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Restaurants & Bars 1

2 places in Chinatown, London

limster | Jul 19, 200905:13 PM

• Joy King Lau
The dim sum items I had here were on the mediocre side. Mushy skins on the prawn dumplings (har gau) with decently cooked and seasoned prawns, and thicker than normal rice sheets (cheong fun) with otherwise nice scallop. The steamed sponge cake (ma-la gao) was very good - piping hot, soft, moist and spongy, with a rich buttery overtone.

Noodles on the next table looked pretty good. Might go back for those.

• Golden Dynasty
Previously had pretty good dim sum here. The sign saying they served Sichuan and Jiang1 Zhe2 (cuisines from Jiangsu and Zhejiang, the 2 provinces around Shanghai) cuisines lured me back to sample their Jiang1 Zhe2 food, which is is roughly considered Shanghainese cuisine.

Kao3 fu1 aka wheat gluten with shiitake mushrooms was rather plain and below par. The standard renditions tend to have a pleasant star anise flavour which this version lacked, and the sauce was slightly bland wand watery and not as sweet as the usual versions (food from Shanghai and environs tend to have a sweet side, even the savoury dishes).

Eel in special sauce was much better. Clean tasting eel, nicely filleted, stir fried and served with slivered ginger and scallions, and given a serious splash of hot oil (yes it's a pretty oily dish) and a nice dose of white pepper. The sauce was on the plain side, mostly soy sauce when it should have been more multifaceted with a good dose of black vinegar from the region. But not as serious as failing as the kao3 fu1.

Shanghainese food is pretty hard to find (save for the more ubiquitous xiao3 long2 bao1), and Golden Dynasty served as a sort of stopgap, but imho it's not sufficiently satisfying. There are a few places that serve a handful of Shanghainese dishes, such as Inn Noodle/Noodle Oodle or Min Jiang, but that's about it as far as I know. Hope to hear more about this cuisine.

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