|Photo from The Times|
Bo Lang is one of them. It's a tea house style dim sum and Chinese restaurant with a great energetic, sexy evening atmosphere, thirst quenching cocktails and fabulous food.
We were ushered towards to back of the rather busy restaurant and sat at one of the side tables with bench style seating, handed the menus and waited, and waited and waited until a charming waiter asked if we wanted to order. No question of drinks beforehand we decided to order some wine and a cocktail, (waited some more) before they took our food order. Our 'pre dinner' (which were now accompanying our starter) drinks arrived and, it must be said, the cocktail was worth the wait.
Starters are fried or steamed dim sum, soup or salads. Mains are then jazzed up traditional dishes such as beef with oyster sauce, tofu with black bean. However the focus here is the dim sum and it is encouraged to concentrate on these then have a smaller amount of mains - we did both pretty well.
Again, it took some time before our first steamed parcel arrived which were the Saffron scallop and cod dumpling. Filled with plenty of delicious fish this held together perfectly (signs of it being well steamed!) and was absolutely delicious.
Our second batch of steamed dim sum arrived which was the prawn and chive. A great texture and a good amount of prawns throughout. The dumpling was again, steamed very well.
We then waited around 20 minutes and within this time were presented with a pretty steamed scallop dish, which wasn't ours (we sent it back to its rightful owners) and a plate of broccoli... again, we hadn't ordered this and we hadn't finished our starters yet.
By this time people were getting up from other tables and helping themselves to their own wine out of the ice buckets by the kitchen. The baked and fried starters then arrived and again we were not disappointed at all, just getting ever so frustrated at the strange service.
The rib puffs were extremely well executed with fluffy pastry and delicious sweet meat.
The squid was in a fabulous tempura batter and seasoned well.
It was at this point that one of our main dishes turned up.
Scallops with asparagus and aubergine with samba sauce. No, it isn't one of those restaurants where you get your dishes 'as they are ready'. The menu is split into 'starters', 'mains', and 'puddings'... so we waited on the others to arrive.
Slowly but surely they came out in slightly better procession than the starters did.
We asked for another bottle of water (it never arrived) and a bottle of the pouilly fume. It was now that we noticed other tables becoming more frustrated. The tables next to us practically laughing due to their chicken buns arriving as they were on their pudding...
Jasmine rice was well cooked and more than enough for the three of us.
The most delicious, melt in your mouth Baked black cod with pak choi and a devilishly sweet miso sauce.
Roasted Bo Lang duck breast with samphire was our other choice of main and was cooked pink with a crisp skin - yum! It just could have been a little larger...
Our vegetable dish of Aubergine hot pot with chilli and garlic never arrived or some other lucky table got to taste it, maybe we should have kept the steamed scallops and broccoli?!
Another thing I found slightly odd is that your starter plates weren't replaced with clean ones for your main... therefore we were eating on side plate sized crockery which was a little strange, and difficult when trying to chase rice around a 6" diameter plate with chopsticks...
Presented with the table next to us' bill, we then waited another ten minuted to receive our own - the broccoli still firmly on the tab... My Dad actually couldn't be bothered to ask them to take it off and just paid...
Surely for £70+ per person this shouldn't be happening... For a Thursday night, at an established restaurant, surely you'd have got this sorted?! I just hope we hit them on a bad day. I just can't see many of the people visiting last night returning again... which is sad as the food, especially the dim sum, was very, very good.
So, there you have it, one of my first ever disappointed reviews...mainly because I was SO looking forward to going...it is after all my most favoured cuisine... the staff on the upper hand are lovely, and couldn't apologise more. It was completely and utterly chaotic. Maybe it's best to head over for lunch when things are a little less...busy?!
Address: 100 Draycott Ave, London SW3 3AD
Phone:020 7823 7887