The very first meeting of west London bloggers and tweeters took place at Alisan in Wembley and was attended by all of three people: me, Laissez Fare and Rahul. Thanks for coming, guys! Though turnout was small for this initial meeting, three turned out to be one of the optimal numbers when having dim sum as many of the dumplings come out in threes.
Alisan sits right next to Wembley stadium and the tables by the windows have a fantastic view. That day, we could watch as rugby fans streamed into the stadium for some match that I know nothing about. On major event days such as this, Alisan only offers a match day set menu, simplifying things for its kitchen but as kick off was later that afternoon, we were still able to order dim sum for lunch.
Wow, I just realised we ordered a lot, looking at the photos. I know of no other way to describe everything other than in my totally anal way – I need to label all my photos!
Jellyfish and shredded cucumber and bamboo mooli dumplings
Prawn cheung fun and fried squid cake
Taro prawn cake and pan-fried turnip cake
Char siu buns and sticky rice in lotus leaf
Har gau and pork and prawn shumai
Honeycomb tripe with five spice and chicken taro croquettes
Seafood mooli and spicy whelks
Chilled mango pudding, egg custard tarts, and mango and grapefruit tapioca pearl
Alisan seem to excel in the art of the fish/seafood paste – I really enjoyed the squid cakes and the surprisingly pretty taro prawn cakes. Of the classics, their har gau and siu mai were just average while the wu kok (taro croquettes) and sticky rice in lotus leaf were very good. Their turnip cake was fried with a bit of egg and Chinese chives and was superb with a very tender, creamy middle. Desserts were all excellent: the mango pudding served with chocolate chips (!), the egg tarts hot out of the oven and the mango/grapefruit/tapioca “soup” very light and refreshing and my favourite.
All that dim sum plus enough good oolong tea to drown us (they only charged us for tea for one) came to £20 a head. There were definitely some highs and some lows throughout the meal but I’m very keen to get back to try more from their long and creative menu; there was a fried rice that I’ve also got my eye on – the menu states it has XO tobiko, prawns and crab meat!
Let’s do this again!
ETA: Forgot to give credit where credit is due – thank you to Route79 for first recommending Alisan to me!
The Junction Engineers Way
London HA9 8