Gold Mine Chinese Restaurant, London

Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 2:10 PM

If you stay in London long enough, chances are you would know or heard of the mighty Four Seasons that serves really good roast duck. After hearing good reviews of its arch nemesis, Gold Mine, I decided to give it a try. As there was five of us, we ordered four dishes and a pot of Chinese tea. Note to self: the portion here including rice is HUGE, remember to order accordingly. 

Waiting was long just like all the other places in London although it was a Thursday night. Our first dish was Special Roast Duck Cantonese Style (£9.50). We ordered half of it.

To be honest, I can't really tell the difference between Four Season's and Gold Mine's. Both are equally good, I think. I can only say that Four Season's one has a thicker layer of fat whereas Gold Mine's version is skinnier. 

This was Braised Bean Curd with Minced Pork, Diced Chinese Mushrooms & Radish (£8.50). A very flavourful dish indeed and goes well with rice. 

I love brinjals. This Braised Aubergine with Minced Pork in Hot Pot (£8.50) was good either on its own or with some rice. The aubergines was soft and a little bit spicy.

This Spicy Kung Po Diced Pork (£7.50) was fried with huge chunks of onions, spring onions, cashew nuts and red chilies. The pork was soft on the inside and crispy at the outside. Total bill came up to just a little over £50 including complimentary fruits just like what Four Seasons has. It was not bad at all and I might just come back for more.

Gold Mine Chinese Restaurant (Open Daily)
12noon - 11.30pm
102 Queensway Bayswater,
London W2 3RR
Tel No: 020 7792 8331

London Revisit

Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 9:56 PM

I like to come to this humble little shop called Far East Restaurant in Chinatown whenever I come to London. You can read my first visit here. This time I ordered Szechuan Chicken Fried Noodles and Szechuan Chicken Fried Ho Fun. Both cost £3.50 each. 

The noodles was really good. It had a good amount of "wok hei" and was not oily at all. Chicken pieces were succulent and crispy. The noodles was cooked with Szechuan chili oil hence the name. However, it was not very spicy. I might ask for extra hot next time. I think the chef may alter the level of hotness to suit the taste here.

The ho fun (flat rice noodles) was cooked exactly the same style as the noodles above. The only difference here is the type of noodles used. If I have to choose, I would go for the noodles because it complements the chili oil better than the ho fun. Somehow the ho fun didn't go well with the chili oil. 

I went back to Four Seasons to try its roast duck rice. Besides that, I too ordered a plate of Fried Ho Fun with Sliced Beef (Dry) priced at £5.50.

The only thing that came to my mind when I sank my mouth into this dish was its oiliness! Other than that, it was pretty good. The beef was well cooked and marinated. It was tender enough too. 

I also got the chance to dine at the good ol' canteen of Malaysia Hall London. Do not expect fancy cutleries or nice ambiance. It is a no-frills setting which looks like just any other government department's canteen back home in Malaysia. I had a plate of Nasi Lemak Ayam (Coconut Rice with Fried Chicken) and a side dish of vegetables for breakfast. It costs me £5 in total. 

And I would say it was a pretty decent plate of nasi lemak. Tasted just like what it should be back in Malaysia. The fried chicken was a tad too small for me though. This is a nice place to get your Malaysian food cravings satisfied. It has a variety of Malay dishes like curry chicken, rendang and many more. Drinks like teh tarik and Milo are also available. 

Brunch Madness in London

Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Yep, you heard that right. On my last trip to London, my friends and I planned to have a quick brunch on Sunday before I headed back home to Manchester. We ended up having two meals at two different restaurants in less than 2 hours time. We went out at 10am-ish in the hope of eating some dim sum. But the restaurant will not be open till 11am. Then, we went to a nearby cafe for breakfast and wait for the time to pass.

Waffle House

Sunday Morning

Thern's Hot Chocolate priced at £2.50

He said it's not that good. He can actually taste the chocolate powder. Yikes!

Waffle with Nutella (£3.65)

Milk Chocolate Waffle (£3.65)

To me, both the waffles tasted great. Nutella, as usual, got a hint of hazlenut and the milk chocolate one was sweet and creamy. I think the waffles are freshly baked and I like the fact that it got just the right amount of crunchiness. 

