When Shikumen first opened in West London, there was a bit of a buzz of excitement. There aren’t that many fine dining dim sum places away from Chinatown and the West End and the Shepherds Bush outlet became a destination for the weekend dim sum crowd.
Shikumen Ealing used to have a full dim sum menu but have recently scaled it down. This is due to a combination of losing their dim sum chef and being in Ealing, it wasn’t the ideal location.
At lunch, they offer either a set menu or a la carte. You won’t find any of the regular Chinese takeaway dishes on this menu. They offer refined Cantonese dishes and like many London Chinese restaurants, a selection of Szechuan dishes too.
Housed on the ground floor of Xanadu hotel, you might expect a non-descript hotel restaurant but Shikumen stamps their own style. Modern contemporary furniture paired with Chinese art creates a comfortable dining space with a touch of luxe.
The management team were in a private room designing the new menu we were there to review. In lieu of that, out waitress helped us order a meal from the menu comprised of the chef’s best dishes.
Dim sum appears are a colourful selection of dumplings. Finely executed dim sum, elevated by luxury ingredients like caviar and scallops. The ubiquitous crispy duck came highly recommended and didn’t disappoint, arrives whole and shredded at the table and served with pancakes, sauces and all the garnishes.
We chose a fine Taiwanese Oolong from the tea menu to savour alongside our meal.
It would be wrong not to order the mains, family style. We had the delightful tobiko fried rice, cooked with a lightness of seasonings but with the added texture of tobiko. A whole steamed sea bass, steamed with soy sauce, the most popular dish on a Cantonese dinner table.
Their version of the Szechuan fish fragrant aubergine had excellent depth of flavour. We also ordered the intriguing 3 cup chicken as we liked the name, which turned out to be a popular Jiangxi braised chicken dish using 3 sauces, soy, rice wine and sesame oil. Bold flavours which go really well with the rice.
Shikumen Ealing might get dismissed as being a hotel restaurant and that would be a mistake. They do fine Chinese cuisine very well in a contemporary setting with great service. Unfortunately, if you want dim sum, you will need to visit their Shepherd’s Bush branch. If you are there at lunch time, they do a reasonably priced quick lunch set menu. You can be sure that it will be better than your local takeaway.
26-42 Bond St,
London W5 5AA
EatCookExplore was a guest of Shikumen