An edited version of this review has appeared in MyVillage.com
The cheerful Dim Sum Diner opened this month on the Queensway in Bayswater. Just a hop from Hyde Park this venue offers typical Chinese specialties alongside a smattering of American standbys such as hotdogs, burgers, chips and breaded fish. The minimalist red and white interior includes lacquered wooden tables dressed with a selection of sauces and seasonings, benches and pretty birdcage lampshades.
A simple affair all dishes are priced at £3.80 (except for the £2.50 sides) and include a selection of “Steamed/Baked/Fried/Sweet dim sum” alongside “Small Plates” and “American-style” offerings. Manager Dom was on hand to guide our choices and certainly didn’t steer us wrong.
A licensed restaurant they offer a small selection of wines in individual sized bottles and several beers including TsingTao, Tiger and Asahi alongside soft options, coffees and teas.
We started with the Chilli Salt Crispy Tofu. Delightful bites that are warming and perfectly seasoned with the right balance of flavour to heat. I could snack endlessly on these and was sorely tempted to throw a second order in my handbag.
Three large Pan-Fried Peking Pork Dumplings were satisfyingly filling if slightly doughy to my tastes. While of the two steamed dim sum we tried the XO Scallop won hands down over the still highly recommendable Pork & Prawn. For scallop lovers these tantalizing morsels will not disappoint.
The Vietnamese Noodle Salad with spring rolls provides a refreshing contrast of tastes. Sweet cold noodles dressed with fish sauce, chilli, lime and garlic topped by two warm Vietnamese spring rolls create a lovely fragrant bowl. I’d have preferred flavour enhancing herbs or even shredded carrot to the iceberg lettuce but, for the price, was more than satisfied.
The “small plates” turned out to be substantial sharing dishes. The Teriyaki Beef Flank Fried Rice came with two tender pieces of beef coated in a light tempura that were melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The Baked Pork in Coconut with Turmeric Rice that we barely put a dent in was a warming if stodgy rice dish. The latter would be a winner for a hungry appetite looking to fill their stomachs for next to nothing and was reminiscent of the dishes I’d seen young men with packs of Marlboro Reds hunkered over in Vietnamese diners back home. The inclusion of American-diner options makes it a winning choice for eclectic palates saddled with finicky eaters.
A traditional yet contemporary Chinese diner specialising in dishes flavoured with international influences in a casual setting Dim Sum Diner is a very welcome and well-priced newcomer to London.
Value for Money: 5/5
Dim Sum Diner
Bayswater London, W2 3RY
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