When I heard about a new Chinese restaurant opening in the heart of London’s business district, I kind of thought… really? Like, are they lost or something? Because you know Chinatown is not up this end of ye olde Londontown. In fact, you’re kind of no where near any Chinese person, and those who are near are bankers and they order take out to hoover on the go while multitasking the buying, selling and closing of deals.

So, Goldfish, what are you doing up this end of town then?

Hm. As it turns out, Goldfish has a damn good answer. Well, to be truthful here, they didn’t give me an answer, I kind of made it up but wait don’t go ~ hear me out and see if it fits. I have an inkling that Goldfish aren’t lost. They aren’t looking for Chinatown. They don’t want to be in Chinatown.

I hypothesise (yes, yes I do), that they’ve perched themselves here in the heart of the business district so that they can bring “Chinese food” to the corporates who frequent this area, and hey if done correctly, I’d say that Goldfish is sitting on something of a goldmine.

A couple of weeks ago, I was kindly invited by Goldfish to try out their new branch (the restaurant has an established branch in Hampstead) ~ the mere fact that it was a Chinese restaurant and it was located in the business district peaked my curiosity and so with my friend Loreen in tow, we headed down to have a sniff around and well, to eat some dinner too.

I have to say, my hypothesis is pretty spot on. If I had to make one sweeping statement about Goldfish, I would say that they make “modern westernised” Chinese food. But before you turn away, let me clarify that statement by adding that just because I said it’s “modern” and also “westernised” does not at all mean it’s bad. In fact, far from it!

Having ordered starters including crispy calamari, deep fried soft shelled crab and a seafood wrap cooked in yuzu sauce, I found myself on the verge of declaring the food “you know what? It’s just ok” when something came out of the blue and shattered the cookie-cut mould I was inches away from plunging Goldfish into.

Behold, the award winning mocha ribs: deep fried spare ribs in chocolate and coffee sauce.

Well, Chinese people don’t usually cook with chocolate and coffee now, do we? Um, no. But look what happens you mingle a little west with a little east! The gloriousness that is a modern and delicious take on the regular ribs in plum sauce: a sweet and smoky, tender, luscious dish which I can only describe as modern “western” Chinese food at its very best.

Along with the mocha ribs, we also tried the crispy prawns in passionfruit mayo which again, trust me when I say that passionfruit and mayo especially are not the norm in a Chinese kitchen.

The prawns were quite good, but I’m right now wondering if I should have ordered the wasabi prawns? I’m still utterly hung up on Sushi Ga Ga’s lollipop version which has moved right into my brain, kicked off its shoes and made itself at home.

We finished off with what was probably the most traditional dish of the night ~ the Chef’s signature steamed seabass.

Overall I enjoyed the meal, perhaps mostly attributable to the brilliant company I had, but I think if they work it just right, Goldfish may find themselves a niche with their corporate clientèle, providing Chinese food without the noise, sweat and hustle of Chinatown (but yes, with a heftier bill than Chinatown also).

Oh and one more thing. Testament to why I call this somewhat “westernised” Chinese dining? Well, check out the fruit platter we had to finish off the meal.

Do ya see any oranges?!

46 Gresham Street
Bank, EC2V 7AY
0207 726 0308

Goldfish City on Urbanspoon

14 Thoughts on “Goldfish: new Chinese in London’s business district, and no they’re not lost.

  1. WHERE ARE THE ORANGES??? ahahaha

    Blimey this place is on me doorstep somewhere. There is that other Chinese place near here too……the one on Threadneedle…have you been there yet?

  2. hehe I think my parents might raise their eyebrows at the menu but be quite intrigued to try them. The ribs sound very interesting! 😮

  3. I’ve also seen coffee ribs in HK and in Singapore and I think you can also get them in Haozhan in Chinatown.

  4. Old Cow: LOL exactly, where are the oranges?! Hehe nope haven’t been to the one on Threadneedle either!

    Lorraine: Haha yeah my parents would be like mayo????? 😀

    Mr Noodles: Oh. I haven’t had that before 🙂 Do they use chocolate too?? 😉

  5. Woah, ribs and chocolate, my most favorite things in one pack! I’ll have to look for this in Chinese restos here!

  6. I can’t remember if chocolate was used in all examples. Although one was called Cappuccino ribs, which may indicate cocoa sprinkles. Also saw pork chop w/honey & coffee sauce at Phoenix Palace, where I had dinner tonight. But I decided but decided against ordering it.

  7. James on August 5, 2010 at 4:34 pm said:

    Don’t worry Catty I’m Chinese and I didn’t know either. I still think that even though all those restaurants do it, it would still be classified as “modern Chinese” definitely not traditional cuisine. Love your blog by the way, keep it up!

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  9. Wow very interesting sauce! I wanna try! But I suppose if it were catering to business folk they’d need the chocolate and caffeine kick LOL! I want that steamed seabass. It looks awesome x

  10. I ate at a Chinese restaurant near our London office a few years ago, it was by Ken Hom, I think? Near Bank? Anyway, I couldn’t get over how expensive everything was. The food was okay, catering to the corporate crowd. Mod Chinese like Goldfish is much more interesting!

  11. James: Thanks! And yes, looks like I got it sorta right sorta wrong. It’s not totally “western” but not traditional either.

    diva: Oh the seabass was great – super fresh and soft *nom*

    OohLookBel: Yeah this one’s near Bank on Gresham St – it’s new though, you should try it out!

  12. Loreen on August 9, 2010 at 1:50 pm said:

    Brilliant company indeed!

  13. London Chow on August 28, 2010 at 10:46 am said:

    Was there two months back and was quite taken by its sea bass with it’s ‘superior’ soy sauce. I thought that the poem on the wall adds to the overall ambience. Pity about the half hearted effort karaoke In the basement though.

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