Leave your preconceptions at the door – Andrew Wong’s flagship showcases the scope and intricacy of Chinese cuisine in truly thrilling fashion
This, on first inspection at least, unremarkable-looking Chinese is one of the capital’s most interesting and progressive restaurants. Oxford graduate Andrew Wong took over his parents’ common-or-garden Anglo Chinese in 2012 following the death of his father. Originally planning a life far removed from restaurants, Wong says it was pure luck he ended up falling in love with cooking.
His menus showcase a mix of the familiar – there are takes on Cantonese restaurant classics such as sweet and sour chicken and crispy duck with pancakes – with Chinese flavours and dishes that are virtually unknown in the UK. There’s a salad of seared beef with mint, chilli and lemongrass that hails from Yunnan, a province in south-west China that borders Vietnam, and a pulled lamb ‘burger’ spiced with cumin and speckled with pomegranate that takes its cues from the predominantly Muslim region of Xinjiang in the north-west of the country. Other standout dishes include braised abalone, shitake mushroom, sea cucumber and abalone butter; and barbecued pork jerky.
Run by Wong’s wife Nathalie, the 42-cover dining room is relaxed and unpretentious. The dim sum-focused lunch menu is a total bargain with intricately made dumplings priced from just £2, as is the restaurant’s 10-course Taste of China tasting menu.
If a table at his flagship proves elusive, Wong has opened Kym’s, a larger and more casual restaurant in the City’s Bloomberg Place development, which specialises in Cantonese-style roast meats and does a roaring trade in takeaway lunches for hungry square-mile workers.