I walked by Princess Garden of Mayfair for the first time about two years ago and while I immediately recognised that it was a popular place for dim sum, I assumed that it was quite expensive – this Chinese restaurant being located in the not exactly budget neighbourhood of Mayfair! Mr Noodles organised a recent dim sum lunch there and I joined in, keen to try the food as I’d heard good things.
Seven of us gathered one Saturday afternoon there, all hungry for dim sum. Quite the spread was ordered and these were the particular highlights/most interesting dishes to me. First to arrive were the baked char siu buns with their glossy tops and heavily sauced filling. Mr Noodles has said that this is the first place in London he’s found these that are more commonly found in Hong Kong.
Their wu kok, a fluffy fried taro pastry with a meat filling, a firm favourite of mine, was very good and especially fluffy.
Mr Noodles was raving about the golden cuttlefish cheung fun and so of course, we had to try it! I had no idea what to expect (I think images of golden tentacles waving out from the cheung fun filled my mind) and so was pleasantly surprised to find a tube of cuttlefish paste wrapped first with a fried tofu skin wrapper and then encased in the cheung fun. What a great variety of textures – bouncy, crispy and slippery smooth – and yes, it was tasty too.
I was also quite taken by this pan fried sticky rice; again, I had no idea what to expect and what turned up was large sticky rice patties fried with egg on one side. I quite liked them though I missed the ritual unwrapping required when having sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves.
Oh dear, we did order a lot of food (the photo below is only halfway through the meal)! That pan fried turnip cake on the lower left was also excellent.
We couldn’t leave without sampling some of their desserts. Clockwise from the left, we have little pumpkin pastries, egg custard tarts (dan tat) and pineapple custard buns. (There’s no actual pineapple in a pineapple bun – the name comes from the look of the biscuit topping.) My favourite was the pumpkin pastries which weren’t too sweet but had a nice chewy texture but the pineapple bun seemed to be the most popular with the rest of the table.
With all the food we ordered (bloated stomachs go!) plus the location of the restaurant, I certainly didn’t expect my part of the bill to be under £20 but it was! ‘Twas a fun lunch and I rolled out of there vowing to return again for more of their novel dim sum. Bookings are probably essential.
Princess Garden of Mayfair
8-10 North Audley Street
London W1K 6ZD