Monday, 7 September 2009

Dim Sum - Pearl Liang, Paddington

I've been leafing through my Flickr account and found a ton of stuff that I hadn't got round to using. So begins my marathon of posts that will very likely last until I'm bored (ever bored of food??What a novel idea:) First up, dim sum at Pearl Liang in Paddington ... a meal which actually took place back in April (that is really how far behind I am!).

Dim Sum Menu - Pearl Liang, Paddington

I had read a bit about the restaurant and was quite up for trying it when a friend suggested we head there. She lives round the corner from the restaurant so it's a bit of her local. When we arrived at about 2.30 on a Saturday afternoon, the restaurant was relatively quiet for a weekend, even if it was a little late for lunch - but hey, it's dim sum. Greeted at the door by a manager/supervisor or if I must be so polite, the maĆ®tre d’, who found it necessary to stare at the reservations book for quite awhile before ushering us to a tiny corner table for two in the partially filled restaurant. Fair enough, there were two of us and a table for two should really have been sufficient .... but really .... the restaurant was hardly going to suddenly fill up at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, was it? Decor wise it was a million miles away from the usual Chinese restaurant staple of cheap but hardy carpets and velvet chairs. Modernist with splashes of fuchsia and cherry blossom murals. Can't say I'm a huge fan but it was a nice break from the usual 'functional' feel most Chinese restaurants settle for.

Dim Sum Menu - Pearl Liang, Paddington

As it was lunchtime dim sum, we got a sheet of paper with a pencil to tick off the dishes we wanted. Lots more fun than just rattling off the menu to the waitress but most of any dim sum fun is lost without the trolley service - but this is hardly the type of restaurant, is it?

Char Siew Chueng Fun - Pearl Liang, Paddington

First up, char siew chueng fun. Silky folds of steamed rice sheets with little chunks of honey roasted pork. I have no complains here - no fatty bits of pork, which is a plus but I do miss the big globs of chilli that always accompanies this dish in Malaysia. My dining companion is a huge chilli lover and we had to ask for extra chilli oil four times - puny portions that they gave us on each request.

Shanghai Dumpling with Pork - Pearl Liang, Paddington

I haven't had a great deal of xiao long baos in London but whilst these weren't the best I've ever had, they weren't too bad either. Alas, the best bit of these little dumplings - the piping hot broth that should burst into your mouth when you bite into them - was missing. There was a trickle from one of them. A bit of a disappointment.

Wasabi Prawn Dumpling - Pearl Liang, Paddington

Recommended by my friend, the wasabi prawn dumplings came with light green coloured wrappers and a tiny splotch of wasabi on top. The prawns were fresh with a nice crunch and the wrapper was fine enough to be passed as a good dim wrapper. Other than that, this dish just didn't do anything for me. I like my wasabi mixed into soy sauce and wasn't too keen that it came as a separate blob here.

Pan Fried Turnip Cake - Pearl Liang, Paddington

I'm a big fan of fried turnip cake - even trying to make some myself once with a slightly disastrous outcome. The offering here was just too bland but dipping turnip cake into soy sauce is a bit of a no-no for me. Oh picky, picky! I do, probably unfairly, judge all turnip cakes by the stuff that my mother makes (traditionalists would be horrified at how she has butchered the recipe but the taste, oh it tastes good!).

Pork and Raddish Dumpling - Pearl Liang, Paddington

I can't say I remember much about the pork and radish dumplings but vaguely remember offering to swap the last of the wasabi prawn dumpling for the last of this with my friend, so I must have liked it to a certain extent.

Assorted Fresh Mushroom Fried Noodles - Pearl Liang, Paddington

As a meal really isn't that fulfilling without carbs and vegetables, we ordered the assorted fresh mushroom fried noodles. The usual deep fried crunchy noodles were topped with fresh shiitake, golden needle, black (cloud ear) fungus and other mushrooms I don't recall the names of. There were also celery sticks and prettily cut carrot slices. I'm not usually a fan of celery (when I was growing up I refused to eat anything that had been near celery ... I think I have finally grown out of it now) but I quite like how Chinese restaurants blanch them before adding them to stir fried dishes. It brings the taste of celery down a notch. The sauce was the usual brown cornstarch soy gloop(albeit not as thick as other places make it). On the whole it was pretty good.

I haven't been back since but would I go back? I'm not averse to the idea but Paddington does seem like a bit of track for me and if I wanted posh dim sum, Royal China on Baker Street is a much better option for me.

Pearl Liang
8 Sheldon Sq, London, W2 6EZ


Angie's Recipes said...

WOW! I love those dim sum, esp. chueng fun!

Angie's Recipes

Luscious Temptations said...

Angie's Recipes - thanks :) I love cheong fun too especially ones with roasted pork.