Shikumen Aldgate (London, UK)


(Jan) #1

Shikumen is a three restaurant chain (if I remember correctly). We first went there when they opened a branch inside the new Dorsett Hotel near Aldgate Tube station - they were having a 50% off opening sale. That time we had mostly dim sum and one prawn with chili and cashew dish. We liked it so much we went back before the sale ended.

Just before Christmas they had another flash sale. First 100 people could buy a gift certificate for half price. We bought two £40 vouchers for £20 and sat back to wait for the new year.

Our first visit was last Wednesday and we decided our voucher would go towards dinner this time. It’s expensive Chinese food - elegant and nicely cooked. Service is friendly and courteous so we feel welcome. The space is clean and richly furnished. And no worries about the state of the toilets - this is a hotel! One caveat - it’s warm in here - dress accordingly!

Wednesday, we chose carefully: A small but satisfying hot and sour soup (complete with tiny prawns and scallops), our usual crispy prawns with chili and cashew nut, eggplant with minced chicken in Sechuan sauce, egg fried rice, and a pot of oolong - promptly refilled halfway through our meal. We spent an extra £4 plus service charge of about £5. Sorted!

We’re already looking forward to spending our next voucher. It’s not been easy finding a Chinese restaurant we like in London, although the search goes on for something more affordable and down to earth, but this is a nice treat.

!


(John Hartley) #2

Nice!


(ShekhaV) #3

Thanks for the write up!


#4

Hmmph… did they start naming Chinese restaurants with Japanese names now? (I had guessed Shikumen was some sort of ramen restaurant…)


(John Hartley) #5

According to Wikipedia, shikumen is a 19th century architectural style in Shanghai, which takes design elements from both East Asia and the West. The restaurant website says they try to do similar - “we delight in pairing the very best of British produce with Chinese saucing, garnish and taste.” The dishes mentioned in the OP seem very Chinese to me, so I assume this is not a fusion restaurant. Perhaps “Modern Chinese”?


#6

Ah. Thanks! I was totally ignorant! That’s not even a Japanese translated word…!


(Jan) #7

Take a look at http://www.shikumen.co.uk/home/about - it is indeed, as John said, about the Shanghai architectural style - specifically the “stone gate.”


#8

If it’s any consolation I assumed it was Japanese at first - perhaps due to the similarity to the word Tsukemen. Although that’s only really the suffix…


(Jan) #9

i love a bit of controversy! :wink: