Saturday, 19 March 2011

Phoenix Palace, 5 Glentworth Street

Phoenix Palace was one of the touted dim sum restaurants I hadn't been to since my run of going to a new dim sum place every week, with no other place in mind I decided to head off to Phoenix Palace to see what it was all about. I was pleasantly surprised when I went inside. From outside it looked a bit dark and dingy but I loved the d├ęcor inside. It wasn't amazing but the place felt authentic, it felt like an old dim sum that had been recently refurbished. I loved the atmosphere! Now the food...

Well we ordered a bit more than usual, possibly because the dishes were relatively small. We ordered Scallop Cheung Fun (Rice Pasta Roll with Scallops), Cream Custard Buns, Beef Brisket Noodles in Soup, Crispy Scottish Lobster Dumpling, some sort of duck's feet and Chicken and Ham in Soya Pastry Roll.

The Scallop Cheung Fun was ok, the problem for me was that it wasn't hot more lukewarm. However it was delicate and smooth. The Cream Custard Buns were ok, I honestly don't think you could make them badly. The beef brisket Noodles were decent, I loved the slight stringiness of the noodles and the brisket was very tender. The Crispy Scottish Lobster was possibly the weirdest dim sum I have ever tasted. It came out a very well fried dumpling, quite big but then the filling inside was..., well it was some sort of cold sludge that was supposedly lobster. I can only imagine they meant for it to be cold because it was not by any means hot, it felt chilled. However it tasted nothing of lobster and was an experiment gone wrong in my opinion and charging £5+ for it is a total rip-off to their customers. The duck's feet weren't great either - so conclusion is, don't order off the special dim sum menu! The Chicken and Ham in Soya Pastry Roll was ok, very hot but it lacked the juicy tenderness that is common in Hong Kong restaurants, I also missed the fish stomach (I think that's what it is) that's supposed to be in it.

What I love about the place is that it transported me back to Hong Kong and the wide array of dishes to chose from but the food is only ok, at best. We ordered their more expensive range of dishes so the bill was £34.80 if I remember correctly but I'm sure if you order exclusively off the dim sum menu you could easily get around £25. I don't think I'd go there for dim sum again but I'd like to try it out for dinner because it has a wide variety of dishes.

Well I've basically tried most of the restaurants on my hit list, now I've only got ones that I want to revisit where I haven't been to in ages which are... Joy King Lau, China Palace, Plum Valley, Lotus and if I'm feeling brave Royal China Club, haven't been there before. Others I'm considering are Gold Mine, Yum Cha, Shanghai, Bar Shan and Bar Shu whilst China Tang, Kai Mayfair, Hunan, Min Jiang, Mr Wing and Hakkasan will have to wait until another special day! Wow that sounds much more than I thought! I'm also considering Shanghai Blue but the supposed bouncer at the door is very unappealing.

If anyone has any suggestions please tell me.

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