Friday, 22 July 2011

[Restaurant - Chinese] OBNomnoms Revisited; Oriental Brasserie of Chiswick

Location - Chiswick, London [UK]

Yes, a sequel, but unlike the plethora of imagination failures hitting the cinemas this year, this sequel has meaning, purpose, FLAVOUR. Well, ok, the first two descriptions are not strictly required, no reason is needed to go to Oriental Brasserie, and the third is an obvious conclusion. Come to think of it, this is turning out to be similar in scope to the sequel of the film variety ^_^.

As mentioned in a previous post, a plan was hatched to culminate a day of wretched excess spent gorging myself to the hilt at the Hyper Japan exposition. What better way to cap of said day than with a delectable and most importantly, sensibly priced meal at Oriental Brasserie. The fact that it was only located 3 miles away was not even temptation - it was fate. And so, despite still having wagashi attempting to escape through my various orifices, I hastily made way towards Chiswick, figuring that if I did explode, it could only be for the better as at least the calories would be scattered in a blast radius around me, rather than adding to my flanks. Arrived, looking a bit like a hobo from a full day of exercising my jaw at a warm exposition filled with Pokemon-dressed beings, I was shown to my lone table. Whilst previously a friend was supposed to join me, he remorselessly abandoned me, leaving even more OBNoms for just me, which was a blessing. Feeling like a Tupac song, all eyes were on me. Or rather, diverted from this loner. Good, I don't need distractions when attempting to eat with my face. Seeing as I had just spent the day eating foods I had never experienced, or been able to pronounce, I figured it would only be correct to follow suit here, not that I had built up a standard order in all my previous one visits.

~ Starter ~
Almond & Wheat Flakes Soft Shell Crab

My first ever encounter with crab. Well, on a plate. Dirty Philistine. It almost looked too pretty to devour, and at first I struggled to comprehend how to eat it - do I eat it, legs and all?! Pfft, no time to think, just eat. My word. Why have I been denying myself of this for so long? Despite being deep-fried [and thus awesome], a delicate sweetness was still prevalent in the meat of the crab, which combined exquisitely with the mountain - quite seriously, a topographical peak - of roasted almond flakes, which in of themselves were disgustingly addictive. They were everywhere and just as roasted almonds always do, tasted of earthy fabulousness. I had to leave some out just not to overconsume - I am only a human, and not a Power Station. It is a harsh realisation at times.

Supplemented with some Chilli Oil, which unlike most places actually has a nice but gentle kick, this was a delinquently delicious dish. Yes, delinquent. It just teased you with half of the crab provided. I need this done with an Alaskan King Crab.

~ Main Course ~
Pumpkin Mussels Curry

Struggling to find anything of much divergence to the norm of stir-fries, I finally opted for another creature from the sea I had never sampled, again lambasting it for its shell-habitat and thus belonging to a beach or on jewellery. I had wished to stray away from ordering rice, as I had already eaten a container-sized Onigiri earlier on in the day, but the waiter was annoyingly insistent. Meh. Why stop at eating simply a container-sized morsel.

I was presented with a basin of a watery curry piled with mussels. If I did not like mussels, this was going to be a test of fortitude. First, taste the curry. It was coconut-based, therefore, my best friend for ever. Quite watery, perhaps it was meant as such but it did not bother me, I could have avoided the rice and just drank it as a soup. At first the mussels had perplexed me, having not the slightest of clues of how to consume this necklace charm, though I soon manned up, removed it from the shell and noted the peculiar peg and hole structure of the meat and, into my mouth. Hmm. Not terrible, especially considering what it looks like. Not the grandest of fans of the similar to clam [but much less salty] flavour, but really worked nicely with the pumpkin chunks and the coconut curry ambrosia. No doubt a food I won't order too many more times though, unless struggling for originality. And despite there being a similarly Himalayan-sized serving of mussels in the plate, I had yet to arrive to the lost city of Vegetablantis underneath. 

Is it odd to find completely memorable vegetables in such a full flavoured dish like a curry?! Despite being in a stew, the broccoli, water chestnut, bell peppers and company were all exquisitely crunchy, and amazingly flavourful. HOW?! Any attempts at moderation were thwarted by the vegetables, which included the subtly sweet yet hearty pumpkin chunks, leaving only a little of the curry soup left over. Only a bit of rice was eaten with some of the soup just to add some varying texture. The noises emanating from me seemed to trouble the surrounding tables of kids and couples, but I don't care. They knew the score as well.

~ Dessert ~
- Deep-fried Ice-Cream

Having already had the Lotus Seed Awesome on the menu on my last visit, and wishing for something a bit more complicated than fruit fritters, I pined for the aforementioned. A master of spontaneity, I know. It arrived, and I was misled. This is a deep-fried brick. Awesome.

Despite its intimidating size, it was devoured in short order. It was difficult to stop. I ate containers and part of a house today, one for the records. Despite being deep-fried as well, it was not overly greasy or cloying or all things nice. It was just a nice creamy ice-cream brick with a nice crunch and richness from the batter, the mint sauce providing a subtle cutting freshness through all this decadence. It wasn't as mesmerising and trance-inducing as the Lotus Seed Pancake, but again, nothing was left. Though, that is hardly surprising for me these days..

~ Drinks ~
- Espresso

Quite poor, but that is to be expected - not generally been to a Chinese restaurant where it has excelled >_>. Watered down, coming from a tiny espresso machine on the bar counter, but at least it was served in the correctly sized glass. I just wish it had enough caffeine to at least start troubling the entire UNICEF shipment of rations consumed today.


And so culminated a day of disgusting, wretched, yet delicious excess. Not really much has to be added onto the description of Oriental Brasserie that hasn't been mentioned in my first post - it still remains epic, and my favourite Chinese restaurant, evar. Everything from the presentation to the execution of the food speaks volumes - despite the frying, purported heaviness of ingredients and cooking styles, they always seem to marry a lightness of touch with a delicate richness of the food. Essentially an oxymoron to the Chinatown brand of Asian cuisine. Nothing is synthetic in flavour, all ingredients tasting natural and free of MSGood.

That I experienced the same sort of delectable noms with deliberately different choices from my norm of ordering just added to the satisfaction, and just pushes me further and further into a need to try more. MOAR diversity. Granted, I had eaten enough to power a bustling Metropolis for a week in this most disgusting of indulgent days, but a delightful way to cap it off ^_^. 

No comments:

Post a Comment