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Xi'An Cuisine (Deptford, London)

Cheers.
Mama Wang's noodle pulling class looks good- but 50 quid?? That seems ridiculous to me!

Apr 04, 2014
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Help! I need help to find a few reasonable restaurants for my in-laws when they visit London, please!

zedel has some decently priced dishes esp. the set menu. not remarkable but a nice more impressive brasserie environment than the chains. its near piccadilly and the website menu should help you decide whether they would find the food approachable enough.

Apr 01, 2014
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Xi'An Cuisine (Deptford, London)

Sadly they were closed when I went last night, and they buffet station which had been put out the back had resumed a central position in the front window indicating a return to its former incarnation. I would suggest anyone planning to eat here saves themselves a disappointing trip until it can be confirmed whether they are still offering a xian menu. I am local to here so will try to find out what the deal is in the next few days.

Apr 01, 2014
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Xi'An Cuisine (Deptford, London)

Yes, the menu thing is a bit strange - despite having been last week, asking for the Xi'an menu then and chatting to them quite a bit in English and [bad] Mandarin(and suggesting they offer both menus as default), when I went yesterday I still had to ask for the xian menu!
I would have liked to think that having people coming in and asking for it may have given them the clue that people are interested in this. Oh well. As you say, fingers crossed they can get a chef in to take over their Shaanxi offerings.

Mar 31, 2014
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Xi'An Cuisine (Deptford, London)

Nice one for getting down there for those of you that have tried it out.
I revisited tonight and thoroughly enjoyed again - particularly the yang rou jia mo and the liang pi. I think the liang pi was my favourite of the night.
The yang rou pao mo was again great and full of flavour, but had a lot less broth than before - i preferred it the first time.

THE BAD NEWS: Currently the chef is single-handedly running the kitchen. They have said they may have to stop serving the Xi'an dishes as he is leaving the country for a few months and they are not sure whether they can find a chef with the skill/knowledge to keep delivering these dishes. It was hard to tell how likely this is and the woman running it still sounds like she lacks faith in the whole operation - but unfortunately the chef is set to leave on Wednesday. I'll swing by in the week and report back as to whether they still seem to be offering any Xi'An dishes.

Mar 30, 2014
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Xi'An Cuisine (Deptford, London)

Hi jfores, I'm really pleased you made it here - thanks for your additional reports on some of the other dishes.
When I went, I too had the impression you mention in your post, that they are not overly confident about the venture and it was clear they are predominantly getting walk-ins expecting a buffet.

I was hoping that by putting up the original post it may drum up some more support for their Xi'An menu so I'm glad you made it there.

I'm nearby so will be frequenting the place regularly - I hope some more people can check it out and that word gets around as it would be very sad to see it go due to a lack of interest.

Mar 25, 2014
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland
1

Xi'An Cuisine (Deptford, London)

Yep there is some english, i can't actually remember how accurate or useful the translations and descriptions were but the staff were more than happy to explain and assist. They were not at all busy so had plenty of time to chat.

Mar 20, 2014
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Xi'An Cuisine (Deptford, London)

A new Chinese restaurant has opened a week or so ago next to Deptford bridge DLR station: Xi’an Cuisine Restaurant.

What used to be an all you can eat buffet appears to have a change of ownership (or a change of heart at the very least). Currently they are offering all the usual sanitised Chinese takeaway fare but have a small second menu of Xi’an dishes which I had to ask for (I suggested to the boss that they give non-Chinese customers both menus on arrival). I was told they are waiting for a chef to arrive next week and then will make some additions and alterations to the menu, but currently they still have a few interesting options.

Rou jia mo (meat sandwich?) was good. This dish is slowly stewed pork in a toasted unleavened bun and is typical to Xi’An and Shaanxi province. The rou jia mo I have eaten in the past were almost all in Beijing, and are not themselves done the Xi’an way (they are more kebab-like than slowly stewed) so I don’t have a great benchmark, but this was very tasty.

The zi ran yang rou jia mo (cumin lamb meat sandwich) was excellent – generously filled bun (excellent flat bread) with thin strips of braised lamb, mild chilli peppers and a healthy amount of cumin seeds – I can’t wait to go back for this.

An off-menu yu xiang qie zi was excellent (I asked for a qie zi dish and they knocked this up), very different to most aubergine dishes I have had – I’m not convinced how ‘yu xiang-eque’ it was. It was quite spicy but with no obvious chillis, and didn’t seem to have the addition of pork, soy, fermented bean paste, peppers or onions. It had a really smooth ginger flavour and slighty smoky taste, that I haven’t had in a dish outside of China (though my companion was not so sold on this dish and prefers the qiezi in taste inn, chilli cool, silk rd etc…).

