I would say that A Wong in Victoria/Pimlico would be a brilliant choice for a unique date; perhaps not the place for a romantic, intimate evening, for it's bright and busy, but entirely perfect in the early days. However, the informal atmosphere and modest décor are not indicative of the food; there is such finesse to A Wong’s food, it is simply exquisite.
Dishes are bright and beautiful, and delicately presented without being fussy or overworked. It’s a food photographer’s dream. It’s simultaneously a local gem, and a restaurant worth crossing London for.
I’ve never been crazy about Chinese food previously, but then perhaps that’s because my experience has been rather limited, I’m ashamed to say, to the odd fluorescent, MSG-loaded take-away… Supper here will utterly do away with any preconceived notions you might have about Chinese cuisine.
Start with the prawn cracker to share, and each order the A Wong dim sum basket. The prawn cracker is charming and playful, and utterly delicious; it sets the bar very high for all that follows. Black sesame, crispy sweet and salty seaweed, sweet chili, and satay are some of the flavours that accompany it. The dim sum are almost too beautiful to eat. The chicken one bursts with delicate, fragrant miso stock, the prawn one is adorned with citrus foam, and the third is topped with a tiny little curl of pork crackling!
The pickled cucumber is also a great starter-style dish, or side dish. Portions here are on the smaller side, so I would order a few extras and share. The crispy chilli, caramelised beef, with pickled carrots was exceptional - the stand out dish of our evening. There’s plenty of choice, both for the conservative and the adventurous.
A date here shows imagination. Perhaps you’ll both try something you haven’t had before. The food offers plenty of talking points, and a great opportunity to order together and share (although no feeding!). It is a great rarity to find food this special and unique at such modest prices too, which is a huge added bonus. Remember to book – tables here are hot property.