Once the clock ticked 11am, we went down the road to have dim sum at Kam Tong restaurant. We were its first customers of the day. So, no hustle and bustle yet. But it took a long time for the food to arrive. I guess it's because the food is still not fully prepared yet. 

Took the pic while waiting.

Usual pot of tea that costs £1 for each person

Usual condiments which was good.

Minced Pork Dumplings (£2.6o)

Glutinous Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaves (£2.90)

Freshly baked milk and egg tart (£2.30)

Fried Dough Cheong Fun (£2.80)

Kam Tong Special Cheung Fun (£3) with scallops, prawns and roast pork

The dim sum were average on the whole. Nothing special in particular. The glutinous rice was not bad although the ingredients used were too little in my opinion. The egg tarts were a tad too sweet for my liking. Though I must say I like the tarts' flaky crust. The fried dough cheong fun was a unique dish with a very distinct texture. Total summed up to £18.70 including 12% service charge. I went home feeling full and happy. And I enjoyed my bus ride back to Manchester although it was 5 hours long. All thanks to a hilariously addictive book.  I was in awe of how much similarities I have with its main character which I shall not share in depth here. xp Sorry for the lack of addresses of these two restaurants as I was kinda rushing to the coach station. Both of them are situated along the Bayswater tube station. Thank God I made it to Victoria Coach Station in the nick of time. 

Far East Restaurant, London

Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 11:46 PM
The following day I was in London, we went to Chinatown for lunch. After walking around for ten minutes looking for a decent eatery, we decided to go to this humble little shop which is much smaller compared to you average Chinese restaurants there. Honestly, the picture below was what attracted us in the first place. Not forgetting the cheap prices too (at least for London standard).

The Crown Prince visited in year 2007

  Cosy little shop

I love my soy milk (£2.50) which surprisingly came in a bowl. Maybe this is the traditional way to serve it. You add your own preferred amount of sugar into the drink. As for me, I like to drink it the usual way without any sugar added (this applies to tea as well). And it tasted just as good. I can really taste the natural sweetness of the soybeans. 

Lemon tea with honey (£1.50). It was exceptionally sour according to my friend.

This was what I ordered. A plate of Yang Chow Fried Rice for only £3.50. I doubt you will find prices cheaper than this in the heart of London. Despite its low prices, this was absolutely good! It was a plate of wok-hei laden, fresh prawns and char-siew bits of goodness. Pure bliss. Okay, in case you don't know, I'm a fan of fried rice. I love all kinds of fried rice. Japanese, Korean, Chinese, you name it, I love it. Not healthy? It's not like I eat it everyday.

Vivian's Chicken Noodles in Soup (£3.50). Her verdict: Mediocre

Erh Jhen's Wanton Noodles in Soup (£3.50). So-so only.

Har Kau or Prawn Dumplings (£4 for 4 pieces)

I found the Har Kau expensive because it tasted quite plain. So far, I can't find any dumplings in the UK with juice bursting out of it when you have a bite. I guess I know the explanation behind all the cheap prices in this restaurant. This is only the bakery part of the restaurant which operates throughout the day. It is meant to be a small shop which serves light snacks only and its main expertise is soy bean curd. While having our lunch, I overheard the founder who is an old man already talking to a customer saying that the shop sells fresh, daily-made soy bean curd in the past 47 years. They also serve porridge and some HK pastries. Service was prompt and the staff were attentive and friendly.

All kinds of fried snacks. My mum would love this place. =)

Our lunch was £18.50 in total. Definitely a treasure in Chinatown. Customers come in a constant flow. Most of them come here for the takeaway snacks. It was not overcrowded even on a Saturday afternoon. A good place to spend your (okay, mine as well) lazy, unproductive weekend afternoons. Would come back for more for restaurant section around dinner time. Surprise me.

Far East Restaurant 
13 Gerrard Street,
London, W1.
Tel No: 02074376148
Opening Times:
Bakery 9.30am-7pm
Restaurant 6pm-5am

Dim Sum at Tai Wu

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 11:52 PM

A couple of days ago, I went Tai Wu for lunch with Celine and Pyin Nie. We ordered dim sum because there is promotion for dim sum every afternoon. But I was not too sure about it though. Anyway, the promotion ends at 4pm. Just to let you guys know. Be prepared to wait for at least half an hour to get to your table on a busy Sunday afternoon.

It was more crowded than pictured.

