L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon** (Menu Decouverte)

Sunday, 29 August 2010

We had covered this place before but essentially the summary of that review is:
  • Has the name of Joel Robuchon behind it
  • 2 Michelin stars
  • We tried the ala carte menu and was generally disappointed
I wasn’t particularly keen to eat here again but 1) we were here tonight for the tasting menu and my friends had a good experience with it and 2) it wasn’t my choice anyway. Our table of 8 were seated in the L’Atelier section (ground floor, trendy looking counter around the chef’s cooking area, some slightly uncomfortable seats and tables on the sides) instead of the La Cuisine section (more traditional restaurant section) as the latter was closed that day.

We all had the tasting menu and some of us also had the matching wines as well for an extra £40. For an extra £80, one can get the Prestige matching wines instead (from what I can tell, Prestige means more of the wines come from France). Being a lightweight, the PigPig and I shared the matching wines. Also, I’m by no means an expert on wine, so bear with me in my descriptions below.

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, London 07

“Royale” of foie gras, port reduction and parmesan foam”. The first course listed on the menu was an amuse-bouche. It had a layer of foie gras mousse at the bottom followed by a thin but strong tasting layer of tart port and topped by the slightly salty cheese. I thought the whole combination of flavours was really good but it was quite a rich start, albeit a fitting introduction for the rest of the meal. Perhaps the only criticism of this was the lack of a textural element.

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, London 01

No matching wine for this course.

Caviar served on a bed of crab meat and lobster jelly”.

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, London 02

Similar to above, this course was essentially a pile of mushy stuff but on this occasion I honestly didn’t care about the lack of a crunchy bit simply because it tasted so good. The briny saltiness of the caviar really meshed well with the sweetness of the crab while the lobster added even more richness. One of the few times I took my time to really enjoy something.

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, London 03

‘O Rosal’, Terra Gauda, Riad Baixas, Spain, 2008”. The sharpness of the wine contrasted quite well with the rich caviar and helped to clear the palate.

Green asparagus cappuccino, cream chives and golden croutons”. Another rich creamy course, the soup was fairly well seasoned but lacked any real sparkle for me. The chives didn’t really make an effect as well while I felt the croutons were a bit on the chewy side.

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, London 04

Feherburgundi, Weninger, Sopron, Hungary, 2007”. This was actually a really drinkable white wine which had a nice balance of dryness and sweetness with a fruity tone.

Caramelised scallop served with kumquat emulsion”. I was really disappointed by this course. Although the scallop was expertly cooked to leave the middle slightly raw, it didn’t have any of the natural scallop sweetness. I think grilling the scallop would have been better too. The kumquat sauce also was a bit too sour for my liking.

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, London 05

Ovilos Biblia Chora, Pangeon, Greece, 2008”. If I recall correctly, I didn’t like this much as I thought it was a too oaky.

Seared duck foie gras served with white peaches and hazelnuts”. A pretty good quality albeit small piece of foie gras, this soft delectable fatty slice was cooked well and the sweet glaze was great too. As always, a sweet fruity component works well with the rich meat while the nuts added both flavour and crunchy texture.

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, London 06

Brumiere, Pacherenc, South West France, 2007”. A sweet wine but not as intense as a muscat or port, probably more similar in sweetness levels to an eiswein. I liked it, even though I’m no big fan of dessert wines in general, while the PigPig naturally loved it.

Pan fried fillet of red mullet, pissaladiere and sauce vierge”. The delicately flavoured fish wasn’t paired particularly well with the slightly bitter olive paste on the light pastry crust under the fish for me. Nobody in our table was particularly impressed by this dish.

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, London 08

Cotes du Luberon Rose “Tradition” Chateau Val Joanis, Rhone Valley, France, 2008”. Honestly can’t remember much about this wine now, but I think it was fairly pleasing to drink.

Free range quail stuffed with foie gras and truffle mashed potatoes”. Now the last time we ate, we ordered this dish from the ala carte section and I ate the thigh part, leaving the drumstick bit for the PigPig not knowing that only the thigh had the foie gras stuffing; she wasn’t pleased then, especially when I told her how great it was. It was just as good this time as well with the quail merely being a vehicle to carry forward the taste of the sweetish glaze and the foie gras inside.

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, London 09

The mash had a very generous shaving of truffles over it as well as mixed into it although I don’t think it really added much to an already awesome mash. As I mentioned in the previous review, we were told the mash had pretty much only two ingredients – butter and potato – and it really shows as it was an incredibly rich and creamy. We were all well pleased that we were given some extra mash potato on the side as well.

