Saturday, 7 May 2011

D is for Dim Sum @ The Phoenix Palace

For some of us this was the first time Dim Sum had been eaten like this. But what a place for them to loose your Dim Sum virginity.

I hadn’t really had eaten that much Dim Sum since we were in Hong Kong a couple of years ago. Too damn long if you ask me. Even with the Dim Sum being oh so fashionable recently with every blogger in London eating it on a regular basis, I didn’t go for any. Well I am so fashionable late to the party. As always.
As D posed a problem for restaurants in London, there are not too many Djibouti joints around that I could find. We were thinking Danish, but as two of us were in Denmark the week before, it seemed pointless to do it again for them. So Dim Sum came to mind, well it does begin with a D, ok ok I know it is a bit thin on the ground, but at least now we know this game has very flexible rules.
The Dim Sum menu is pretty good at the Phoenix Palace. It has been a while since I’ve eaten Dim Sum and chosen it from a menu, the last few times in Hong Kong, it has been picked from a trolley, as it was pushed around by old ladies, which is always good fun. So this was a little different.
We went straight into it and ordered several plates straight up. As Colombians out numbered us, a lot of fried food was ordered. As the old saying goes “you can take Colombians out of Colombia, but you cannot take Colombia out of the Colombians.” Well they are creatures of habit, but then again aren’t we all.

I’m not going to talk about all the 18 or so dishes we ordered, but just some notes on the highlights and lows.

Highs for me were the cold duck tongues. So so so good. Not everyone’s favourite I have to admit, but it rocked my world. I’ve actually found a shop selling them on the Pho mile. So some experimentation is gonna happen soon.

The Bar-B-Q Pork and Chicken buns were real winners. Very light buns with super flavourful fillings, just as I remembered them from Beijing.

The beef tripe in ginger was also another great dish. It’s been a while since I’d eaten any tripe, after been triped out in Colombia. It was lush, again not everyone’s cup of tea but it sent me into tripe heaven.

The briny pork croquette was good, but way too gelatinous, but oh they tasted oh so very good. Just had trouble opening my mouth after every mouthful though.

The lows were the so called rice pasta with mixed soyas. None of us got this dish at all. The texture of the rice sheets was too soft and gooey. The soya sauces were a welcome addition to an otherwise dull and unloved dish. Maybe a meaty filling might have provided a welcome addition to it.

We were all pretty ho hum with the mini ribs in black bean sauce. They were really just bone and gristle and not really much of a sauce. A real let down.

We had a lot of fried dishes, which for me was a few too many, pero latinos son latinos.
We shared a few puddings, which were egg tarts, cream custard tarts and a chilled coconut cream. The egg tarts were good, but were warm. I am not a fan of warm egg tarts, I prefer them at room temperature. The pastry was nice and flaky, and the flavour really good and custardy. The cream custard tart or buns threw me straight back to the streets of Bangkok where I used to live on these sweet delights. If I would have known these were on the menu I would have had these from the start and been oh so bloody happy. I made a mental note that I have to return to Bangkok and fast.

All in all the Phoenix Palace gave us a great afternoon of great food, great conversation and a great time.
At £13 or so a head this was a cracking choice and a lot of the dishes did touch our hearts. OK I am now officially joining the Dim Sum party.

Phoenix Palace on Urbanspoon


Mr Noodles said...

I'm glad you liked Phoenix Palace - it's one of my favourites. It's a shame that you didn't like the rice pasta roll (aka cheung fun) but I urge you to try it again. Perhaps go with one filled with prawns or my favourite, crispy fried dough stick, rather than a plain roll.

Christy said...

Nice spread of dim sum, it's nice that you can get flavors of different cultures across the globe! ;)

Mzungu said...

Mr N - I've had cheung fun before but filled, and it is a lot better. Most definitely want to return, os will try it then.

Christy - It does make it more bearable living in London with the vast array of food on offer