The yang rou pao mo (crumbled bread in lamb/mutton stew) was fantastic. We were given the mo to break into small pieces at the table and then return to the kitchen to be cooked in a well flavoured stock, along with fungus and achingly tender and flavoursome pieces of lamb, a small amount of rice vermicelli and a warming chilli oil sitting on top of the broth. This was a really hearty and enjoyable dish.

The rou jia mo and yang rou jia mo were about £3 each, the yangrou pao mo was £7 ish (and £1 per extra bread), the qiezi was £6, so good value.

It’s great to see some more Chinese regional cuisine in London and I’m very interested to see what happens when the new chef turns up next week and to try a few more things on the menu. I will post an update in the near future.

Mar 20, 2014
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Trip to London (researched)--need help narrowing options

Ah yes, thanks Theresa, I misread that.

I wouldn't feel comfortable sharing one main, certainly not in Ledbury or equivalent type place anyway.

Mar 19, 2013
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Trip to London (researched)--need help narrowing options

I would personally recommend Ledbury over Roganic, an easy choice for me. Enjoyed both but Ledbury was a far better experience for me. I wouldn't worry about sharing at the Ledbury. My dining partner and I shared 3 starters and 2 mains, and this was met with no disapproval whatsoever. We did this by swapping plates rather than having any extra plates on the table, but they were perfectly happy for us to do this, and seemed to appreciate our desire to taste as much as possible. They even chucked in an extra starter and extra dessert for us to try on the house. My friend had eaten the tasting menu there the month before and preferred the meal that we had over that.

Mar 19, 2013
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Trip Report

There is a noodle and dumpling stall at Greenwich covered market on weekdays. I can't remember the name. It's not there at the weekends unfortunately, but if you can get there during the week it can't be missed as the guy is hand-pulling fresh noodles to order.Their braised beef noodles in particular are very good indeed, especially with a good spoon of dried chili in oil.

Feb 28, 2013
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Patty and Bun, West End, London

I thought the burger was very good; on a par with meat liquor (though the last meatliquor I had was not great), and better than the covent garden #meat place with the skinny grey patties... I think the bbq sauce comes quite close to overpowering the beefy taste in the patty and bun offering, but did rate the pickles, salad and bun.

The bbq chicken wings were terrible. We didn't even finish one portion between two people. Not a patch on the wings from meatliquor.

Wasn't a fan of the rosemary fries either.

I think mother flipper is actually doing better burgers than both of these places, though they need to make sure they keep up their consistency as I had a disappointingly under-seasoned burger from there a few weeks back.

Feb 27, 2013
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Brasserie Zedel - London

I'll chime in to add another vote to the mild diappointment camp. I think most of my complaints mainly came down to sloppiness, though admittedly at £65 for two coursses for two people, with almost half of that on wine, wasn't really expecting a huge amount.

Fish soup was nice enough, but rouille was virtually non existant on a tiny dried up piece of bread and had developed a skin from obviously sitting around backstage for too long.
Onion soup had two tiny croutons with a pinch of dried out cheese. Though admittedly it was only £3 or so.
Confit duck was OK and puy lentils were good but was not quite cooked long enough and consequently skin lacked proper crispness and there was far too much unrendered fat.
Steak hache was served pink (thankfully) but still retained a dryness- could do with more fat in the mix. The Sauce au poivre had an unpleasant taste like it had slightly rancid cream or butter in it.

No problem with service, wine was very reasonable for just under £30.
I liked that they offered a chilled jug of tap water on arrival and didn't try to up-sell.

It was still better than many chain-type offerings at similar prices, and wasn't so bad that I would never go back if I was nearby and hungry, but I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to return (barring an existing commitment to check out the choucroute).

Feb 27, 2013
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Best Thai food London

Went to Heron today. It was pretty good but not without fault.

Som Tam Pu- nice and spicy (they asked how we wanted it so we asked for typical Thai spice levels). The fermented crab they used was a lot less pungent than most I've had in Thailand and as a result, the papaya didn't take on the crab flavour as much as I prefer. I also like the crunch of long beans in a SomTam, though this just used green/fine beans. I would say the balance of seasoning was slightly off as well, but still better than most I've had outside of Thailand.

Pad Kha Prao - This was also well spiced, though unfortunately the holy basil was barely present

Laab Gai- Well made laab, pretty authentic tasting. no complaints, again pretty spicy

'Orange sour curry' with prawn and bitter leaf omelette - This was far and away the highlight. A fantastic dish, it really reminded me of some of the dishes that a Thai friend's Mum cooks in Bangkok. A proper hearty soup, like I have never seen outside of Thailand.

I will definitely return again for the orange sour curry.

Jan 05, 2013
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Best Thai food London

I thought I would bring this thread back to life rather than starting a new one...

Where do people think is the best Thai meal in London these days?

