Chinese Fit For a King
Where? 65 South Audley Street, London W1K 2QU (020 7493 8988; www.kaimayfair.co.uk)
A posh Chinese? Indeed. Located in the heart of Mayfair, this plush restaurant is popular among businessmen flexing their company credit cards and couples with cash. For a three course meal, you’re looking at £70 a head.
Is the food good? Worthy of a Michelin star. In fact, the restaurant became only the third Chinese in the country to receive one in January this year, thanks to head chef Alex Chow. His menu is a blend of traditional Asian dishes (everything from Crispy Duck to Szechuan Chicken) and more experimental cuisine.
So if we’re feeling adventurous… Try one of the soups. For starters there’s A Sea of Eight Treasures (you got it: eight special ingredients, including shark’s fin) and for the main event, Buddha Jumps Over The Wall (at £108, this one contains Gold…)
Recommended? We had Wasabi Prawns and Soft Shelled Crab with Julienne Green Mango to start (both cooked to perfection and served in generous-sized portions), following up with Wagyu Beef and Flaming Drunken Pork. The latter comes sizzling in a mild champagne sauce although the presentation wasn’t as spectacular as we envisioned (any rings of fire had been extinguished, as it came wrapped in tin foil).
For dessert? We enjoyed some amazing banana fritters from the surprisingly extensive dessert menu. The restaurant also serves complimentary Asian chocolates served in a Genie and the Lamp-style pot of dry ice.
Would we go again? Only if we were feeling particularly extravagant. Though the meal was enjoyable we weren’t convinced the classic dishes were worth the splurge. And again, if we’re going to spend the money, we’d prefer the atmosphere to be a little less formal – while the staff were attentive, the restaurant was peopled by men in suits.