Review: Chinese Cricket Club, City of London
Style Points: 3/5
The Chinese Cricket Club located in the Crowne Plaza London - The City, is composed of vintage leather seats, brown oak wood tables and bar and a touch of Eastern influence sprinkled with some Cricket paraphernalia. The atmosphere is laid-back and welcoming and we were greeted by a charming lady at the front desk.
Would I Want Seconds?
Once seated at the Chinese Cricket Club we were invited to try some wine so I asked for a white wine that wasn't too dry and a little on the fruity side. The Wine Farer Series Chenin Blanc provided a good balance of fruity and dry which would later complement the meal. We started with the salt and sichuan pepper squid which was full of flavour, served in a light batter with chillies and coriander.
The duck spring rolls came in a thin, crispy pastry sliced and easy to eat/share, really tasty with no fat or hard bits but we did come across a tiny bit of bone in there so take extra care as you dine. The plum sauce is perfectly matched, I couldn't get enough of it.
Next up, the Chef's signature dim sum platter is all steamed and you could tell, they were soft, fresh, light, and bite-sized to pop in your mouth. Some were even topped with caviar. For some reason I thought the pumpkin ones would have a sweet taste but they were more savoury, more like a vegetable dumpling.
Onto the mains and my guest opted for the chan-do chicken with honey plum sauce sticky sweet and crispy chicken pieces served with chilli but it was a little too heavy/chewy for me. I had the sautéed jumbo prawns Beijing style which were simple, fresh, a good size and a good portion served with crunchy vegetables and soft mushrooms.
We also shared sides - the seafood rice accompanied the dishes, it felt like an ingredient was lacking; perhaps salt or soy would have enhanced the dish but the texture was nice and fluffy. The Singapore Cricket Club noodles were the perfect level of spicy, well seasoned with a really good flavour.
Following our mains, the Executive Chef Ken Wang introduced himself and encouraged us to try some options from the brand new menu. I asked for an appetiser recommendation as I tried to find room in my stomach for it. Before we knew it we were tucking into wild mushrooms hunan style: a light vermicelli with long thin mushrooms and strips of vegetables in a light drizzle, this was really tasty and although we couldn't have much more than a couple of mouthfuls I must say this tasted great.
Could I Afford Seconds?
A starter, main, side and dessert at the Chinese Cricket Club each would have cost approximately £45 without drinks. Some mains come with a side so if you're on a budget, I'd advise choosing one of those.
On the whole, I enjoyed my meal and it's great that Chinese Cricket Club mix newer styles of cooking with traditional classics. It's perfect for those working in the city to grab a decent lunch or meal after work.
Reviewed by Guest Writer Syeshia Sweeney
Address: 19 New Bridge St, London Ec4V 6DB
Tube Station: Blackfriars