Once in a while the craving for dim sum takes me to places I normally don’t go. This time it took me to Pearl Liang, a Cantonese Chinese restaurant weirdly sitting in the middle of a steel and glass office complex just across the road from Paddington station. Many friends from Asia coming for a visit in the past have mentioned Pearl Liang so I was curious to find out what it was about. I finally made the effort to go with two fellow dim sum cravers.
Pearl Liang was quite full already when we arrived just after 1pm on a weekend. Chinese families were busy consuming the bamboo baskets of goodness arriving the tables and waiters were busy maintaining the steady flow of food. We had a wall table at the corner of the dining room. The room and tables were very spacious. I could feel myself sink into a position I wouldn’t get out of for a while in the very soft sofa.
The dim sum menu had the basics, nothing too exotic. Though they didn’t have one staple, the beef balls, of some reason. Something I dread in a dim sum restaurant is the noise level but here it wasn’t too bad. Tea was served quickly and shortly after the bamboo baskets started to drop in.
It’s the first time I see tea served in an iron kettle in a dim sum restaurant.
There is something ceremonial about filling in the order sheet for dim sum. Rather than memorizing the list of 10 different dishes you want to order as the waiter comes you can take your time to fill in what you want as you read through the list. This also leaves no room for mis-communication.
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After the meal I was sure to add Pearl Liang to my list of go to restaurants for dim sum in London. It’s not over the top but satisfies expectations. After all dim sum is about a gathering and sharing. Nothing we had was bad. The cheung fun and custard buns were probably the highlights for me.
As with most Chinese restaurants waiters have one purpose only, to take orders and deliver food in time with not emotions attached which is flawlessly executed here. A plus with Pearl Liang is that you don’t feel rushed as some other dim sum places in London.
For more photos from Pearl Liang, please visit my Flickr set.
8 Sheldon Square
London, W2 6EZ
Tel. +44 (20) 7289 7000