Last week I had dinner with a friend. Being the foodie, I’m generally asked to find/recommend restaurants for others, so when others offer to organise dinner, I jump at the chance. We met at Notting Hill and other than the train station, I didn’t really ask any other details, but had read about a chinese restaurant in Notting Hill and had a feeling we’d be going there – I was right.
Entering through the glass sliding door, the restaurant is on two levels and despite us having an early dinner (7pm), only the upstairs had almost every table occupied, the downstairs however was a bit of a ghost town. We waited upstairs for a few minutes and when we weren’t attended to, we went downstairs to find someone. The gentleman quickly showed us to our. Table behind the carved wooden grill.
Having been to numerous restaurants, my friend commented that for once the photos on the website were true to form. The decor was authentic dark wood and oriental materials, on the whole quite a nice looking restaurant.
Within a few minutes of being seated we were asked if we’d like to order drinks – I ordered the Pink Mojito (standard mojito with cranberry juice) which was actually really well made and just sweet enough. My fellow diner went for a rather more boring Sprite!
Shortly after the waitress returned to take our food order. Despite eating out so regularly, my eyes are bigger than my stomach and whilst a lot of the time I get the ordering right, with so many yummy options on the menu I was certain that we might over order. We split our ordering and began with the starters:
There were two salads on the menu that I was confused between, one was the duck salad and the other was the beef salad. In the end my dinner date made the call. The salad had a good amount of duck making it a very meaty salad. The flavours were good but the duck wasn’t overly crispy which is both a good and bad thing. The only fault was that I would have liked more leafs.
Seventeen prawn dumplings
Much the same as any other prawn dumpling I’ve tasted, these were nice.
Garlic spring rolls With prawns
Some time ago, this same friend and I went to a place in Shoreditch, I complained a lot because I was made to walk from Old Street station in some not so well thought out shoes. We arrived at Drunken Monkey and the saving grace was the garlic prawn spring rolls. When I saw these on the menu, I knew I had to give them a shot! I wasn’t disappointed, they were exactly how I expected them to be, garlicy, prawny and crispy! Yum!!
Next it was time to consider the main options, with a huge amount on the menu, we were keen not to over order (which is extremely easy when there are so many yummy options) so we settled with:
This came on a cow shaped hot plate and was sizzling. Although not overly spicy, the meat was tender and actually quite a nice change to the usual combo of lamb with ginger and spring onion.
Choi Sum in Garlic Sauce
This was ordered purely because it is a favourite of mine and despite having tried to emulate the sauce at home, I haven’t yet got it right! Any tips would be hugely appreciated. Anyway back to the dish, the choi sum was well cooked and the garlic sauce was garlicy (duh!).
Dry Fried Green Beans with Minced Pork
I can’t say this is something I’ve tried before, but at the recommendation of my well-travelled dining buddy, I happily gave this a go. I have to say, whilst some may complain the beans to pork ratio was slightly skewed, I quite liked the fact that the al dente beans were lightly populated with pork making it a light dish packed with flavour.
To round it all off, we ordered some good old egg fried rice! (no picture necessary!!)
Despite trying not to over order, we still managed to have some food left over which was happily taken away in a doggy bag. I have to say, the décor of Seventeen was very oriental and the downstairs area was large enough to host a lunch in or one could hire the private room instead which seats a fair number.
The selection of food was vast and well-flavoured and also fairly reasonable, given that we could have fed another person from our leftovers! Furthermore, upon paying the bill we were given a list of set menus and with prices starting at just £8 per person for lunch, you can’t really go wrong!
The only thing stopping me from making Seventeen a regular haunt was 1) it wasn’t overly populated and 2) the location i.e. being set in Notting Hill is a little bit further than I would go for a regular Chinese meal. On the whole though, for the odd dinner with friends, this is a great pick so I would definitely go back!