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, London 10

“Vendimia Seleccionada” Bodega Resalte, Ribera Del Duero, Spain, 2007”. Err, I think this was alright as well.

Now after all the savoury dishes were doled out, we were offered a chance to go and enjoy our desserts up on the terrace. Seeing as it was a rather nice summer’s evening we decided to take up their offer although the cynical me was wondering if it was because they wanted the table for the next seating.

Francois’s duo of desserts”. The first bit was a blood orange sorbet with a white chocolate coating (yes I’m aware it’s orange coloured). I’ve never had a sorbet popsicle before, much less paired with chocolate, but it actually turned out pretty well and the chocolate was a good match with the slightly bitter yet sweet sorbet. We were told that there were pop rocks inside but it must’ve fizzled out because we didn’t detect any.

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, London 11

The second dessert was a chocolate mousse with white chocolate ice cream topped with what I think was oreo shavings. All in all pretty nice without being overly sweet or rich and the addition of little balls of chocolate (like mini Maltesers) at the bottom added some nice crunch. The Pigpig didn't like the chocolate mousse as it was served at room temperature - not her kind of dessert.

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, London 12

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, London 13

At this point we were offered tea or coffee. I chose the latter and received a great strong cup which I thoroughly enjoyed then but then didn’t manage to sleep till 3am. My other companions had either mint or jasmine tea and seemed fairly happy as well. We were waiting for the petit four to come out but they never materialized!

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, London 14

Altogether, the bill came up to about £1300 for the 8 of us having tasting menus and 3 people having additional wine pairings as well as a few bottles of still water which worked out to be about £160 each (we just split the bill 8 ways even though not everyone had wine). The Pigpig found the wine portions quite small. Service was prompt and efficient and the waiters were quite enthusiastic in their job and explaining the dishes to us.

Food – 7.5
Service – 6.0
Atmosphere – 4.0
Value – 5.0


Out of all the degustations we’ve been to so far this is probably the most underwhelming of them all. Although some courses were really good, a couple were quite disappointing. Considering the name behind the restaurant and the two Michelin stars, we expected a little bit more than what we received.

Best bit: the caviarrrrrr.
Worst bit: the missing petit four =(
Extra bit: while sitting out on the terrace eating a popsicle is nice, there’s no beating the Waterside Inn’s conservatory for having coffee, petit four and just generally relaxing with friends after a big heavy dinner.

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon
13-15 West Street,
London,
WC2H 9NE
Tel: +44(0)207 010 8600
Official website

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Guinness Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Saturday, 28 August 2010

I saw.

I dreamt.

I made it the very next day.

This Guinness chocolate cake recipe is very similar to Nigella's version which I made almost a year ago and loved. It was really dark, rich, moist and the slight hint of malty flavour was quite unique and unforgettable. When I saw Donna Hay's version with peanut butter frosting at the urban baker, I couldn't get it out of my mind! Love chocolate, love peanut butter and the cake with Guinness?

Guinness Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

nom nom love.

I made some slight changes here and there. Replaced some of the cocoa powder with melted dark chocolate as 1/2 cup of cocoa powder was all I got. This made it even richer. Used crunchy peanut butter instead of smooth as I like to bite into the nuts.

Guinness Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting 2
Ingredients: 9 x 4" loaf
Adapted from Donna Hay magazine issue 50
For Guinness chocolate cake batter:
  • 1 cup Guinness stout
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 50g Belgian dark chocolate - coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder - sifted
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 150ml sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbs pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
For frosting:
  • 130g icing/ confectioners sugar
  • 230g peanut butter (I used crunchy)
  • 80g unsalted butter - softened at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (I used Elmlea Double)

Directions:
For Guinness chocolate cake batter:
  • Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  • Lightly grease a 9 x 4" loaf pan and line with parchment.
  • Gently heat Guinness Stout, butter and dark chocolate in a saucepan until butter and chocolate is melted. Remove from heat.
  • Whisk in cocoa powder and sugar.
  • In a clean mixing bowl, beat together sour cream, eggs and vanilla extract.
  • Add the sour cream mixture into the Guinness mixture and mix until well combined.
  • Sift together plain flour and baking soda, mix this into Guinness chocolate mixture until well combined.
  • Pour batter into the lined cake pan and bake for 1 hr 20 mins (mine was done in only 1 hr 10 mins) or until done. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the middle, should come out clean if done. Cool cake on rack.
For frosting:
  • Place the sugar, peanut butter, butter and vanilla in an electric mixer and beat for about 6 mins or until fluffy.
  • Add the cream and beat for another 2 minutes.
  • Spread peanut butter frosting over cooled cake.

