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Plum Valley

Restaurants, Chinese Chinatown
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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A trendy(ish) Chinese joint with seriously low lighting.

Squint, and Plum Valley looks like the smartest restaurant ever. All dark wood panelling and moody low lighting, this dim sum joint bears more than a passing resemblance to that emperor of Cantonese cusine, Hakkasan. A sleek, chic oasis in the centre of gaudy Chinatown, it’s only when you look a little closer that you realise the seats at Plum Valley are pleather, and the prices (thank God) are more budget than blow-out.

What you get for your money is not bad. The prawn in a sesame roll was sweet and fresh, the juiciness of the crustacean offset by the nuttiness of the rice paper it was wrapped in. The dumplings, too, were decent: taro croquettes were meaty and rich, if a little floury, and there was a lovely hit of ginger in the Shanghai-style pork and crabmeat soup dumpling.

Nothing was truly excellent, but if you’re after standard Cantonese fare in faux-luxe surroundings, and you don’t mind brusque service (pretty much the norm in Chinatown), Plum Valley’s the one. But go with a date in the evening – the lighting’s a bit sexy for lunchtime. That way, you’ll never even spot the pleather.


Address: 19 Gerrard Street
Transport: Tube: Leicester Square
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £60.
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