Mr Chow has been playing host to the ‘rich and famous’ since 1968 and it continues to attract Knightsbridge’s money-no-object diners – a fact evident from the number of customers on our visit. We sat in the small but glossy room on the ground floor, the space buffed up by modern art, soft leather banquettes and elegant rosewood chairs.
Having pioneered the upmarket, western-friendly form of London’s Chinese restaurants, Chow’s remains a crowd-pleaser with its Tinsteltown take on Cantonese cooking. We enjoyed a starter of minced squab chicken with diced vegetables, but turnip puffs were dry and only just saved by a garlicky chilli sauce. Beef fillet was tender, yet came with too much oyster sauce, making it a bit gloopy. Chicken served with prawns, scallops and wood-ear fungus had been sautéed with an excess of rice-wine vinegar, but the fried rice was blameless.
The chatty service team have been here for a long time, and it’s good to see that they have built up a relationship with the regular customers. Our request for a doggie bag was accepted without a hint of snobbishness, which went some way towards justifying the 13% service charge.