Phoenix Palace

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I met up with a couple of friends who had booked us a table at a Chinese restaurant in Baker Street. On Sundays the restaurant does a dim sum menu which brings in the crowds. Having worked and/or commuted by this area for the past four years I had never seen this restaurant. One of the side streets parallel to Baker Street I saw a subtle sign that indicated I had found the location. The entrance looked modest and didn’t seem bigger than a corner shop/. However once through the frosted glass I was stunned with the size of the restaurant which was buzzing with locals. The décor is incredibly ornate with golden dragons on the walls, deep red wall paper and fish at the entrance. All very traditional and opulent. Most of the locals were Chinese themselves and the menus were first an foremost in Mandarin – which is always a good start.

We were seated at the back of the restaurant on a slightly elevated level so there was a nice buzz but we were not shouting over people. We were given green tea as standard and a little form which listed a good 100 dishes for the Sunday menu. We ordered around 15 dishes for the four of us – in hindsight our eyes may have been too big for our bellies – by ticking off the individual dishes and putting a 1 or 2 next to each depending on the amount of dishes we wanted of that individual thing. The dishes ordered included prawn dumplings, duck gyoza, rice pasta rolls with prawns, lemongrass beef balls and calamari. The food came out at different times, which was a relief as it freed the table up a little and gave us time to digest slightly, but was not slow. The food all tasted great although some dishes suited certain palettes over others. I prefer a thick calamari with a light batter whereas these were very thin, rolled in a thick batter. I liked the beef balls but  they were a little strong in flavour and texture for some. And one of our table was gnawing on chicken feet – I couldn’t even look at her doing that – I realise there are different taste in cultures but it’s a no from me.

Although I wouldn’t say I am the biggest fan of Chinese food, I really think this place could be one of my favourites in London. Authentic food which is incredibly cheap (£18 each for all of that!) and although the service might be a little slow, it is friendly enough. I’d recommend.

       Food                     Service       Atmosphere

4 Stars3 Stars3 Stars

 

 

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