I like the look of the menus at the Heron in Paddington , Thai101 in Hammersmith and KhaoSan in Chepstow Rd.

Have people been to any of these recently? Are there any others that are better?

I'm not fussed about restaurant interior or location. The cheaper the better, but ultimately my main wish is for good thai flavours that are not 'dumbed down'.

Jan 02, 2013
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Momo duel round two - Gurkha Cafe and Kailash Momo - Plumstead, London

Thanks for this. I'm really looking forward to heading back, I haven't yet tried some of the dishes you mention. I'm looking at a menu now - I don't know if they have updated it, but couldn't see the dishes you mentioned above (sukuwa / thengthug)- or not by those names at least. Were these on the regular menu?

Jan 02, 2013
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Momo duel round two - Gurkha Cafe and Kailash Momo - Plumstead, London

Sorry if I got your hopes up by saying shabalay are slightly reminiscent of samsa!
Very different in temrs of taste of course... but as quick throwaway descriptions for a very juicy meat filling in a pastry parcel go, It was that or call it a tibetan pasty. Probably a bit misleading.
Glad you enjoyed it anyway.

Dec 28, 2012
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

The momo duel begins at De Namaste in Plumstead - London

Which places are on your list that you can’t get hold of? I may be able to get you a number or check that they are open for you as I am down that way fairly often. I would happily give a toe for a place in London that could make Samsa that tasted like they do in Xinjiang!

The banh mi at ‘An’ are very good. I’m not sure they are the most authentic in London- I’m not much of an authority on Vietnamese food, but they are certainly very tasty. The baguettes are fairly standard but always freshly baked (albeit from frozen), the (lightly) pickled carrot, cucumber, coriander and mooli are always very fresh with a good crunch. The rolled pork belly is slightly warmed and heavy on the fat, there is also a slice of some reconstituted pork slice type stuff which doesn’t do much for me, but the homemade pork pate is excellent and really works wonderfully with extra sliced red chilli spread over it. It’s my favourite of the few I’ve had in London, though I’m not sure how much it has been adapted to suite London tastes.

They have only just opened and I am yet to try their Pho. It’s a small family run operation that used to run a sandwich bar at the other end of Woolwich. At their new place they also have a few more noodle dishes, a couple of salads and some barbequed chicken which I intend to investigate!

Dec 06, 2012
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

The momo duel begins at De Namaste in Plumstead - London

Thanks for the report.

I've been reading this board on and off for years, and this thread has finally got me round to posting...

I've had the Thali at Namaste (very good - particularly the veg), not tried the momo there yet - I am now definitely inspired to go back sooner rather than later!

There are a few other places I have tried momo (amongst other Himalayan dishes) in that neck of the woods and I've not found any of them disappointing. Woolwich covered market (Plumstead Rd) has a small van/trailer in the back which contains a small cafe with a few tables. I think it is called Gurkha Café, and is possibly only open in the day?? The menu is cheap and short including momo, fried noodles and fried rice. The momo are about £4 for 10/12 and come with a thick, spicy, homemade tomato/garlic/chilli dipping sauce. The momo here are slightly heavier on the garlic than some others.

There is another place in Woolwich which is well worth a look called Kailash Momo (http://kailash.moonfruit.com/about-us...), which is Tibetan (and also Nepalese) place with an interesting menu. There doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of logic in the pricing or portions and the starters and mains are not necessarily sized as you would expect! The momo here are very good and come with a bowl of stock/soup, to which you add soy sauce for seasoning. I think this used to be a homemade stock but recently seems to be based on a chicken bouillon powder which is unfortunate. I am quite a fan of the lamb momo, and they go well with the spicy chilli sauce. The place is often busy with young Nepalese students, and the staff are very friendly, though there sometimes quite a wait for small orders. The homemade breads are good, and there are a few more interesting dishes I keep meaning to try (I remember one described as buffalo another Pork with blue cheese). Some of the ‘curry’ type dishes are flavoursome, but with quite small portions of pretty tough meat. There is one side dish (was slightly reminiscent of a Uiyger snack called Samsa) though I can’t remember what it was called here – a hot dense crusty pastry with a rich (and fatty) finely diced meat and onion filling that stays incredibly moist inside and oozes juices when you bite into it- well worth a go. If you are there in the day you can pop into the newly opened 'An' Vietnamese next door and grab a bahn mi for your journey home.

Further down into Plumstead- on the other side of the railway station to Namaste is an unusual looking pub/Nepalese restaurant place called Danfe . I’ve not tried it yet but looks like it could be interesting - I would be curious to hear if anyone has tried it.

It’s been a while since I was in these places so apologies for the slightly vague reports! I look forward to hearing about how the chowdown goes!

Dec 06, 2012
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland