Tucked in a corner right opposite Blackfriars station, the Chinese Cricket Club serves an array of aesthetically pleasing Chinese traditional dishes. This week I share with you my experience, and the dim sums which stole the
show. If there’s anything that this visit taught me, it was that I may need to be more adventurous with need flavours, I mean what’s the harm?
Essie Eats x
Price Tag: £££
Occasion: Catch up with friends, client meetings, journalist meetings,
Location: London, Blackfriars station (19 New Bridge St, London EC4V 6DB)
For an elegantly decorated restaurant in the heart of central London residing inside the Crowne Plaza, the slightly expensive price range is to be expected, so a visit for two people should cost around £60, (based on two mains and two portions of dim sum) .Due to the price tag, I wasn’t too willing to spend quite a bit of money trying something new that I possibly wouldn’t like, so I stuck to my favourite dishes. My advice is that you go with three or more people and order several different dishes so you can share and get a taste of everything.
It is also worth noting that the portions mid-range, they’re not too big but not too small either, so as I have a large appetite, I recommend one starter and one rice / noodle dish or you can drop the starter and get two sets of dim sum.
So if I’m honest with you dim sum isn’t exactly my thing, as in, when I walk into a restaurant it doesn’t scream out to me. Yet, as I’d heard so much about the dim sum here I thought why not try it.
To start off our meal we ordered a pot of jasmine tea, which had such a delightful aroma, and two sets of dim sum, the first being the Seafood dumpling (£4.30) and the Prawn & Scallop sui mai (£4.90). I was pleasantly surprised with both dishes, especially the prawn and scallop sui mai, the texture was just right, they were so juicy, and the seafood was cooked to perfection, which made each bite quite frustrating as there were only two! Both dishes were topped with caviar, which gave the dim sum a salty yet slightly sweet finish.
A calamari lover, I had to order the Salt and pepper squid (£7.80). For this dish I was mainly impressed with the slightly thick cuts of calamari, which were accompanied by a crispy and lightly seasoned batter. Arriving with a total of three pieces, I also ordered the Sesame Prawn Toast (£3.50), even though it had a golden crispy finish, I do wish the prawns were a little thicker.
Overall, as it’s a pricey restaurant I would advise you go big on the dim sum, order three and ditch the starters, then skip to a main meal. Even though the starters were nice, I don’t feel its worth spending the extra, rather, focus on the dim sum.
For the main I decided to go for the classic King Prawn Fried Rice (£10.80). Telling my friend what I ordered post-dinner, she felt the need to inform me that the dish I selected was something a basic b**** would pick – and she may have had a point. My friend may have had a point, the flavouring was quite basic which resulted in me adding extra salt and pepper. Even if the quality left much to be desired, the prawns were cooked very well, they weren’t overcooked and were juicy. Reflecting on this, I do wish I was a little more adventurous and went for the Steamed Chilli Sea Bass (£20.00) or the Monkfish in Soy Black Bean sauce (£24.00). I will be going back for this,and will give you an updated review!
Greeted by a blinding golden dragon at the entrance, the restaurant is covered in dark varnished wood, which is complimented by the softest turquoise and blue pillows – making it a comfortable location for a catch up with friends. I particularly enjoyed the quietness, which is most likely because I arrived close to the opening time, just before the lunch rush hour. Because of the quietness, I feel this is a good location to bring a client or a journalist to for lunch, as it is a very simplistic venue and the quietness can have its benefits especially if you’re trying to get to know the client for the first time or discuss a confidential issue. As the restaurant is fairly popular, if you want a quieter meal then visit on a week day as close to the opening time as possible, which is at 12.
The quietness and subtle decor accompanied by the dim sum, is the real attraction to this place. But I’m not sure if its worth the price tag.