Dim Sum on a Sunday is right up there with a roast. I’m yet to find the best on in London though, and instead I keep returning to the reliable New World. This is perhaps one of the least touristy of the Chinatown lot, although it does still have a classic Chinese name and a bright red front with a faux Chinese roof. Inside feels as close to being authentic Hong Kong as you can get in London, especially with the trolleys being push around with all of the dim sum onboard.
The Char Siu Bao are good here, but then how can one of the best things ever invented fail to disappoint. Barbecue pork wedged inside of a bun really is about as good as it gets. The Siu Mai here- basically little pork and prawn dumplings- are also consistently good, but doesn’t have the traditional fish roe on top.
The same applies to the Har Gow, which technically are one of the most difficult to make. Apparently you can judge a dim sum chef by his ability to deliver a good Har Gow that doesn’t fall to pieces under the pressure of the chopsticks. There’s nothing more disappointing than when the prawn spills out of the dumpling. Here they hold their shape and the skin is perfectly translucent so that you can see the prawn beneath.
The glutenous rice is cooked in a lotus leaf it is a little parcel of food, and in Hong Kong you can buy them on the street just like this to munch on as you walk. The sticky rice is caked with chicken, pork and a steamed egg, and it’s really satisfying peeling the crispy bits off the lotus leaf.
The curried squid was too heavy on the batter and was greasy. The squid beneath was still tender though and that curry flavouring works really well with it.
There was also the Cehong Fun- rice noodle roles- packed with char siu and drizzle with soy sauce. Hard not to love.
The only disappointment today was the Custard buns. First up they didn’t understand when we asked for deep fried custard buns which I have had here a few times before. They are literally the best bite of food you are ever likely to have- think of a fried donut with piping hot custard inside. Instead we went for the steamed custard buns, and were told they would take 20 minutes to prepare. No problem, they’re worth the wait. But when we asked 20 minutes later they quickly rushed off and put 3 cold buns down in front of us. The custard inside had solidified and was too heavy on the butter. It was a shame because they are usually so good here.
The bill came to £35 and it is hard not to love how good value this place is. Although the service can get a little frantic given the constant flow of diners, and the dim sum doesn’t blow you away, but as long as they keep serving on trolleys and the Har How keep their shape, I’ll be coming back most Sundays.
1 Gerrard Pl, London W1D 5PA