Maotai Kitchen [London]

One of Chinatown’s gems produced another great meal. This Guizhou restaurant offers reliable high standard of cooking and old punchy flavours.

For lunch we had:

Villagers pickled cabbage - zingy, vinegar laced shredded autumn vegetables are a perfect accompaniment to the spicier dishes
Guzhou noodle soup with crispy pork - a generous pie of nuggets of deep fried pork, soy beans and coriander perched atop a rich chilli broth with hand pulled noodles

Seabass in flavoursome soup - a creamy thin white sauce with poached fish and glass noodles (slightly weaker than other dishes)

South-western style spicy chicken fried rice - stand out fried rice with heat and depth

Double cooked pork belly slices - the slices had a crispy US bacon style consistency rare in this dish which was slightly undermined by an average sauce / veg

Spicy lamb chops - absolutely delicious tender flavourful lamb chops under a pile of schezuan pepper, fried chillies and crispy shallots. Moreish and punchy this was the standout dish.

They also have an, usually hidden, lunch dumpling menu (all steamed or grilled - no buns / deep fried) which is well worth a look.

Thanks for this — I keep forgetting that Maotai Kitchen is one I want to return to. Two years ago I really enjoyed their marinated cucumber with tomato and garlic; cucumber with garlic is fairly standard but the tomato was a new twist to me.

The lamb chops sound very interesting indeed. Did they have that lovely crispy fat along the edges or had it been trimmed off?

Lovely crisp fat! Getting two orders next time…

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Sounds good H.
If you like pork belly in a US bacon style then I can recommend the pork belly with teriyaki sauce at Ibuki in Maida Vale. If you do go , their rock salt mackerel is very good indeed. Only at lunch times though.

Thanks from me, too. I haven’t been to Chinatown for awhile, and this is at the top of my list.

A long-overdue revisit to Maotai Kitchen earlier this week saw me sat at a top-floor table with ten friends. The marinated cucumber was again a stand-out dish; we were glad we’d asked for two orders of this. Spicy duck tongues had good texture and just the right amount of spiciness in the sauce. We chose a centrepiece dish of grilled sea bass with chillies, lotus roots, and potatoes; also very good.

I’m keen to visit again. I suspect next time I will again order the cucumber, but also a new favourite: the chicken with taro and preserved vegetables; beautiful texture to both chicken and taro, and lots of flavour from the fried Sichuan peppercorns.

Oh! I should also mention that it’s very vegetarian-friendly; there are plenty of interesting vegetarian dishes, all marked clearly on the menu. The two vegetarians in our party were very happy.

(I think this was the first time I’d had duck tongues and am quite surprised by how long it took me to get around to it. I’ve also still never had brains.)

On a sad note - increasing rents have caused Maotai to close. Staff are looking for an alternate venue, but are not hopeful.

I’m sad to hear about Maotai Inn, an absolute favourite in the past few years. (I wonder if the manager / owner was focussed enough on the commercial aspects.)

Of brains, the best I have ever had were at Hereford Road and I see they have them on the menu today! And, Meat Liquor is offering a brain burger:

Oh my, that is bad news indeed :frowning:

Manager has gone to Dumpling Legend (XLB still interesting there rather than v good!) . He said it was a 50% increase - not sure many businesses can cope with that.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2