53 Park Lane Mayfair
London W1K 1QA
Tel: 020 7629 9988
Food type: Chinese
Nearest tube: Hyde Park Corner
Website: China Tang
My visit to China Tang was completely unplanned. The night before, I had dined at Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester and like the champ that I am, I left my credit card behind at the restaurant. Oops! The restaurant did try their best to contact me to inform me about my inadvertent “tip”, but between my iPhone being set on silent and my inability to detect the phone vibrating through my jacket, my taxi had already made it all the way to Waterloo station. In my alcohol fuelled state, and deprived of sleep, I made the quick decision to pick my card up the following day. Waking up the following morning, I was starving (for some reason, it always happens after a big meal the night before) and as I had to pop back in to the Dorchester, it only made sense to have a bite there. As much as I wanted to go to the Dorchester Grill for lunch, I did not think that my heart could handle back to back calorific meals. So China Tang it was!
This is the brainchild of Sir David Tang and has branches around the world including Hong Kong. Located at the basement of the Dorchester Hotel, the decor of China Tang will transport you back to the early 1900’s Shanghai. The restaurant has a very trendy bar which can get very busy particularly during the weekends – they do churn out some very innovative cocktails. The staff are elegantly clad in Shanghai Tang inspired uniforms.
My original plan was to have a dim sum lunch. However a set lunch menu priced at just under £30 per person caught our eye. This included a variety of dim sum, roast duck and pancakes, a noodle dish of our choice, some seasonal greens and a glass of wine. We thought this was relatively good value although less said about the glass of wine the better. We decided to supplement the dish with some of our favourites from the main menu. In hindsight, we should have just stuck with Plan A.
The highlight of our meal were a small basket of assorted dim sums. Four in total – har gao (shrimp dumpling), Shanghai dumpling, scallop dumpling and Chiu Chow fun gour (Chiu Chow dumpling). These were very good – daintily crafted morsels which could be consumed in one bite. The best of the lot was the scallop dumpling which had juicy, sweet and tender scallop with excellent dumpling skin. My only regret was not ordering more dim sum.
As for the rest of the meal it was fine. I applaud the chef for not using MSG in his cooking and the quality of ingredients were very good. Otherwise this was predictable Chinese fare. Decent enough for what was being delivered but not outstanding – I guess I have been spoiled by my recent trip to Hong Kong. We happily gobbled up the rest of our meal to satisfy our Chinese cravings and drifted off to enjoy the Hyde Park sunshine. Will I come back? Of course! If I am in the area and have a dim sum itch.