Guinness Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting 1

Guinness Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting photography tip:

Photograph this the next day as you get will get a clean cut through the frosting. Notice the frosting smear on the cake in my first picture? The frosting wasn't set enough. The picture above was taken the next day - you get a nice clean cut through the cake and for some reason, the PB frosting was darker in colour which made it look even more tempting!

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Braised Ee Fu Noodles by The Little Teochew

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

I've been blogging for more than 2 years now, shared 263 recipes and 92 restaurant reviews from the Wild Boar. All this time, it's all about "I and me, we and us", now it's about time for some "yous". So, every now and then, some of my favourite bloggers will be appearing here as Guests on the blog. For now, it's my pleasure to introduce to you my very first guest writer, Ju! Ju is based in Singapore, started cooking when she got her first child and now she's a mother of 3 (still hard to believe) and the author of The Little Teochew! What is a Teochew? Do hop over to her blog to find out all about this fab little Teochew, for more Asian and other home cooking recipes and to gawk at all her drool-worthy pictures. Please welcome Ju to Pig Pig's Corner as she shares her braised ee fu noodles recipe with us! ahh....a dish which reminds me of home...

eefunoodlesIMG_9361

I still remember when I first started blogging - my photos were laughable and my readership comprised a grand total of 3 people (I, Me and Myself). Pig Pig's Corner was one of the few established bloggers who kindly cast a glance my way, and for that, I will always be grateful. Fast forward 16 months later, and today, I am doing a guest post for them. You can imagine how honoured I feel. Thank you, Ann and Jeff, for this wonderful opportunity. :)

Now, the dish. If you do a quick scour of Pig Pig's Corner, you will see an impressive repertoire of dishes. As I jokingly asked Ann, "What have you NOT cooked?" Eventually, I figured less is more, and decided on a very simple dish - Braised Ee Fu Noodles (伊府面) - something everyone can cook.

I am sure you must have heard of this dish, even if you have never eaten it. It is on the menu of any Chinese restaurant worth its salt, and never fails to appear at wedding banquets.

eefunoodlesIMG_9337

Of course, you don't need special occasions to make this. It is such a quick and simple dish, you can whip it up any time you feel like having noodles.

Recipe
Braising sauce (mix altogether)
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce (can use vegetarian mushroom sauce to make this dish vegetarian)
  • 1/4 tsp dark sauce for colour
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Hua Tiao Wine (optional but it makes a difference)
  • Dash of white pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup water

eefunoodles-collage

Mushrooms (any variety work well)
  • If you are using dried mushrooms, soak them in lukewarm sugar solution (mix 1/2 cup warm water + 1 tsp sugar). When they have plumped up, remove the stalks and slice the caps into slivers.
  • If you are using using fresh mushrooms, simply give them a quick wipe with a damp cloth and proceed to remove the remove the stalks and slice the caps.
I used a combination of shiitake and enoki mushrooms for today's dish.

eefunoodlesIMG_9276

Chives
Traditionally, this dish is cooked with Yellow Chives (韭王/Jiu Wang) and mushrooms. If you are not familiar with Yellow Chives, they are garlic chives that have been grown under cover, without any exposure to direct sunlight. This prevents the leaves from turning green, as the plant’s chlorophyll-absorbing molecules never kick into action. They are considered a Chinese delicacy, and often served alone or paired with another vegetable in a stir-fry.
Information from here.

If you cannot find them, please just use regular green chives. I circled my market and supermarket for an entire week before I spotted them. If they are so difficult to get in Singapore, I reckon it would be mission impossible to find them in Europe or America.

