Chinese fine dining, hey? We at thecattylife are not unfamiliar with this topic. We’ve been to Kai Mayfair and well, yes, we’ve been to Kai Mayfair. We are not unfamiliar with the topic but we are still much confused. Although we were bedazzled by Kai Mayfair’s superb service and quality food, we are still concerned about having to spend more than say £20 a head for Chinese (and that is already a lot). We don’t understand where our moneyz is going and still think that Chinese food is really just that. Chinese food.
We are especially confused by that restaurant in Chinatown, Plum Valley, who calls themselves “Chinese fine dining” but they don’t even have a website. What the heck fine dining restaurant doesn’t have a website?
And yes, we’re doing this post in third person. And plural.
This post was written last Friday afternoon while thecattylife was twiddling away the minutes before meeting up with some dudes of the bloggersphere for dinner. We realised we went to Plum Valley the previous week and hadn’t posted about it yet so we dug up some photos and started pondering the mysteriousness that is Chinese fine dining.
Really, what the f*** is it?
Well, Plum Valley seems to think that “dark” = mysterious = fine dining. The interior is dimly lit and these here photos had the camera reaching its light capturing tendrils for as much luminance as photographically possible. It did pretty good. Plum valley also thinks that leather couches = fine dining. This, we like. Because you ain’t gonna find no leather couch at Four Seasons, yo.
But, not that we want to repeat ourselves, they don’t have a website. We remain thoroughly confuzzled.
Anyway, thecattylife has friends and once in a while, we all go out for dinner. Toptable enticed us to this place, this Plum Valley with no website, with its generous offer of 50% off the food. Because we ain’t gonna go any other way.
And the honest truth? We didn’t mind Plum Valley so much, given we received over £50 off the total bill and we are still, in essence, cheapskates.
We had a bunch of starters, the winners being jasmine tea smoked baby pork ribs and roasted mango duck breast with lemon sauce. The others were not bad, but not nearly in the stratosphere of “fine dining”. Not even exceptional. Just ok. The baby pork ribs and duck though sparkled in comparison but shhh, here at thecattylife, we are a little biased towards duck and all things mango. And all things baby pork ribs.
Two mains stood out for us also ~ pan grilled black cod with champagne and honey because can you say Champagne And Honey oh yes you can, and did you feel that tingle down your spine? Oh yes you did. The black cod was divine! Tender as any black cod should be, you really could taste the champers and the honey and look at those fried slices of radish. So purty!
The other stand out main was the Mongolian fillet steak. We’d heard this was good, and yes it was. Tender steak oozing with the delicious Mongolian sauce, whatever that is.
We didn’t so much rate the other mains. Well, they weren’t bad, and at 50% off actually maybe they were actually really good! But not super-tacular and certainly not fine dining.
The hand-pulled noodles were a little too salty, the claypot was soso and the garlic shoots ~ *sigh* ~ we at thecattylife really like garlic shoots! But some of these were so chewy we had to um, spit. Shhhhh.
Dessert! Always a favourite part of our meal 🙂
Fellow bloggers had been to Plum Valley and had themselves quite a little ordeal with the dessert, the willow dew cream to be precisely precise. Holes in our brain prevents us from remembering the details but there was something about not having any sago in the sago dessert and um, being dealt with rather unprofessionally.
We, for one (or two or more), couldn’t wait to see if we were going to get some sago in our willow dew cream, which really, is just a schmancy name for mango soup with pomelo and sago. Well, we did. Mixed in the the droplets of pomelo were surely little globules of sago goodness. We were much happy.
The willow dew cream had a delightful bite, a bitterness probably produced by the pomelo. This paired very nicely with the sweet mango pudding which was…. sweeeeeeeeeeeeet.
After all of that, we are still terribly confused about what constitutes “Chinese fine dining”. The food was pretty good and ok, they don’t rush you out but fine dining? Really????
With the Toptable 50% off, we at thecattylife would actually recommend Plum Valley, but at full price, na-ah, no-wayz, not for £50. For that you could go to Kai Mayfair, which is also part of this mysterious posse of “Chinese fine dining” but hey, they have a Michelin Star!
And we are now exhausted from talking in third person. And plural. Ciao.
20 Gerrard Street
Chinatown, W1D 6JQ
0207 494 4366
no website! GAH!