Found in the chic Xanadu hotel in Ealing, Shikumen restaurant offers high-class Chinese food in luxurious surroundings. If, like me, you love Chinese food but are used to the delicious variety served from less classy outposts, then this offering certainly makes the stomach rumble. I had no option but to head over and sample their wares.
The crispy aromatic duck roll, for instance, has taken on a pretty standard self-assembly format in the UK. Not here – the food arrives already expertly prepared (I can’t do a forward roll, never mind a duck roll). The flavour matches up too – the crispy pastry balancing well with the warm, juicy duck wrapped up inside.
We also started with the soft shell crab served with an almond butter egg sauce. Heaped on the plate next to a dainty dressing, the mighty crab conquered all before it; whether on the plate or in my mouth. The rich, messy texture of the dish allowed it to soak up the rich, almond butter egg sauce, creating a real bang of flavour.
Our mains had something to live up to. We tried the fried scallops with macadamia nut, which came with surrounded by a freshly prepared salad. The scallops were intense, with the wonderful flavour that comes from being cooked so well and being rounded out by the sauce, which added layers and depth to the dish.
The braised pork belly with Chinese buns was a real highlight. The pork belly arrived in a little pot of its own juices, with some vegetables inside. The buns came separately, in a steamed pot. I then got to make my own little pork rolls, slicing open the buns and stuffing in hearty pork portions. The tender pork had marinated well into the sauce, and the sticky, dry texture of the buns soaked all of the flavour up. The pork belly was huge too, so much so that with a kindly provided doggy bag, I finished it off for lunch the next day.
Despite my failure to finish the esteemed pork, I managed to find enough dignity to make it through dessert. I’m glad I did; the caramel parfait was a sweet, creamy treat. With chocolate laced across the top, and a scattering of fruit, it contained more or less everything you could want to finish off a meal.
The green tea soufflé was just as exciting, with its giant radishes and strawberries. The foamy green mixture caught my eye and the taste buds, and had a smooth, almost mellow, cool taste.
Shikumen’s Ealing restaurant is worth a visit to discover its comprehensive menu offering, covering a range of tastes. I personally wouldn’t mind a return trip to check out their dim sum. With generous, tasty portions of authentic high-class Chinese treats, what more could you want?
Shikumen – Ealing
Shikumen Ealing, Xanadu Hotel, 26 – 42 Bond Street ,Ealing, London, W5 5AA