Rinse and cut chives into 1-inch lengths.

eefunoodlesIMG_9283

Other ingredients
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 2 to 3 handful beansprouts, heads and tails removed
  • 2 dried mounds Ee Fu Noodles (enough for 2 servings)
  • 2 to 3 tbsp vegetable oil + 1/4 tsp white sesame oil
  1. In a wok, heat vegetable oil and sesame oil. When it is very hot, add in garlic and fry briefly before throwing in the bean sprouts, chives and mushrooms. Stirfry for about 1 minute.
  2. Add braising sauce and allow to simmer (about 1 minute). Maintain medium-high heat throughout.
  3. Add in Ee Fu noodles, making sure you submerge them in the braising sauce as much as possible. Cover with a lid and let the noodles stew in the sauce for 2 to 3 minutes. Open lid and check for doneness. There should be little or no braising sauce when the dish is done. Do not overcook or the noodles will become soggy. Allow the residual heat to continue cooking the noodles till al dente.
  4. Dish up on serving plate and garnish with cut chives or coriander.
eefunoodlesIMG_9356
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Old Tree 老樹

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Hong Kong is a food Mecca, no doubt about that but we also had a lot of great food in Taipei as well. The PigPig happened to come across a forum with some Taiwanese saying that My Old Tree served pretty good authentic Taiwanese fare. When my Taiwanese ex-flatmate (blogger too!) also said it was pretty good, we figured it’s worth a trip to try.

Old Tree, London 10

Open daily from 8.30am to 10.30pm everyday, this corner shop is bright airy with lots of window space for people to peer inside. We popped in for Sunday brunch and saw a continuous stream of people coming in to peer at the impressive array of pastries to be found.

Old Tree, London 01

Old Tree, London 04

Old Tree, London 05
Popular Taiwanese pastries like sun biscuit 太陽餅.

We had two set meals which had a large bowl of rice, a soup, some pickled vegetable and the chosen meat. In Taiwan, it was always Japanese sushi-rice used and I think they also used it here but it was slightly undercooked.

Old Tree, London 06

Taiwanese Stew Belly Pork with Stew Egg in Soy Sauce 滷肉滷蛋饭. One of our favourite dishes from Taiwan, we ate nearly a bowl of this a day. The diced pork belly here has the perfect mix of fat and meat, is fairly tasty and well seasoned but it’s missing the dark soya sauce here and is a little on the watery side. A thicker denser gravy would have been more desirable. The sweet pickles actually went great with the pork here.

Old Tree, London 07

Taiwanese Stir Fried Chicken in Mint, Chilli, Garlic & Black Sesame Oil with Rice (a.k.a. 3 cups chicken) 台式三杯鸡. Another typical Taiwanese dish but something we didn’t get to try on our trip. Cooked with a cup of soya sauce, sesame oil and rice wine each with ginger, garlic and basil for flavourings, this is a simple dish but done well here especially with using deboned chicken legs. The menu mentioned 'mint' but I think it's meant to be basil.

Taiwanese Deep Fried Chicken in Salt & Pepper 盐酥鸡. A popular street food, it is essentially deep fried breaded chicken with liberal dashings of salt and pepper on it. Not too bad here, it felt quite light and not greasy at all but it did make us very thirsty later.

Old Tree, London 08

For drinks the PigPig had a custard milk tea 布丁奶茶 which is a bit like having a dessert and drink in one – a standard milky tea with a creme caramel pudding dropped into it. Surprisingly nice. I had a cold longan tea 桂圆茶, it was slightly oversweetened, nonetheless refreshing.

Old Tree, London 03

Normally, that would be the end of the food review. But we decided to continue on by taking away some stuff to have for dinner too. We shared some Stir Fried Sate Beef in Gravy with Rice (a.k.a. shacha beef) 沙茶牛肉烩饭 – tenderised beef slices in a shacha based gravy – which was excellent eaten with rice.

Old Tree, London 11

Remember the pastries mentioned earlier? Well the PigPig spent the 10 minutes waiting for the shacha beef hovering around the pastry section trying to decide which to get amongst the multitude of savoury and sweet goodies. In the end, I had to go and pick some out myself. So we had a red bean, a peanut butter and a custard filled Mexican bun, all of which were pretty good and they were quite generous with the fillings although the custard was weirdly dry.

Old Tree, London 02
From left: peanut bun, custard filled Mexican bun, red bean bun

All the above cost £35 for two of us which actually fed us for the whole day.

Food – 5.0
Service – 5.0
Atmosphere – 5.0
Value – 7.0


Ok so the food was pretty tasty in a completely straightforward no-nonsense approach. We had better examples of lu rou fan in Taiwan but to be fair, everything tastes better while on holiday anyway.

Best bit: the pastries.
Worst bit: undercooked rice is pretty sad.

