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