Taste of the Orient

Words by
Sphere Life

3rd October 2017

We round up three of the tastiest Asian restaurant openings in the capital this season



mouthwatering malaysia

Asian food in all its myriad forms has been in vogue in London of late and the outpost of Oxford’s Malaysian restaurant Zheng proves that the hunger continues. Here, aubergine cooked with chilli warns of being very spicy, yet it is perfectly manageable and has an autumnal robustness. Beef rendang is mellow with coconut, and its chicken take on Sichuanese green beans with pork is a marriage of textures. The sambal chicken with dried shrimp chilli paste also has no need of a hankie to mop the brow, but its sauce is satisfyingly rich and spiced.

For Chelsea, Zheng is reasonably priced — mains are around £13 — and offers an interesting riff on a thrilling cuisine.

Dinings SW3 bar

Dinings SW3

raw talent

The original venue for Dinings in Marylebone won a host of fans for its incognito setting in a mews house and its almost scholarly approach to serving first-rate Japanese “fusion” dishes. The glitz has been turned up a notch in its Chelsea outpost, a stiletto’s clip away from the gilded doors of Harrods.

Dishes such as seabass carpaccio with caviar and ponzu garlic sauce are waist friendly, delicious and feel slightly more showy than the original restaurant and are elegantly paired with sake. With the closing of Itsu, down the road, where SW7 denizens used to get their fill of edamame, this may fill a gap, albeit a much more upmarket one.

taste of taiwan: XU


taste of taiwan

Inspired by a 1930s Taiwanese dining room, the latest from the JKS stable (Gymkhana, Hoppers and Bao) in Soho delivers.

A surprising hit is the selection of beef jerky with piquant shallot and Sichuan relish. The beef pancake, unctuous with short rib and bone marrow, is something of an executive oriental taco. Squishy prawns were saved by better dishes such as the fragrant and gentle Shou Pa chicken with ginger and spring onion. The chilli egg drop crab is a bit of a slop, but a tasty one. Try the indulgent cocktails: the Bei Gang is made with Kombu rum, Manzanilla, honey, lime and wheatgrass.