Old Tree 老樹
Barnet
105 Golders Green Road
Barnet, NW11 8HR
Tel:+44(020)8458 4112

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Nam Yee Pork with Black Fungus & Tofu

Monday, 23 August 2010

I craved.

I contemplated.

I resisted.

and this was what I made instead of the more sinful version Hakka Braised Pork Belly (Char Yoke) 客家南乳炸猪肉.

Nam Yee Pork with Black Fungus & Tofu

Ingredients:
  • 500g pork - cut into small pieces
  • 1 thumb size ginger - grated
  • 3 cloves garlic - pressed
  • 50g black fungus - soaked till softened, cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 pack silken tofu (firm) – cut into small cubes
  • 1 tbs chili oil flakes
  • Salt (to taste)
For marinade:
  • 1 tbs light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbs Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 spoon Knorr chicken powder
  • 2 cubes nam yee 南乳
  • 2 tbs miso paste
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp 5 spice powder
  • 2 tsp corn starch

Directions:
  • Mix together pork and all ingredients for marinade. Leave to marinate for at least 30 mins or better overnight.
  • Heat up a bit of oil in a pot.
  • Add garlic and ginger, fry until fragrant.
  • Add pork, fry until lightly browned.
  • Mix in fungus and water. Bring to boil then lower heat to simmer for about 20 mins or until meat is tender.
  • Gently stir in tofu and leave to simmer for a further 5 mins.
  • Season to taste with chili oil and salt.
  • Thicken with a bit of corn starch slurry (corn starch + water) if too watery.

Nam Yee Pork with Black Fungus & Tofu

Tofu makes everything seems healthier, doesn't it?


Remember to check out the Ariel Stain Remover Give Away. The competition ends at Midnight GMT 25th August, 2010. Good luck!
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Shanghai Blues

Friday, 20 August 2010

Remember to check out the Ariel Stain Remover Give Away. The competition ends at Midnight GMT 25th August, 2010. Good luck!


We decided to take advantage of the 20% off offer displayed on their website and organised a luncheon for a group of us (12 in total) on a Sunday lunch. It was pretty deserted and I think never achieved more than half occupancy, which was a bit of a shame as the seating and décor was rather pretty and certainly a far cry from the typical Chinese dim sum parlour.

Speaking of typical Chinese dim sum, the food here is most definitely not “as per standard” in style and construction. Some might even term is as a “Hakkasan wannabe”. Anyway, onto the food…

Chilean Sea Bass Fillets & Diced Asparagus 'Cheung Fun'” – the sea bass fillets were individually great to eat, but the taste were a bit subdued by the flour coating of the cheung fun. Not bad but, definitely needs more sea bass fillets.

Shanghai Blues, London 01

King Prawn & Chinese Chives 'Cheung Fun” – I still snigger and jeer at the “king prawns” found here, but anyway this was a decent if not particularly special version of a typical dim sum dish. Its worth noting the cheung fun was soft, light and not over cooked.

“Quail Egg & Seafood ‘Sao Mai’ (minced scallop, prawn, crab meat & baby pak choi wrapped with quail egg)” – taste and texture wise this was actually a really good siew mai with lots of seafood flavour infused and the seaweed wrapping gave it an interesting taste not usually experienced while eating dim sum. The quail egg was largely decorational for me though.

Shanghai Blues, London 02

“Original Shanghai 'Xiao Long Bao' with minced pork & chef’s special stock” – one of the worst XLB I’ve eaten. Firstly, nice and cute presentation but I didn’t really know how to scoop it properly - just doesn't work. Secondly there was no very little soup stock within the XLB and lastly the barren desiccated little things just didn’t taste that nice either.

“Pan-fried Turnip Paste with Dried Meat with XO Sauce” – this dish drew praise from the entire table for the delicious XO based sauce. The turnip pieces were a contrast of textures with a crunchy coating but delicate and soft interior. We ordered a couple extra portions after we finished the first two plates.

Shanghai Blues, London 03

“Mooli Croissant” – finely julienned strands of sweet turnip encased within a little pastry shell. Was surprisingly nice and tasty.

Shanghai Blues, London 04

“Baked Mushroom & Seafood Bun” – not only was this a rather small bun to begin with (pretty sure I can stuff 3 into my mouth!), but there wasn’t a lot of filling inside as well. The bun itself is pretty nice though, slightly sweet-ish, soft and airy (just like the filling). Seriously, more filling please!

