E&0, Notting Hill, Fun Asian cuisine
Long time no post which is mostly to do with work suddenly getting much busier in the 2nd half of 2017 but as it's now January 2018 I have a few moments free to share my latest culinary adventures with you. So the bit between Christmas and New Year where not much is happening but there is the new Star Wars film to watch. My lovely wife and I head off to the Odeon Lounge at Whiteleys. Nothing makes me sadder than going into Whiteleys. When it re-opened in 1991 as a brand new shopping centre this was the Shangri La of West London. It helped drag a really dowdy area up. However in the last 10 years it started to slip, the Westfield opened, the shops left, then the restaurants. Nowadays all it has of note is an M&S, Toysrus and the cinema. It's due to be redeveloped again so maybe the early nineties buzz will return. The Lounge cinema is nice but at £30 a ticket punchy. The food and wine used to be really nice as it was provided by Rowley Leigh's Cafe Anglais but that closed and the food is done in house now. To be fair some endname and spring rolls we had were nice but the bottle of Pic Poul we shared was more paint stripper than pinet. Two and half hours of Star Wars later we were hungry for dinner. My lovely wife suggested the Royal China but I fancied something a bit more swish so we phoned up and got a Saturday night table at E&O.
Last time we'd been to E&O Baby G was actually a baby in his pram. When down that way we tend to eat at The Electric Diner which is baby G's favourite and we have a handy discount card for. Some friends of ours had been to E&O recently and really rated it as their go to impromptu date night choice. As we were in that boat ourselves we gave it a go. Even after all this time E&O looks and feels very cool. You go through the dark and moody bar into the bright light dining room. We are surprised to see how busy it is despite it being after Christmas. Lots of great opportunities for people watching in an open room like this, from the obviously monied couple occupying a prime table of four to the poor chap who waited over an hour for his date to turn up.
We order a couple of cocktails to kick off, a passion fruit pisco sour for my lovely wife and strangely for me a chilli cucumber margarita which certainly has a kick. We are not in a massive hurry so we order some starters to share first and order mains later. The starters are good but some dishes better than other. Pork and ginger gyoza are tasty but tiny, the chilli salt squid is very nice, the crab tempura really bland until dipped in sauce but thankfully the spare ribs portion is huge and really tasty.
To follow we order a bottle of excellent Larry Cherubino Shiraz. We've had a couple of really nice Shiraz's lately it's a wine that needs reclaiming from it's noughties All Bar One reputation. Mains are a Prawn & pumpkin red curry, some Pak Choi cooked in sesame & ginger soy and chilli tofu. The only misstep is the tofu which is deep fried with very little flavour, strangely the little Asian salad it is served with is excellent so we send the tofu back but request more of the salad which is fresh and fiery. The red curry is very nice indeed, the bouncy prawns with pumpkin are a good combination in the thick creamy sauce. However stand out is the Pak choi which is delicious a really great bit of cooking and for a change a nice big portion, we order extra rice to make the most of the sauce.
It was a good meal and I liked the fact the tofu was dealt with quickly and without fuss, in fact despite giving us a big dish of the salad we weren't charged for that or the tofu. We were really enjoying our Saturday night out so decided to share a dessert, a really wonderful banana brulee bao bun. It seemed a shame to have this on its own so we had a couple of excellent Expresso Martinis on the side. It was a great place to spend our Saturday night and was certainly gave us a lift after the rather middling Last Jedi. They were constantly turning tables yet we weren't rushed from ours, we were made to feel valued guests. The bill wasn't exactly a bargain at £178 for two but we'd had plenty to drink and eat. A nice touch was the fortune cookies which broke open with offer of free dessert next time we go. I think we will certainly be back to take them up on that.