Last Sunday I was invited by Joe Blogs to a very special event, an Afternoon Tea but with a twist… instead of milky tea, scones and clotted cream we got to have dim sum! The location for the exotic treat was the restaurant Le Chinois (‘The Chinese” in French), located inside the Millenium Hotel in Knightsbridge. We were greeted by the super nice and multilingual Cipriano, who is responsible for the Hotel’s Marketing and were served a glass of bubbly upon our arrival. When we were all ready and dying with curiosity about what was going to happen (it was all a bit mysterious, a bit of a surprise) we were taken to a special area of the restaurant that was reserved just for us – the 20+ bloggers who attended – where we were treated to one of the most elegant and exquisite Chinese cuisine meals I’ve ever had.
The restaurant is simply but elegantly decorated, in a sober Chinese style. It is a quiet place and I think it is a perfect place for a small gathering of friends or even a dinner for two. The staff were all attentive and eager to satisfy our requests. The food was plentiful and delicious and it just kept on coming: Crispy chicken sticks, crispy shredded duck spring rolls, sauteed prawns coated with wasabi (my absolute favourites, I LOOOOVE Wasabi!), minced chicken wrapped in lettuce, crispy scallop rolls, BBQ pork bun (Chai Siu Boa), red bean and pandan mochi cake, fresh sliced mango, prawns with passion fruit coulis, steamed minced pork dumplings (Siu Mai) and the star of the meal, the Traditional Peking Duck. If you’ve read the list of all the foods, I dare you to not be salivating by now. To drink, we had oolong or jasmine tea, perfect pairings for the strong flavours we tried during the afternoon.
Everything was extremely well organised, we were constantly surrounded by new things to try, each better and more surprising than the previous. The set up was also a very good idea and contributed to the ooohs and aaahs that were heard throughout the afternoon – there was a curtain behind us, where everything was set up before being revealed and that was such a great idea.
Going to these events is great, even better when you have your friends with you – Lilli and Jasiminne. I would even go as far as saying that this was the definition of happiness: friends and good food!
If you’ve ever had high tea, you will see how amusing the whole setup is – East meets West done perfectly. Isn’t it fun when you can have the best of both worlds? On the top, you can see what looks like a shot glass with deep fried prawns with passion fruit coulis – the only kind of shot that won’t get you drunk.
I love Asian food as a whole and Chinese food does hold a special place in my heart. When I lived back in Lisbon, I lived just around the corner from what was called an ‘illegal Chinese restaurant’. Basically a family their apartment doors open to anyone who would want to go and eat their food. My ex-husband, having lived in China for 5 years in Yunnan, assured me that it was very authentic food, as it hadn’t been modified to suit Western tastes. I suppose that is what we would call here in the UK ‘street food’, almost. Having all those memories also made this experience very interesting, as this was the exact opposite of it – and I’m one to love contrasts.
The crispy scallop rolls – hairy!
We were shown how you properly cut the Traditional Peking duck – first the crispy skin then the meat. It was interesting to watch and definitely a first for me.
So this is how you make Peking Duck pancakes! There was a challenge going to make these but I didn’t want to embarrass myself, I’m such a klutz!
Here we are, well fed and happy!
Before you go, this is what I wore – I wrapped up warm but managed to be colourful too!
Thank you Joe Blogs and Millenium Hotels for such an amazing time, I definitely want to go back! If you want to try it too, you can make a reservation in advance.
Millennium Hotel Knightsbridge
17 Sloane Street
020 7235 4377