Pearl Liang 1

8 Sheldon Square , London, W2 6EZ

  • Pearl Liang
  • Pearl Liang

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SquareMeal Review of Pearl Liang

Pearl Liang is not your normal Chinese drop-in. Firstly, there’s the room – a subterranean space that makes up for its lack of natural light with sexy purple upholstery and snazzy flower-blossom designs. Then there’s the ‘sublime’ cooking, which goes the extra mile for authenticity as it romps through the Chinese regional repertoire, taking in everything from excellent crispy duck with homemade pancakes to sweet-and-sour chicken jazzed up with pomegranate. Premium seafood also abounds – from steamed razor clams and scallops stuffed with crabmeat to a hatful of turbot specialities – and the kitchen is happy to go walkabout for the likes of lobster sashimi. The lengthy line-up of dim sum is a lunchtime crowd-puller (think prawn and radish dumplings, chicken’s feet, fried octopus cakes and BBQ pork puffs), and there are some classic cocktails for a post-work refresher.

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6.5

Food & Drink: 7.3

Service: 5.5

Atmosphere: 7.1

Value: 6.2

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Lian C. 31 May 2015

4 of us went there for dim sum. All 13 dim sum dishes were all delicious. But the ervice is really slow with drinks order. My friends ordered a beer and a glass of red wine to have before meal. But the drinks came half way through our meal. They then ordered a bottle of white wine. It came when we nearly finished the meal after repeat request! It is such a pity that drink service was bad, but tea service and food were better than average.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Gourmand Gunno platinum reviewer 11 May 2014

Paddington's Sheldon Square is by no means the most obvious location to go when searching for a new Chinese restaurant to enjoy, being sandwiched almost next to the train station and surrounded by faceless office blocks, think Canary Wharf relocated close to Little Venice. Nonetheless, Pearl Liang is well worth a visit based on the overall experience, from atmosphere through to food and service. The event began well as while loitering outside regarding the menu, a couple were leaving, enthusing about the place and endorsing that we enter (they had been for their 30th – pearl – wedding anniversary). On entering, it was also immediately notable that the majority of the tables were full, fortunately not overly populated by besuited office workers, and many occupied by Chinese families. The interior is furnished in a contemporary style but with some homage to tradition, think wood panelling and dragon carvings as well as much more modern mirrors and mood lighting. When the food arrived (the menu itself, like many Chinese, was extensive and took some time to consider), it was obvious why the place was so popular: two things stood out – there was not a hint of MSG and, hence, there was a clear emphasis on freshness of flavour. Spices were introduced to dishes with clear thought such that they were not over-powering and the vegetables were not cooked to within an inch of their lives or drowned in unforgiving sauces, bring allowed to speak for themselves. There were no failings and if I were to select one stand-out dish then it would be the pork Szechuan-style served with fried green beans, a wonderful combination with lovely harmony. Some previous reviewers have griped about service at Pearl Liang, but there was no cause for complaint, other than that the food perhaps came to the table too quickly. Staff appeared helpful and knowledgeable and seemed happy to chat with both local and non-Chinese customers. All of this does, of course, come at a price and it would be hard to get away with less than fifty pounds a head, not obviously cheap, but perhaps fair in a London context. One final piece of advice: if you go, then make sure to sit in the main room; the front bar area seemed to lack atmosphere and from there, Paddington's office blocks sadly loom into view.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Mayi M. 11 October 2013

Had taken my team for lunch after a successful project so everyone was looking forward to the meal. We had some issues with the food and our complaints were not deal with correctly. The service wasn't great and the waiter was borderline rude. However the food was excellent.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 1.0

John S. 03 July 2013

Avoid at all costs!! Following a minor incident of miscommunication caused by poor communication ability exhibited by the general staff, which led to a mistake in the payment of the bill whereby we suggested we would prefer not pay the optional service charge when I had been told it was optional, we experienced a very hostile and confrontational reaction from the managers. It was shocking that a manager had a go at one of my friends with me, who can speak Chinese, whereas the rest of our party could not, in Chinese and at the table, instead of tactfully discussing the matter with me away from the table when there was a chance to do so. When I noted that this could have been more tactfully handled the response was “did you ask for a manager?”, thus implying that this was in fact my fault, a nonsensical line of argument as the answer is of course not, as I was not aware we had made a mistake! Words such as ‘disrespectful’ and ‘disgraceful’ were used by the manager for the failure to pay the service charge, an assessment which is deeply insulting as a polite, respectful customer who made a simple mistake and in fact I would suggest that these words perfectly describe the approach of the manager. As students, who did not study in London, we did not understand what the appropriate procedure was and rather than take a humane approach that explained to us what we should do, the manager instead verbally attacked my friend and spoilt the evening. We were made to feel uncomfortable and out of place as students by the snobbish, elitist approach of the manager. Our evening was truly spoilt and I would strongly advise against any visit to this restaurant. Following this uncomfortable ‘discussion’ with the manager we were under intense pressure, especially as I was entertaining two guests and this was in front of the rest of the restaurant, that surmounted to being ‘forced’, to sign a piece of paper to say that the service was excellent and it was ‘our fault’ – quite the contrary I would now like to express the truth which was that service was not excellent: throughout the meal it was ‘good-to-average’ and this sole event was one of the most shocking examples of bad service that I have ever experienced in any restaurant. It felt like we were not being allowed to leave the restaurant until we had been forced to agree with the manager. As an aside the quality of the food served was good, although I feel it was very overpriced.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Alison F. 29 April 2013

