“Simply the best modern Chinese food in London”, insists a fan of Andrew Wong’s “inspirational” Pimlico restaurant, while another convert reckons it’s “the most exciting Chinese to open in Europe since Hakkasan”. We’re also very fond of the place and weren’t surprised when Wong was upgraded from one to two Michelin stars in 2021 (the first Chinese restaurant in the UK to hold such a title).
At lunchtime, we suggest plumping for some “perfect” dim sum in the unpretentious ground-floor space overlooking the open kitchen: esoteric items such as ‘aerated’ sesame dumplings, scallop puffs with dried scallop oil or steamed duck-egg yolk custard buns are presented with real panache and an eye for detail: the “lit cinnamon sticks” (deployed for added fragrance) impressed one diner.
By contrast, evenings are more suited to tasting menus amid the “sheer opulence” of the basement dining room. Here you can expect accomplished but relaxed service, plus some “truly great” dishes culled from China’s diverse regions: a crab claw with cured scallop and wasabi; sweet-and-sour corn-fed chicken with smoked meat and marinated pineapple; ‘gold fish’ dumplings with seared foie gras, dried pork and chive-flower oil.
Both “quality and quantity” are mightily impressive, while crossover desserts also deliver a “big wow” in the shape of, say, poached meringue with fruit textures or coconut water ice with blackberries, Xinjiang mulberries, yoghurt and mochi rice cake. It’s all about “flavours, textures and sensations”.
The restaurant is spot-on when it comes to drinks too, whether you’re in the mood for one of the Chinese-inspired cocktails or want to stay with the list of well-chosen and “surprisingly well-priced” wines.