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A cosy pan-Asian tapas joint in West Hampstead.
Tucked away off West Hampstead’s main drag, this pan-Asian small-plates restaurant has everything you’d want from a neighbourhood hangout: a relaxed vibe, welcoming owner and cosy interior. With a mix of high and low tables crammed in around a bar, mood lighting and a floral wall mural, it’s all tastefully done.
The compact menu features plenty of veggie options, the star being the mock duck, covered in hoisin sauce and pressed into a fluffy bao bun with spring onion and chives. Also good was the Korean cauliflower – bite-sized crunchy pieces slick with chilli sauce – and succulent lamb chops, dripping with sweet and salty den miso paste. But there were disappointments too. Like lamb katsu croquettes, which though meaty, didn’t have any of the katsu flavour promised. And a brioche-based bhaji ‘slider’ with curried veg (but no top) that was impossible to eat without spilling. It was the same story with the beef version. Desserts, like the burnt clementine crêpe bathed in tangy syrup, or poached sake pears on honeyed yoghurt, saved the day.
We weren’t hurried to leave, although our waitress was sometimes difficult to pin down. Still, The Swing must be getting into the swing of things: it’s expanding into next door.
77 Mill Lane
|Transport:||Tube: West Hampstead|
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £70.|
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