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Probably one of the most overlooked Chinese restaurants in London yet very likely one of the best, a trip out to Pearl Liang will probably be as memorable as the meal itself. Located at the back of Paddington station, along the canals of Little Venice and into a sunken amphitheatre-like square with looming steel and glass office buildings rising out of the ground, it can feel like you’ve wandered into a eerily dystopian landscape, especially arriving for dinner service or at the weekend when the office workers have left and the square is spookily quiet.
Inside though, it’s a different affair. Warm, stylish and relaxing, the interior has “modern Chinese” written all over it. A goldfish pond and water feature bubble away quietly in one area, and shades of purple dominate the wide bar and dining area. The cuisine, as ever, is Cantonese, but preparation and ingredients are a step above the average Chinatown or Queensway joint: luxury items like turbot, dover sole, abalone and lobster are found in abundance and the flavours are cleaner and clearer, while sauces are lighter and presentations slicker. However, wonderful renditions of familiar items like barbecue honey roasted pork ribs, crispy aromatic duck and chicken in black bean sauce are all present to complement the less familiar dishes like dry lobster noodles and mustard green soup with shredded pork.
Dim sum, notably, is a highlight and the restaurant is usually busy on Sunday mornings. Lighter, classier and a cut above most Cantonese offerings, it is arguably the best dim sum in town. While this may sound like it may come at a price, dinner here is very reasonable, and for just a few pounds more than dinner on Gerrard Street you can eat well here.
Opening times: Monday - Sunday: 12:00 - 23:00
8 Sheldon Square, Paddington Central, Paddington, W2 6EZView Larger Map
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