Thursday, 13 January 2011

[Restaurant - Chinese] OBNomnoms; Oriental Brasserie of Chiswick

Location - Chiswick, London; UK

It was a cold and dreary night. I was bored. So I ate. Wait, there is more! I forget the time specifically I came to this [Spoiler alert] delightful [maybe its a lie?] eatery but it was perhaps a twist of fate that I avoided this place on my first invitation. Let me explain.

I recall that day that I was out with whom is known to formally be my spouse, though he is a dude as am I. I'm comfortable with the affiliation however - we were on a day out to source me a Dinner Jacket for pending festivities for a friend. As typical when I am in his area, we stuffed our faces with the delectable treats of B&K Salt Beef Bar. As such, on return to his house, his family had invited me out for dinner at Oriental Brasserie, but for fear of spoiling the mood at the restaurant with a possible gastro-intestinal explosion should another morsel of food enter my body, I kindly declined.

Only to be told by my friend, sorry, spouse, just what I had missed out on. I felt no guilt, staring at the bovine-shaped monstrosity lurking within my belly. Fast-forward and he explained just how different this restaurant was, and naturally a skeptic/perpetual miserable pessimist, I take up the prospect of eating out, with a tangible sense of worry. Why worry? I don't know but for as much as I absolutely adore Chinese food, I have always been tainted by the overwhelming proportion of mediocrity typically served up by Asian Eateries, especially in so-called "Asia Town" districts. Is Chinese food really comprised of greasy, sauce-doused, over-salted, samey-style different trimmings dishes? Meh.

Raised eyebrows on approaching Chiswick though, as I was attempting my "The Rock" impressions. Then a feeling of being perplexed - when did we drive into a Quaint European village? Hmmm. Odd. Bistros? Que?! Interest Piqued. And such this light-hearted town transfers onto this little restaurant:

~ Starter ~
- Some Beef Soup thing

I forget what exactly this was, and it was initially forgettable, but in a good way - every vegetable just tasted, like a vegetable, and the beef, tasted like beef. They didn't taste of sea water! Whilst in my youth I would have been completely dissatisfied with this and proceeded to unleash the world salt supplies onto said soup, it was quite satisfying. The addition of a few drops of Chilli oil made it lovelier.

- Sesame Prawn Toast [Ofcourse!]

Despite the sesame infused cholesterol bubble obtained from this fried delight, I care not, it was delicious - very light considering what it was, but very authentic tasting. Authentic Tasting?! Did I suddenly become a Chinese national on consumption of this treat? No, I just meant it to say that prawn tasted of prawn, sesame was light but apparent etc. Stop judging me, me (>_<). Combined extremely well with the chilli oil. Need. More. ~ Main Course ~
- Thai Red Curry Something

A curry that actually holds true to its name. A truly delightful curry, not curry flavoured liquid, not "Just-add-water" Curry. A lovely, curry. Umm. That's basically what I can remember.

- Noodles, I think?

All I can remember is that it was nice and worked well with my and my friend's mains - not greasy in the slightest.

~ Dessert ~
- Some Lotus Flower Pancake thing

Straight from my intricate memory banks, this, err, whatchamacallit, was really a different dessert. To paraphrase my eating partner, who has a sweet tooth fashioned out of pure Stevia, complained of my dessert not being "Sweet Enough", and I found that to be absolutely perfect. Because I am sweet enough as is ^_^. But srsly, it was a very subtle pancake, the sweetness permeating more through the butteriness of the pastry than anything.

I'm struggling to put face-cramming, drooling and subsequent flavour-induced coma into cohesive words, though, I guess that should suffice. A very simple pancake of moderate sweetness, with a hint of Chrysanthemum or whichever shrub was used, with a delightful light-touched butter texture. I actually need it in my life.

~ Drinks ~

Water, hailed straight down from the springs of the Highlands, this water was delectable - refreshing, wet, and thirst quenching. All you could ask for from water. Yeah, it was just water, but I did have a liquer coffee..

- Amaretto Coffee

Whilst almost struggling to continue drinking the coffee after being submitted to the awkward pleasure grunts emanating from my friend from the nicely combined Almond Liquer and Coffee, I was somewhat less than enamoured. As much as I love cream, I just don't like it of the whipped variety, especially in my coffee - I guess being an Italian, and yes, I will use that as my official excuse for such pretension, I like my coffees pure and devoid of such fattiness.


Overall it was a lovely experience - whilst service at times was ever so slightly slow, and the lack of a proper espresso disappointed, I hardly ate them, and what I did was by and large completely pleasing to my belly. Plus it allowed me the time to realise just how piggy I was. I can safely say that Oriental Brasseries is my favourite Chinese restaurant in London. Which makes that about 3 I've tried. Slightly biased review? Well, yes, I am quite forthcoming with food that pleases me as it makes the world right and everything nice. Li'sahn. Best friend/free food please?!

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