Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Dim Sum lunch at Joy King Lau, Leicester Square, London

On our last Sunday in London, we had made an appointment with friends to have some Dim Sum in Chinatown. It is something we have done together since the early 1970s. Old friend Chris Hutton is half Burmese (we call him Buddha! You can see the resemblance) and we have him to thank for introducing us all to the panoply of good Asian food over the years; we are all quite adventurous. Lynne cooks it at least once a month and we have a cupboard dedicated to Asian spices, sauces and important rare ingredients

Sunday morning in Wimbledon. All residential permit parking
Angela came with us and we walked to the tube station just round the corner and up the road
Everyone seemed to be going somewhere for Sunday lunch, so the tube was crowded
We got out at the nearest tube station to our destination, Leicester Square, and it was a short walk to the pub,
The Salisbury in St Martin’s Lane, at which we were meeting the others. It was raining, but who cares
Sadly, it was our only trip up to the West End. No time on this trip for a day of shopping in Oxford Street for Lynne
Next time perhaps, and a visit to Liberty?
Chris, Lynne, Kate, Angela and Anne. The gang is nearly all here, drinking good ale and other delights
And then, off to the restaurant in Leicester Street and, to Lynne's amazement it is Joy King Lau, the same one we all went to
from the early 1970s, still there, still thriving and now run by the original owners’ children. It’s on 5 floors and always busy
We went in at 2 pm without a booking, as many Chinese eat Dim Sum for a late breakfast and it can get quite crowded then
They are open every day from 12 noon to 11.30 pm, but they stop serving Dim sum at 5 pm
They have visual menus on the wall with a very good selection of dim sum
But the menu has many more traditional Chinese dishes, also noodle and rice dishes, Pekin duck etc..
Chris asked us all to order our favourites and made sure we had enough, ordering at least two or three portions of each dim sum
Three of us ordered bottles of Tsingtao beer, the others stuck to tea,  which we all had and enjoyed
Lynne had been dreaming about this, it’s a Yam croquette, made of sweet potato mash, stuffed with meat in a creamy sauce and covered in something like shredded wheat, then deep fried to make it beautifully crisp 
We had to have lotus wrapped rice
so fragrant and filled with sticky rice, mixed meats and prawns
We had excellent spring rolls (no soggy leftovers inside those) and these fried leek cakes
Another all time favourite, open prawn, scallop and water chestnut steamed dumpling
There are different dipping sauces besides soy; we had chilli and black vinegar dips
The difference we noticed between these dim sum dishes and those we get in Cape Town is intensity of flavour and generosity
Dim sum in the Cape is good, if a bit limited in its selection, but why do they serve three dumplings for two people?
John carries a knife, so we can cut the last one in half, or we fight for the last one
Here at Joy King Lau, you get four in a serving, two each
Char su Bao, light steamed buns with barbecued pork in the middle
And, to finish, a large platter of mixed meat noodles. We all ate exceeding well and it was very satisfying food
We thoroughly recommend it if you are in London
Tea comes with the food at no extra charge; if you want more, just tilt the lid and another pot arrives
The bill for 6 of us came to an amazing £100 with a tip. That works out at £16.66 per head = R 325; good value
Down the very long escalator - "Stand on the Right please, those walking pass on the left!"
It had been a great day; nothing nicer than sharing a meal with really good friends
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