Another Saturday and another 40th birthday to attend. Baby G was safely tucked up chez Grandma so my lovely wife and I set on our odyssey to Dulwich. As some of you might know our tactic is always to get two nights out for the effort of one so we usually dine somewhere early and then head off to the party. Often the meal is more fun than the party itself. This time our journey involved passing through Victoria which is one of the un-lovelier bits of Central London. Pimlico nearby is nice enough but around the station itself are the usual chains and grotty tourist dives. I had however heard of A.Wong a much lauded Chinese offering contemporary takes on traditional dishes but without the Mayfair price tag. It took a little bit of persuading to ditch our original plan of a foodie tour around Brixton market in favour of this but we booked a table for 6:30 and headed down by car (I ran down to collect it next morning, when you eat out like I do you need to think about exercise where possible). No one could describe Wilton Rd where A.Wong is as picturesque but the restaurant set back from the road with a little patio is pretty enough. Inside is contemporary but paired back, more smart cafe than restaurant. Tables are very close together though there is a nice buzz in the room. It appeared they also had seating downstairs or in a courtyard. It was full the evening we went.
We were nicely welcomed, coats taken which singularly failed to happen in the far more expensive Royal China Club. A glass of good champagne for my lovely wife and a Tsingtao for me helped us settle in as we perused the menu. The menu is a little confusing as some items are lunch only some dinner only, a restaurant this successful should just print 2 different ones. We decide to start with the evening Dim Sum platter for two and salt & pepper prawns. The Dim Sum is a real work of art here with several interesting combinations. It has to be said I still prefer the traditional offerings but these are very good and suitably tasty. The prawns are good but perhaps the portion is a touch mean even for a starter. Next up we had Beef Ho Fan, Crispy Chilli beef and Gongbao chicken. The chilli beef is seriously awesome, it appears to have beef deep fried but then dried off in an oven so it is crispy without being greasy. Best version of this old favourite I have had in a while. The Ho Fan is also good, really tasty beef that cuts through the rich sauce. The chicken is extremely hot so I make full use of the good egg fried rice to temper it. We wash these tasty dishes down with a stonkingly good Chablis. Portions are good for the mains though I have to say some of the serving dishes are a touch unpractical, an unfortunate trend for aesthetics over practicality.
We decide to treat ourselves to desserts and these are a real couple of showstoppers. I'm usually happy with a mango pudding but these were a step up. The tea smoked banana involved pouring a hot sauce over a square of chocolate that then melted over the banana, Impressive and tasty. My Snow ball meringue was another incredible concoction giving me a mixture of temperatures, tastes and textures. Really very good. Service was very good, it's not a big room but the ample staff managed very well. Not the cheapest meal around at £135 for two but some impressive dishes. I feel there are a couple of bits that need ironing out in the menu but this is deserving of it's accolades. It's certainly a reason to dine in Victoria where previously they was none! So suitably fed and watered we set off for Dulwich for a pretty good party. The fact we didn't leave until 1:30 speaks volumes for the party and company but also for the delicious fuel supplied by A.Wong.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8