I’ve been very blessed with food throughout my life, I must say. Wherever I go in the world, I eat. Like many orientals, we tend to have this tradition of going Yum-Cha on Sundays (or your family day), what’s Yum-Cha? It translates to “Drink Tea”, tea as in Chinese tea.
So to my surprise, I’ve only discovered this Chinese restaurant in Pimlico called A-Wong. As Chinese as I am, I immediately said “Ah-Wong” in my Chinese accent on my head. It was opened two years ago (when I was almost a graduate) and it was such a surprise as it had recently popped up on my social media feed and I am extremely active on social media. Nonetheless, I went to visit during a lunchtime earlier this month with my other half who took a day off just for me. (Yes I am spoilt).
This A Wong is located in Pimlico near Vincent’s Square, the closest station is via London Victoria Station. Google Maps mentioned it will be approximately a 15 minute walk, I travelled from Knightsbridge so I had the super luxury of commuting via an Uber.
I wouldn’t have noticed A Wong’s existence if it wasn’t for social media and even if I walked past the same street, I would think it was a restaurant that doesn’t do much maintenance. The exterior provided some outside seating but the trees would need a trim in my opinion. Thankfully when I entered the restaurant, it was more pleasant. I entered and see a semi-open kitchen on my right hand side with the busy chefs working and steaming the dim sum and cooking the foods and I was taken to my reserved table.
The furniture was very casual and modern (don’t expect a fancy fine-dining environment). Their bar is right in front of the entrance which you could say, is reasonable. My partner pointed out that Marco Pierre White was there too dining, so it should be impressive. The Dim Sum was impressive, and creative. The food was very simple, and the portions are small. In other words, small portioned simple food that’s cooked in a fancy way and presented on big plates.
Some of the dishes were in fact very delicious, but I felt that they may be trying a little too hard to be high-end with the presentation on the food and plates. We ordered all four desserts that they offered and the waiter had to run back and forth informing us that there were two out of four desserts that were sold out. There were some dim sum that was sold out already at 2:15pm and it was the same for desserts. Personally it was a big disappointment because the waiter should be informed of sold out desserts prior giving the customers the menus and he had to run twice to let us know which two desserts were missing. On top of that, we ordered a simple vanilla ice cream which never arrived and was placed on the bill.
I was very eager and excited to order the “Chocolate ball” aka the Tea Smoked Banana, Nut Crumble, Chocolate and Soy Caramel. The name does not do the dessert justice. I enjoy fancy desserts that has it’s own character so when it arrived I was happy but honestly, the name does not suggest the chocolate ball. I remember back in April when I’ve eaten one at the Savoy it was AMAZING so I had hopes for that dessert, but turns out, it wasn’t as good. I disliked the Soy Caramel sauce but the presentation was reasonable but not worth the “hype” at all – you don’t know what that crumbling chocolate ball is about until you tried the one at the Savoy.
In terms of pricing, it looks cheap until you looked closer you would discover that they charge “by the piece”. I was shocked when I saw one dish was £1.60 in the beginning, baring in mind that 9/10 venues charge their dim sum around £3.20 – £3.40 for 4 pieces and in higher end places it would be the higher if it’s located in Fitzrovia or Belgravia venues.
The customer service was rather non-existent if you asked me, the staff would not go up to your table to check on you every once in a while (unless it’s to replace the used plates for new dishes) and the staff look a little too occupied with their mobile phones to care about customers. Three quarters of the time, the staff were walking around Marco Pierre White’s table rather than the other’s. Yes I understand he is a very important customer but it doesn’t mean it’s acceptable to neglect the other customers who are paying the same price only to be neglected most of the time.
I enjoyed some of the dishes but at the same time, I have doubts I’d want to return again because I don’t want to be disappointed with half of the desserts being unavailable and lack of attention given to the table. But it’s worth a try if you want to try some creative desserts.
They are available for booking via “opentable”, I’ve tried to book it on a Friday for the following Tuesday however, the system told me it was unavailable for bookings and I wasn’t given any help on social media until the following Monday after writing an e-mail. If a restaurant do not wish to allow people to make bookings via OpenTable or if the restaurant do not wish to pay commission to OpenTable for every table booking I would suggest to not bother being on OpenTable or Social Media as I got ignored over the weekend purposely. But that’s only my opinion, perhaps the restaurant was too busy by tweeting that they were “food tasting” to acknowledge normal diners such as myself. But I’ll stick to my usual Dim Sum venues next time.
Here’s the photos to the food I consumed.
Yunnan mushroom, pork and truffle steamed dumpling
Pork and prawn dumpling with cracked pork piece on top
70 Wilton Road, Victoria, London, SW1V 1DE