be prepared into a second serving. The super soft pancakes were made in-house and with the other components all of exceptional quality this was the stand-out dish of the evening.
Sauteed Minced Duck Wrapped with Lettuce – (second course included in price)
The non-pancake duck went back to the kitchen to be minced and sauteed returning for a second wrapping with lettuce. The chef had added seasoning and a lighter sauce which gave a fresh salty version of the previous sweet. This was also delicious.
Baked Cod with Barbecued Honey Sauce – £24 - We loved this dish, the cod was expertly cooked and came as a whole fillet with just a touch of the fork flaking off tender chunks, the sauce not overly sweet. Would go very well with a side dish of broccolli.
Braised E-Fu Noodles with Mushroom – £10 - The best noodles we have ever eaten. Made in-house and highly recommended.
**A huge rest and some green tea**
Grand Imperial Green Tea Brulee – £7 - We welcomed some sugar to wake us up from our food coma. The taste was delicate but we found the brulee a little heavy but not in any way a disappointing end to the meal.
Drink - 1 bottle Sparkling Water – £4.50
Friday, February 10, 2012
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 5
We visited at 9pm on Saturday and being right in the middle of Soho it was as busy and buzzing as you would expect. The crowds were mainly groups with some big tables sharing lots of dishes. The dining room decor is a modern Thai mix of purple, brown and gold with minimal fixtures, fittings and crockery. It is as bright as the Soho lights outside which is slightly intense but suits the atmosphere in and out of the restaurant. The service is very good with lots of staff and the layout of the room means you would never struggle on catching someones eye.
A great option for eating some interesting and modern Thai dishes and we would definitely return to try more of the unusual menu options. Large portions and dishes suited for sharing means this can be an affordable option in the west end where you are guaranteed greater quality than the majority of nearby Chinatown. What we ate.....
Ruam Mittr (mixed appetizer plate for 2) – £13.95 - This came with corn fritters, chicken satay, pomelo and prawn salad, spring rolls and a Dokk Jokk basket (a flower shaped mould used with sweet and savoury batter).
The star on the plate were the corn fritters with red curry batter and an aromatic syrup; a moreish combination of crispness with the chew from the corn and sweetness from the syrup.
The satay was excellent and a refined version of skewers with gloopy sauce. These were generous portions of moist marinated breast with an almost dry satay coating.
The spring rolls and Dokk Jokk basket were not as impressive. The rolls were long and thin and more like breadsticks so the sparse filling was lost and the basket was more of the same fried flavour.
The pomelo salad with prawns was a welcome cleanser from the fried foods served in bite-size lettuce leaves and a delicious and fresh combination of sweet and sour.
Overall it was a generous starter with a interesting mix of dishes at a reasonable price.
Goong Mayonnaise (prawn tempura with mayo) – £6.95 - What made this dish stand apart from other prawn tempura was the Thai touch of a sweet honey glaze. The honey cut through the mayonnaise and balanced the salt in the batter making this simple touch definitely worth trying.
Gang Phed Pad Yang (duck red curry) – £11.95 - The red curry was very mild and the addition of lychees, pineapple and grapes took the spice down even further. The result was very tender slices of duck breast in a creamy fruity sauce. The sauce was delicious soaked up in the rice but if you do not like overly fruity curry do avoid however for a delicate take on a duck dish this worked well.
Poo Nim Kra Taem Prik Thai (soft shell crab) – £10.95 - The soft shell crab was big and spiky and crunchy and coated in a lip-tingling garlic and zingy pepper sauce with refreshing garnish slices of starfruit. Although the portion was big we still fought for the last piece.
Salad Goong Lai Suea (tiger prawn salad) – £12.95 - The huge tiger prawns were the main course favourite. Slashed and grilled they were upturned and drizzled with a Thai pesto sauce; a delicious punchy green citrus dressing.
Steamed Jasmine Rice – £2.50 - A generous portion of hot fluffy steaming rice.
Drink - Prosecco – £25.95. Tap water – free
Friday, February 10, 2012
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8
We visited at 8pm on a Tuesday evening and the place was packed, full of locals and a good mix of clientele. The dining room itself is classic brasserie with mirrors, arty French posters, a shiny brass bar and big open glass frontage with tables on the street. The black and white clad waiters were attentive, formal and knowledgeable about the menu and wine. We began with some drinks at the bar (independently called Pierre’s) and then moved to the dining area which added some occasion to the evening.
This is a neighbourhood restaurant for people popping in for supper without much occasion but popular as such so you are guaranteed an atmosphere. The food is good if you order simply and don’t want anything too elaborate, while the kitchen is skilled you have to choose wisely as too many ingredients let it down as with our Steak Holstein proving 3 ingredients too much. We would return on a Monday for the Chateaubriand offer. We ate...
Rossmore rock oysters (Jersey) – £25 for 12 - They came with lemon, shallot vinegar, tabasco and worcestershire sauce.
Steak Tartare – £19.90 - This was our favourite main because it epitomised what La Brasserie is good for; hearty classic simple French dishes. The portion was large and came with an order of tasty thin crispy frites. The tartare itself was well seasoned and the soft minced steak contrasted well against the slight crunch of the gherkins and onions.
Hamburger Holstein – £16.90 - A classic Holstein is a super savoury combo of meat, anchovy and caper laced with the smoothness of egg yolk. This egg was cooked perfectly but unfortunately the anchovy and capers were hidden on one corner of the burger and lost in the huge weight of the meat. The whole dish did not seem to work together maybe because the meat itself was dry despite using chopped steak which you would expect to be moist when cooked medium. The dish also came with a basket of frites.
Drink - Tap water – free. 3 glasses of Champagne – £11.50 each. 2 glasses of Fleurie – £7.50 each
Friday, February 10, 2012
Food 5 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 5
With places such as Allpress, Prufrock and Penny University it is all about the beans but for those who like to eat just as much St ALi is a rare combo of the two.
St.ALi is in the tardis space that used to be Dust nightclub. The interior has retained an industrial feel but benefited from some polishing up and customers can sit on the ground floor tables, the circular coffee bar, or the quieter upstairs.
The menu is served all day so if you fancy a breakfast at 5pm of House-braised Beans on Sourdough Toast with Salted Ricotta, Lemon, Mint and Truffled Mascarpone (£6.35) you know where to go.
Lunch serves similarly interesting food such as the vegetarian Caramelised Sweet Potato Tart with Snow Pea Shoots and Herb Salad (£6.35) followed by desserts like Chocolate Jelly or homemade cakes.
St.ALi’s roastery dominates the back of the ground floor behind the coffee bar. The aroma from the roasted beans is amazing at all times of the day and if you get there at the right time you can watch the roastery in action (no doubt they would be very happy to explain the process). The beans vary from day to day according to which are good at the time and this reflects in the taste; our lattes were so good we had two in succession.
Finally somewhere with really good coffee and really good food. We’ll go back with a group of friends and make use of the huge wooden table upstairs for a long boozy brunch.
Friday, February 10, 2012
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 6