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A Wong

Restaurants, Chinese Victoria
4 out of 5 stars
(8user reviews)
A Wong (© Jessican Long)
1/10
© Jessican Long
A Wong (© Jessican Long)
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© Jessican Long
A Wong (© Jessican Long)
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A Wong (© Jessican Long)
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A Wong (© Jessican Long)
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A Wong (© Jessican Long)
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A Wong (© Jessican Long)
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A Wong (© Jessican Long)
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A Wong (© Jessican Long)
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A Wong (© Jessican Long)
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© Jessican Long

Time Out says

This modern Chinese restaurant dispenses with gilded dragons, book-length menus and oily stir-fries to win over discerning Western palates and aesthetes. Like quietly upscale Hunan, self-consciously stylish HKK and moodily modish Hakkasan, chef and owner Andrew Wong’s pared-back venture beautifully reinterprets Chinese cooking using the finest ingredients.

Unlike his contemporaries, however, chef Wong elevates the cuisine without hiking the prices. Dim sum and snacks inspired by street food can be ordered by the piece, inviting anyone to pop in for a spot of daikon cake with wind-dried sausage and shrimp. Plump pork and prawn dumplings were the best we’ve tried, thanks to the flavour of high quality pork and the strip of airy crackling topping.

Preserved duck egg – fermented to a gelatinous black – is diced and combined with quivering cubes of cold marinated tofu and chili soy sauce, transforming the often sulphurous ingredient for a clean, delicate starter.

The tasting menu is a relative bargain at £38.88 for eight auspicious courses (eight being a lucky number for the Chinese), showcasing Wong’s knowledge and passion for China’s diverse regional fare. Each course is stylishly presented, sometimes with faddish touches such as citrus foam on the har gow (prawn dumplings). Poached razor-clam with sea cucumber, pickled cucumber, vinegar tapioca and wind-dried sausage was a gorgeous mouthful of contrasting textures and flavours. Chili barbecued pineapple with a light, tangy Beijing-style yoghurt was a revelation – proof in the pudding that dairy and dessert can successfully feature as part of a Chinese meal.

Gung bao chicken was presented in two versions – traditional Sichuan style and Wong’s reinterpretation of this staple of Westernised Chinese cuisine. A decision to cut back on the cornstarch resulted in a watery sauce that failed to cling to the generous chunks of corn-fed chicken breast. A pity, because the jus captured just the right balance of sweet, salty and tingly.

The pace of the courteous service was also a let down; it took up to 20 minutes for some courses to arrive. In this café-like space furnished with bare tables and hard-backed seats, that makes for an uncomfortably lengthy wait, one that marred an otherwise enjoyable meal.

 

Posted:

Details

Address: 70 Wilton Road
London
SW1V 1DE
Transport: Tube: Victoria tube/rail
Contact:
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Users say (8)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|8
3 people listening
tastemaker

Hands down - this was one of the best culinary experiences of my life! 


The food is delicate, creative and well thought out. Each dish is a different tasting experience that takes you on a journey. Each piece of dim sum is a complete work of art that arouses all of your senses. 


Whilst your are ordering dim sum by the piece i would say they are still substantial pieces so it doesn't feel so cheeky. My favorites were: Quail egg croquette puff, custard bun, wild mushroom steamed bun and the tea egg with shredded filo. 


The one downside is the ambiance - the restaurant itself seems a bit confused in terms of design however the food is so good it doesn't matter. 


Creativity is the slogan at this Michelin starred establishment nestled in the heart of Pimlico. Dishes are massively varied where each represents a different region of China but somehow they complement one another so beautifully. Andrew Wong, chef and proprietor, toured China exploring it’s many cooking styles, before coming back to create his menu where taste and brilliance are of the highest order.

Immediately, I could tell that their small but functional open plan kitchen operated like a well-oiled machine. From the countless dishes I ordered there wasn’t a dish anywhere that I could fault. The Prawn Crackers arrived as one enormous one, the size of a plate, with various tiny bits of extras on it – inventive yet very moreish.

