I think Alan Yau‘s casual, canteen-style ventures are pretty average. Busaba Eathai isn’t the best Thai in town (portions are a bit of a rip off too) and Wagamama is, quite frankly, meh. But when it comes to his Michelin-starred restaurants, you’re talking about a whole different game.
I love flaky, buttery pastry so it’s no surprise that the venison puff (£4.50) won me over. These pretty little buns were topped with sesame seeds and were filled with yummy barbecued pulled (but not stringy!) venison. It tasted like a sosyal fried pork asado siopao except this was on a different level. I would definitely go back for these babies alone. And order three servings. Or four.The king crab Shanghai siew long bun with pork (£6.50) however was dying on another note. It failed to deliver on its promise of crab and broth; it tasted more of the extenders and was quite dry. Shame, I was really looking forward to this dish, with all my friends in Manila posting photos and screaming about xiao long bao. Oh well.
Let’s talk about the cheun fun…
The char siu cheung fun (£5.60) was glorious. Three silky rolls of dimsum filled with barbecued roast pork swimming in a river of delicious broth. The meat is not overpowered with five-spice or honey, nor charred and overdone. Everything is balanced.
The prawn cheung fun (£5.90) swims on the same broth and is equally as good. The prawn was perfectly cooked and the dish is so good that you won’t get annoyed by the fact that the middle parts are chives and extenders.
Of course we had to have macarons (£1.50/piece). I think Laduree‘s better and more melt-in-your mouth but I’m not writing Yauatcha’s little bestsellers yet. The sesame was my favourite and the Earl Grey one was quite tasty too. The matcha, which was the last one they had, was a bit too tea-ish for my taste buds I don’t think I’d get it again. It was a tad too crunchy too, perhaps because it was indeed the last one of the pack?
Overall, our light snack date was a pleasant experience. I can’t say it’s the best nor the most authentic dim sum I’ve ever had but everything, save for the siew long bun, was pretty delicious (that venison puff probably deserves all the Michelin stars in the world but hey, that’s just me). Plus points as it’s pretty cheap! You pay a really reasonable price for what you get. The atmosphere (inside!) is quite relaxed and unpretentious and the servers are all nice. I just hope they’ve sorted out the toilets. I’d defo go back again. =)
15 Broadwick Street London W1F 0DL | Tel: +44(0)20 7494 8888
Average £20pp for a light snack for two with tea (no alcohol)