Saturday, 22 January 2011

[Restaurant - Chinese] Short Take: Secret [Apparently] Recipe of Hatch End

Location: Hatch End, Harrow [UK]

So, my first new restaurant, but not necessarily anything out of the ordinary in terms of culinary provenance. Big words, I know. Having gone as part of a friends' birthday dinner, I also figured it'd be rude to order everything of my choosing, instead opting for the sharing is caring [and stealing my food] routine.

It was an overall pleasant experience; they seem to specialise in Dimsum's, which are a particular source of "Meh"-ism to me as I basically stereotype them as. Well. Dumplings. Which they are. Which are as exciting as boiled stuff can be.

Nothing changes, though a particular dumpling stood out - I have no idea what it was, just that it was chicken, fried, had a very light batter combined with a subtle sweet bite, and it was lovely. The Crispy shredded duck was de rigeur, though to note, it was distinct for not being overly dry or fatty - hmm. I always figured Duck had to cause a stroke to be truly enjoyed, but I digress, it could be a better way to enjoy it!

Mains comprised of, something. No idea. Lots of vegetable dishes, some Clay Pot Chicken with Sesame and Ginger dish, some Beef dish, and Sea Bass. The vegetables were delightfully crunchy and seemed to be of relative freshness, but there's only so much excitement that can be doled out for Stir-fried vegetables. The chicken dish, whilst lacking overall in any distinct flavour, was combined to an aroma that was encouraging. The beef dish was suprising in that, whilst offering a typically full flavoured sauce, the taste of the beef was not overpowered which is obviously a good sign. Unless you're one of those people that can only eat certain dishes as a sauce with some food thrown in. I am not one of those. The vegetable/seafood fried noodles as well were rather inoffensive, and moorish.

Whilst this paints the image of not overly particular food, to me it speaks volumes in that nothing was weighed down by excessive saltiness or greasiness - the fact the vegetables were perfectly "al dente" and still had an earthy nature was pleasant. All too healthy for me mind. As was my denial of a proper dessert, being relegated to some fruit. Bah.

So to conclude, a pleasant if not overwhelming experience, though, as previously mentioned, it was more of a sampling round rather than one of my contrived journeys of discovery of food and flavours and I'm drooling.

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