Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Restaurant review: Pearl Liang (Paddington)

In a particularly hard-to-reach spot around Paddington station sits Pearl Liang, a Chinese restaurant specialising in dim sum, featuring some of the most delightful dishes I’ve had for some time.

Such is the nature of dim sum, that it’s hard to go wrong, really, but there are some delicacies in the Pearl Liang menu that I hadn’t encounter elsewhere, that proved to be quite the pleasant surprise. Wasabi prawn dumplings stood out to me, and I wolfed mine down in one bite. Honey roasted pork buns are a Chinese plate I’m more familiar with (my mummy can actually make them), but it’s no surprise that restaurant-cooked ones are considerably better, and Pearl Liang’s ones surpass the norm. (By the by, customer service is, whilst not exemplary, better than the abrupt pissy attitude you can expect from the Chinamen who serve you in Chinatown). The only dish that I didn’t particularly care for was something that I felt was misadvertised, as pork in black bean sauce. There was certainly lots of pork, awkward to eat as it was on a bone, but there was about three beans in the dish, and that, I’m afraid, does not a black bean SAUCE make. Nonetheless, all was redeemed with the dessert of sweet chrysanthemum buns, which were little drops of baked heaven.

The prices of the dim sum plates are very reasonable, with some giving more generous portions of a dish than the less swanky counterparts in Chinatown, but in terms of any extra dishes, you’re likely to be left wanting. We ordered honey roasted pork as well as sweet and sour chicken, the latter of which was £8.80, and I gotta tell you, the portions of sweet and sour chicken presented to us was not even worth half that. Factor in that you’ll be served for every teapot of tea you drain (when the teapots are designed so they hold deceptively little amounts of tea), and you can be prepared to pay £15+ for a really good experience. Which isn’t too shabby, really, provided you order the right things.

Grade: A-

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