The Shanghai steamed dumplings were so precisely thin and delicately folded. The Crispy Duck with pancakes was also very memorable. It arrived with a paint brush so you can brush the hoisin sauce on. Small portions play with both taste and texture.

Their desserts are outlandish yet the sort that dessert lovers would rave on about. I thought their Tea Smoked Banana Nut Crumble with Pineapple and Chocolate couldn’t have been better until their Mahjong domino-shaped white chocolate mini-bars arrived. These were filled with subtly flavoured strawberry ice cream. If only all petit fours could be like this, rather than the rushed afterthoughts they usually are in other places.

The bill came to just over £50/ person - great value for the amount ordered.

Andrew Wong genially breaks away from the traditional. The new Oriental has hit town.

tastemaker

A Wong is gourmet dim sum, sold by the piece, so grazing is expected. Each piece is a work of art - the rabbit dumpling is served in the form of a carrot, and the mushroom one arrives on its own square of astroturf. The piece de resistance, though, is the custard bun. Gently crisp on the outside, with the softest dough and the most oooooooooozing of delicious custard centres. It's the most pricey dumpling on the menu at £3.50 a piece, but you will delight in the pop of the custard bursting out.  


Two downfalls though - the fois gras dumpling has the smallest amount of fois gras ever seen. More of a 'smidgen' than an actual filling. And one of our selected dim sum wasn't available, and they kitchen decided to replace them without telling us. But they replaced a scallop dumpling for a prawn one, which my dining partner is allergic to, and just placed it on the table without telling us. It was only when we asked for clarification of what the dish was that we were told..... could have had very nasty results. 


In spite of that, the experience was delightful, and it's clear why A Wong is loved by so many. 


(pictures below of the fois gras, mushroom, rabbit and then custard dumplings)

tastemaker

The Peking Duck Feast really does live up to its name. Each dish made with parts of the duck so as not to waste any bit of it. By the time we got to the pancakes, we were already full, only to be told the main course was next! Everything was presented well and tasty, although the Peking pancakes, which should have been the highlight of the feast, wasn't as good as I expected. It came with a paintbrush for the sauce and all the trimmings, but the skin wasn't as crispy as it could be and the plum sauce was good, but nothing beats good old hoisin sauce.

I didn't think I could manage dessert either. The bun was quite light and the mochi with ice was refreshing and helped settle my stomach, accompanied with a delicious cocktail.

Experience was good, but go with an empty stomach to be filled. It's quite exclusive too as they only have a few sittings for the feast so bookings can be difficult.

Wheelchair access: step free entrance but no accessible toilets. It's quite an intimate place and can get very busy.


Not worth the price! Seating near the kitchen is far too hectic for a nice dinner date. Good starter but main meal was just average to poor we thought.

Tastemaker

I was taken here as a surprise by my boyfriend (I thought we were going to Nandos!). We had the 10-course Taste of China menu, accompanied by three cocktails each, so it wasn't a cheap night, but it was worth it.


The food was divine; even the dishes I was slightly dubious about (e.g. Eel) were so beautifully presented and perfectly balanced that I wolfed them down. The story that links each of the dishes makes it much more of an experience. The cocktails, at £9 each, were the best value thing about the evening, with all of the interesting tastes and showmanship of more expensive establishments. 


Where does it lose a star? The slight chilliness of the restaurant, along with the hard, low-backed seating, made the 2 1/2 hour experience slightly less comfortable than I would have expected and liked. 


But, overall, we'll definitely be returning - next time to try the famous duck!

moderatorStaff Writer

Really can't fault this place, covers enough of the traditional items you find in a a more everyday Chinese restuarant, but adds enough contemporay touches to really elavate them from what you usually find. Service is great and prices are more then reasonable given how good everything is

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