Memories. Different people create memories in different ways. My memories are created through restraurants. Every restaurant has a different story to tell, a different memory created there with the various people I am fortunate enough to have in my life. For that very reason, each restaurant has a special memory attached to it and I try not re-visit it if I can help it. Although one restaurant I insist on creating new memories with over and over again is China Tang at The Dorchester.
I have been there many a time, but this time went there on an impromptu dinner with the bestie, S and a really old uni friend of ours.
I’ve written about China Tang before but I have a little more to add to that this time around. Usually the only thing that drags me back on all fours are the duck pancakes
Straight onto the food then. Why do I love China Tang? 3 things – Halal menu with no alcohol, duck pancakes and story telling in the toilets! Oh and the beautiful interior (sorry that was 4!) Oops!
As S was running on time according to her timing, half an hour late for everything, my other friend and I decided to order starters to avoid keeling over. I don’t think I’ve hard starters before so it was a new experience for me. We went for Prawn Canneloni, Sesame Prawn Toast and Sweet and Sour Wontons.The prawn cannelonis, floating in soya sauce, were a bit too slimey and messy for my liking, but the best of the starters were the sesame prawn toast, loaded with prawn and flavor, made for a great starter. The wontons were crispy but had little flavour to them other than pastry they were made from.
But I have said it so many times, you all probably know what’s coming next. We went for mains and, of course, I got the 2-course duck. If you have been living in a cave and haven’t had a chance to try the duck at China Tang yet, the first course comes as duck pancakes and the second course comes in either lettuce wraps or noodle stir fry. What I love about the duck is that it’s a whole process, they even carve the whole duck in front of you
The product presented in front of us was this…
This has to be my most favourite dish in the whole of London, which is why I keep coming back time and time again. There aren’t many places in London that do halal duck, but the ones that do, the duck feels chewy and not very tasty. But the duck at China Tang is different, cooked to perfection, the mixture of duck meat and it’s skin is great. The skin was marinated so well, crisp enough and so tasty, mixed with the duck meat and it made for great pancakes. Only downfall – you need to make your own pancakes. So take the thin pancakes, add a dollop of hoisin sauce, add a few chunky pieces of duck, a piece of duck skin, add it with a few cucumbers, a bit more hoisin, wrap it, and voila! The whole process adds to the anticipation, although what I’d really like is someone just to keep throwing the duck pancakes in the general direction of my mouth! I had about 6 of these, jeans tightening on my stomach I forgot there was alot more food coming.
Next, came the 2nd course of the duck – Noodle Stir Fry
Singaporean noodles with stir fried duck, a good dish but not great. Delicious as it may be I was still trying to get over the high of the panckes. The noodles were great but to be honest, if I had an option of getting the pancakes on their own without the noodles, I would.
It was as if the food just kept on coming, so next came the Beef with Black Pepper.
This was a beautiful dish. This was definitely 2nd to the duck pancakes. The beef was so succullent, juicy and full of flavour. The beef was so soft and just melted away in my mouth, I just wish I had more capacity to eat more of this.
Next came Chicken..Another great dish, it was tasty and the chicken was diced so finely it was great not to know whether you were going to experience a chicken or cashew nut in every bite.
We had ordered a lot of food and didn’t eat much of it so had to take alot of it home with us, which was an amazing idea!
Despite all the leftover food that we couldn’t eat, we held our dignity close to us, refusing to make eye contact and ordered the dessert platter!
This dessert platter gave us life out of the food coma that had taken us all like a virus. The dessert platter was made up of 5 amazing desserts – (clockwise) Malt Milk Crumble with Yuzu flavour, Coconut Pannacotta, Tonka Cream Choux, Macaroon with Strawerry, Rose and Lychee Sorbet, and Coffee Tiramisu.
I always find it difficult finding a good dessert at Chinese restaurants, its always a mix of weird coconut or mango (both of which I love when done right). This was the dessert platter that I had been craving for my whole life! Not only a beautiful piece of art, but every dessert on that plate was delicious.A very rich, chocolately dessert. This chocolate bar was probably my least favourtie of all the desserts, more so because the rest were so good. It wasn’t bad, but was too rich following the massive meal we just had. This coconut and mango dessert was simply sublime. The top dome was made of coconut crumble and white chocolate, under which was a mixture of gooey mango. The bottom part of the dome was made of sweet meringue. Now this was the kind of dessert we needed after the meal we just had. Fluffy, light, yet so creamy and delicious! And how cute does this little swan look! A bit of a weird looking dessert, but the sorbet in between the 2 macaroons was amazing. Unlike most sorbets, it was smooth and so tasty, you could taste each flavour individually. The Macaroons were also great, they weren’t too tough so were easy to eat with the sorbet. Last but by no means least, the coffee tiramisu was so smooth and light. The taste of coffee was not too overpowering and made for snither great dessert. Onr if thebest dessert platters I have had at a Chinese or Japanese restaurant.
Overall, I may be a little biased when it comes to China Tang but I have not come across a better Chinese reataurant in London. After ordering 3 starters, 3 mains and a dessert platter, and 3 hours later our bill came to £183 between the 3 of us, which meant £61 each which was not alot considering the amount we ate. I loved that they had a separate halal menu with no alcohol as well. Besides that, the menu is so vast this is only a very small number of the dishes that are on there including chicken, pigeon, beef, lamb, seafood, vegetarian dishes and many more.
The only downside I would say is that the service was not great, the waiters and waitresses were authentically Chinese, whereas the Managers were not. The managers were much more responsive, whereas the main service staff were slow, took a while to respond and mixed up some of the order, which was annoying.
Food – 9 out of 10
Service – 4 out of 10
Price -7 out of 10
Atmosphere – 8 out of 10
Experience – 9 out of 10
Overall, giving China Tang a total TLH score of 8.5 out of 10.
Address: The Dorchester, 53 Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K 1QA
Halal Status: Separate halal menu with all meat halal and no alcohol. Please ask your waiter for the halal menu
Closest Station: Green Park (Jubilee, Victoria or Picadilly Line) or Marble Arch (Central Line)
Have you been to China Tang and eaten anything else on the menu? What did you think? Leave me a message below and let me know.
Lots of love,