A. WONG // Victoria // London

Across the blogosphere, there’s frenzy of admiration for what must be London’s favourite casual Chinese restaurant. Review after review salivates over a famous bunch of dishes on the A. Wong menu, and ours is no different. While A. Wong is not the fine-dining experience that you get at excellent HKK, the menu is a great mix of traditional flavour combinations executed in a modern, creative way. And as Chinese is great to share, you can really go crazy with your order. These are our “must orders”.

French beans and minced pork might sound a bit odd, but it’s wonderful. The meat has a rich, spicy flavour which is great with the crisp, sweet beans. Sichuan cooked aubergines are also amazing. Marinated in a deep black bean and chilli mix, the flesh reduces down to a soft, spicy goo, with the familiar kick of Shaoxing rice wine.

Chicken wings feature with a black bean sauce too, but what makes these ones extraordinary is that they’re stuffed with sweet prawn meat. Plump and juicy, I’d happily have a bowl of 12 just to myself. The Dong Po pork belly is also moreish. Slow cooked in soy, dark sugar and ginger, the distinctive Chinese taste coats the meat which melts in your mouth. A classic crispy chilli beef makes the cut too. Though, the thick slices of meat are deep-fried rare and are dressed with some pickled carrot ribbons to balance the richness.

A. Wong also has some creative dishes on his menu which you need to try. Lettuce leaves braised in stock are used as small bowls for a heavenly combination of white crab meat, deep-fried cockles and a sweet powder made from dehydrated shallots. Very clever. The pan-fried foie gras is also incredible. First of all, the melting quality of the liver second to none, but it’s the addition of the crunchy vermicelli, the citrus burst of the pomelo powder and the rolls of sweet pork jerky which make this dish great.

Overall, A. Wong is a real pleasure; well done to this creative chef. We look forward to seeing more from him in the future.


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