This restaurant has very good food! Miss Francis

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Grumbling Gourmet platinum reviewer 15 April 2012

Pearl Liang used to be very close to my office and was a great spot for payday dim sum. As I still do some work with them I often find myself nearby, seldom sadly at mealtimes. Going back to visit The Insider for a post work meeting that segued into beers that morphed into a strong desire for something to fill our stomachs seemed like an ideal opportunity and so we snagged a table in the windowless space. It was surprisingly busy given its soulless office complex location in Paddington's mini Canary Wharf, Sheldon Square. Arriving after 9, even on a near weekend evening, may not have been wise. The service was abrupt, a little distracted (we ordered a second beer and they brought and served us an entirely different brand) and they were keen to chivvy towards the end. A party arriving later than us were asked for their dessert and coffee orders even as their main courses were coming out. I can understand the logic within licencing laws, but wasn't aware that it was illegal to serve coffee and ice cream after 11. We weren't really there for a long digestion of the menu and went for one of the set choice menus, given what I've heard about the usually high quality here that may have been a mistake. The selection of starters was a promising mix of mainly fried and breaded items. The squid fared particularly well, and a plump prawn encased in crisp dry noodles was similarly toothsome, though I had to leave most of my large Vietnamese style spring roll, filled with glassy noodles (and little else) before being deepfried. The one I had seemed to return most of the contents of the frier, disgorging oily liquid as I bit into it. A slug of Tsing Tao was needed to wash the taste away and the rest of the roll remained on the plate, avoided by me and uncommented on by the staff. Aromatic, rather than crispy, duck followed, with the delightful addition of homemade pancakes. In the same way as you will with fresh, homemade pasta, we really noticed the difference. We finished with four sharing bowls of varying quality. Mixed vegetables were barely cooked in a lightly spiced silken sauce, fine for snappy beans, less appetising for the large chunks of raw mushroom. mixed seafood in XO sauce was perfectly acceptable and packed with creamy chunks of scallop and squid but like the beef in oyster sauce was over salty for my palate. Admittedly the biggest saline hit came from a dry fried chicken with chilli that, while hugely moreish, seemed more like bar counter subterfuge, an attempt to get us to keep ordering lagers (if we hadn't hit last orders mid way through the mains that is…) Overall, I wasn't hugely impressed, I've had better Cantonese food than this, but I've also had better here. I don't think we got the best of the kitchen on this visit.

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 1.0

Terence C. 10 July 2011

I was one of Pearl Liangs Ravers when it first opened. I live very close in Little Venice so used it very frequently. Having not been for a while, this place has fallen to pieces. when we arrived we waited about 15 mins before we where asked could we wait 10 mins. Then we where told are table booked for 8.30, its now 9pm (was not ready), would we like to sit in reception. I said no we would sit in the bar with a drink on the house for the mess up. I was told ok, while we where waiting, I witnessed the bar person pouring bits of wine brought back from the restaurant back into open house wine bottles in the bar. Then repour when orders came in. After being asked if we would like to stay in the bar area (NO NO NO) we have a table booked in the restaurant. We where given a table. The service was very bad BIG language problems trying to order, the food came in a very mixed up order The last starter came with our main course. I ordered a Sizzle hot plate. When it came out on the plate, not placed on sizzle in front of me I was told it sizzled in the Kitchen. In a very Aggresive manner. Half way through dinner they started taking the tea candles off the tables like we are now closing. So to the bill we where given a bar bill of £38 We only had a bottle of Water When I spoke to the Manager he said This is the drinks you had at the bar. one drink we had at the bar on you I told him for the 1 hour delay. I have gone on enough I will never go back and I will tell a lot of people. What a shame for me it was the best chinese in london.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

Tiara silver reviewer 03 March 2011

Pearl Liang- the site of many business lunches- a great standby. I've had the hot & sour soup- always good for a starter. I've also had mushroom & bean curd stir fry. I tend to go for vegetarian option (never really trusting the meat sources at restaurants) and there is a great selection here. Service is unobtrusive, but attentive. Ambiance is filled with business types or birthday celebrations, a bit too dark for my tastes, but can make you feel like you've really had a lunch break. A good pick for variety & 1 hour lunches.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Michael S. 11 October 2010

I went there last week with my wife and daughter. The athmosphere is very nice, the service ist quick and good. The food was excellent. We had a bery good Beijing duck, and the sizzling dishes are very delicious. Prices for wines are very reasonable. We had a very good dinner with excellent food and value for money.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 5.0

Vicki G. bronze reviewer 12 April 2010

Went for Dim Sum on Sunday after reading very good things about it on foody blogs. It was excellent and very good value for money. It is in an office/residential development so all new but once in the restaurant you wouldn't know this. I would certainly return if I was in the area.

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Special offers

15% OFF your food bill

From: 08 October 2012

To: 31 December 2017

Max: 0

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