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Restaurants & Bars

Champor-Champor, London Bridge/Bermondsey, London

limster | Feb 22, 200912:51 PM    

An atypical bread basket. Nicely balanced texture in the banana bread, not cake soft, but firm, and reasonably moist. The banana flavour is on the subtle side. Also a flat sheet of what I think is baked or fried bean curd skin, more stiff than crispy. Lentils in a green curry sauce for dipping, slightly nutty with a herbaceous green flavours smoothing out the tumeric based curry that mostly resembles a Malay rendition, no clashes with the mild sweetness of the banana bread, but no mutual enhancement.

Amuse bouches: a tod mun-ish salmon fish cake with a sweet chilli sauce, a padron pepper in a similar sweet spicy sauce. Nice and likable but nothing mind-blowing.

A tea poached poussin seemed to taste more of a soy sauce-ish/ginger marinate. It's tender and moist and the blanket of tahini-based sauce doesn't distract from it or the julienned cucumbers beneath that add some textural interplay.

Warm flavours of ginger and lemongrass in a cool granita, very likable.

Was pleased with the chunks of sour mango in a curry with roasted or pan fried sea bass, they add a certain depth. Well cooked sea bass, fairly basic rendition of a Malaysian curry as a sauce. A pepper sambal with the basic smokiness, rice wrapped in lotus leaf, without much of the lotus leaf fragrance (was it steamed in the leaves or merely wrapped for presentation?). The only component of the dish that was special was a little bowl of salad, mostly rocket, dressed with a sweet bright citrusy adicity, contrasting nicely with a generous nutty sprinkle of sesame seeds.

I wanted more intensity in pandan fragrance of the bread and butter pudding with a suitable match in a scoop of creamy dense matcha ice cream.

On the whole the flavour combinations were a little offbeat and certainly unusual, but although nothing clashed, there was little mutual enhancement among the many components of the dishes. The sauces were basic, but the curry-ish sauces were no more refined than those at Singapore/Malaysian places (e.g. Kiasu or Malaysian Kopitiam). Nothing bad, but nothing that wowed or impressed, except the rocket salad, a side dish that was part of the main course. was nice to eat there, but nothing that really made me long for more.

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