“'Char Siu Bao' Barbecue Pork Buns” – the bun was not too bad without any of the alkaline taste sometimes found, but Shanghai Blues has been way too stingy with the filling, which itself lacked sufficient richness and meatiness. Poor show.

Shanghai Blues, London 08

“Shanghai 'Shui Jiao' in Exotic Chilli Sauce, dumpling with prawns, minced chicken and mushrooms” – not sure how exotic the chilli sauce was, but it had just the right level of spiciness to light up the dish without making me choke and splutter. The dumpling itself was not bad.

Shanghai Blues, London 05

“Sampan Congee with Minced Beef” – don’t recall any minced beef… the porridge was pretty good though with lots of little offal bits floating around while I liked the consistency of the porridge in the typical HK style with its sticky starchy consistency.

Shanghai Blues, London 09

“Steamed Rice with Chinese Mushrooms, Cantonese Chicken & Chinese Sausage” – considering how easy it is to make this dish (PigPig does a fantastic version I gobble up with glee, its almost criminal how they can serve this underseasoned and without enough sauce for the accompanying rice (there was a fair amount of white rice left behind as there wasn’t enough tasty stuff to eat it with).

“Mini Egg Tarts (Sweet)” – pretty disappointing and dull; the custard wasn’t particularly creamy or sweet enough while the pastry seemed a bit on the heavy side.

Shanghai Blues, London 06

“Barbeque Chicken Fillet Wrapped in Bamboo Leaf” – not really sure this fitted in with the rest of the menu. It was a bit tricky to get the piece of chicken out of its clothes as we only had a pair of chopsticks each, and I’m not sure if it was worth the effort either. It was strongly flavoured with the barbecue-like marinade, but there wasn’t anything much else here whilst other versions I’ve tried usually has a smoky aroma from the cooking process.

Moving onto the desserts, which all seemed to be East-meets-West fusions.

“Red Bean and 'Quan Fa' Tea Flavoured Pudding” – it was an interesting idea, but one that didn’t work for me as the red bean paste was too sweet and simply hammered the more delicate jelly topping into oblivion.

Shanghai Blues, London 10

“Mango Mousse & Pomegranate with Guava Sorbet” – the mousse wasn’t anything special but definitely very palatable and nice to eat. Using a tropical fruit like guava for the sorbet was an interesting choice as well which worked out fairly well.

Jackfruit cheesecake – the only item in this review which I can’t find on the menu on their website. Anyway good riddance as well because this was wrong on so many levels. For starters, it didn’t taste of jackfruit at all. Unfortunately it tasted of something far worse, descriptions from around the table ranged from “the aftertaste of vomit” to “armpit” and “like milk gone bad”.

Shanghai Blues, London 12

We spoke to the waitress and explained we were worried that this plate had gone bad. She went to speak to the chef in the kitchen then returned saying that the chef had tasted it and confirmed that the rest of the batch tasted the same (presumably this was his intention then). She did offer to give us another plate (we hurriedly declined) then told us she would take this off our bill.

In retrospect, the lattermost of the descriptions above probably proved to be the most accurate as I got a couple of texts from my fellow diners who developed diarrhoea.

“Chocolate Fondant with Praline & Jasmine Tea Ice-Cream”, “Fresh Melon Almond To-Fu” and “Assorted Home-made Ice-cream” – didn’t try either of these but the respective owners looked fairly happy eating their dishes.

Shanghai Blues, London 11

Containing a blend of mango, raspberry, lychee and cranberry juice, the “mango and raspberry blush” was a hit among the girls (and a couple of the guys, no finger pointing though).

Shanghai Blues, London 07

Altogether, the bill came up to £21 per head including a 20% off which is available all day Sunday and lunchtime on Saturday. Service felt pretty slow throughout and it took at least 30 minutes for the first of the dishes to come out while some of them took well over an hour. The restaurant was only half-full at best too.

Food – 4.5

Service – 4.0

Atmosphere – 6.0

Value – 4.0

Although called Shanghai Blues, the food served has very few, if any resemblance to Shanghainese style dim sum and is definitely more in the mould of high-end fusion cuisine in the likeness of Hakkasan and Yauatcha. While some things were done very well, others were downright pathetic and overall I think that it could have been so much better.

Best bit: not actually tasting the aftertaste of vomit. Its funny how something that sounds so disgusting actually made people go “ooooh I wanna try!!”.

Worst bit: gastroenteritis.

Shanghai Blues
193-197 High Holborn,
Camden Town, London,
WC1V 7BD
Official website
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