Fried Yam Puff which was really good, crispy on the outside and flavourful enough.

The filling inside. Yummy!

The waiter called it Siu Mai Ben (Siu Mai fishcake?).

Average in the taste department.

Bo Lo Pao which I like alot.

Sweet custard filling. =)

Century egg with lean pork porridge. Did not taste like usual porridge, it was more on the sweet side. Like its consistency.

Star item of the day: Wrapped bean curd skin with prawns. This was surprisingly good. Went well both with or without the sweet soy sauce. And there was a big filling inside.

Roast Pork Cheong Fun: Forgettable.

Char Siew Pao: Good

Har Gao: Nothing to shout about

Egg tart: Quite nice actually and it was not too sweet. Ok, I may sound biased because I love egg tarts generally. My favourite one is still from Tong Kee back home in Malaysia.

Pyin Nie's favourite fried custard buns. Tasted just like Bo Lo Pao but it was fried.

The filling inside aka custard 

Had a few bites of the fried bun before I accidentally dropped it on the floor. How on earth did that happen? Don't even ask because I don't know as well. Sigh, I couldn't afford to be clumsy anymore. Tasted okay. We went there before CNY and it was so full at that time. There was one waiter keep pestering us to take the Fried Nian Gao (Sorry, don't know what is that in English) saying it is Chinese New Year coming soon, should take one, blah blah blah, for good luck, blah blah blah. Sorry, but no means no, nothing else. Can you believe the whole bill was only GBP 20.90 inclusive three cups of tea? We ordered 10 dishes and were stuffing ourselves silly that day (or probably it was only me XD). Still, it was great food with good company. Tai Wu has definitely more hits than misses this time.

Tai Wu
44 Oxford Road,
Manchester, M1 5EJ
Telephone: 01612366567

Jom Makan, London

Friday, January 22, 2010 at 5:24 PM
     On New Year's Eve, a bunch of friends and I went to Jom Makan (which means Let's Eat in Malay) Restaurant nearby Trafalgar Square to have dinner and celebrate the new year the Malaysian way. We didnt mind to splurge as it was for new year celebrations. There were ten of us and we didnt make any reservations at all. Luckily, the restaurant was not full. Service was quick and we were comfortably seated within minutes.

The outside view of the restaurant



Below are what my friends had ordered. Sorry I didnt ask any of them how were their dishes extensively. The general response was okay and some were quite good.

Nasi Goreng Sayur (GBP 6.80). Fried rice with shiitake mushrooms, fried bean curd and butternut squash.

Mee Goreng (GBP 7.60). Fried noodles with prawns, bean sprouts and vege.

Nasi Ayam Panggang (GBP 8.20). Chicken rice with char-grilled chicken pieces.

Nasi Ayam Hainan (GBP 8.20). Chicken rice with steamed chicken and soy sauce.

Kerabu Satay (GBP 4.50). Chicken satay pieces tossed with cucumber and bean sprouts. Not forgetting the peanut sauce! I had a few bites and it was great!

Mee Sup Daging (GBP 8.50). Noodles with beef and veges in chicken broth. (Pardon the blur pic.)

Ayam Percik (GBP 8.30). Char-grilled chicken with sweet and spicy coconut sauce. This set came with a plate of rice.

Kway Teow Goreng (GBP 7.60). Flat rice noodles fried with shiitake mushrooms, prawns, squids, bean sprouts and spring onions.

   I had this craving for Char Kuey Teow ever since I came to the UK so I decided to order it in the restaurant.Turned out that it was not the authentic one like those back in Penang. It was quite spicy too. At least for UK standards. Well, I still enjoyed the dinner since it was my first time in an expensive Malaysian restaurant abroad! The company was great too. Total damage done: 83.10 pounds. (If you convert it to Malaysian Ringgit, that's nearly RM500!) Cant believe we spent that much on Malaysian food. You can buy at least 450 packets of nasi lemak back home with that amount of money! After the satisfying meal, we braved the cold to usher in the new year. FYI, it started to snow right after the new year's fireworks stopped. How cool is that!

Jom Makan
5-7 Pall Mall East
Tel: 0207 925 2402

Meanwhile, I just want to post this non-related photo up.

A blanket of white snow, yay! And yes this is how outside looks like from my room after a fresh snowfall in mid-Dec 09. There was a bigger one in January 2010 too.

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