Review of 'Shikumen'

Ever since the branch of Shikumen opened in the Dorsett Hotel in Shepherd's Bush I have been intrigued - I found out that it is Chinese, serves dim sum and it is reasonably priced. So, when GroupOn came along and offered £20 for £40 worth of dim sum I was in. When I went to book the visit I found that the Dorsett branch was fully booked on all Sundays when I could use the coupon so ended up in the Ealing branch. Just as well we are just down the road.

Located just off of the main road in Ealing you would be forgiven if you missed it though if you looked for the only modern building in the area you would be sure to spot it right away. Shikumen continues the decor of the hotel - Dark, sleek, and modern with these very odd pictures of people with animal heads on the wall. Not sure what that is. Anyway, enough of that.

We were here for dim sum but they do offer dinner as well. The dim sum menu is not that long, around about four pages. Most items are in the £3 to £5 range which is about typical for dim sum in London. They did also have some set meals that looked quite interesting at about £14 per person (the “dim sum tea” at £26.80 for two people looked to be the best bargain here with a large assortment of dishes). Straightaway we ordered: Char Sui Bau (our favourite - steamed pork dumplings - £3.50, I believe), Fried Dough Stick Cheung Fun (difficult to get right as the crispy doughnut wrapped in cheung fun noodles can easily get soggy - £4.20), Chicken Taro Croquettes (£3.50) then we ordered some soup, my companion had the Wanton Noodle Soup (£7.80) and I had the Assorted Seafood Congee (£5.80).

The dim sum dishes were done very well, served piping hot and fresh. The Taro Croquettes were a bit of a surprise as they were crunchy on the outside (normally they are only slightly crisp) but still tasty. My companion was not pleased with her wanton soup as it had seafood (prawn) dumplings in it instead of the expected pork dumplings (the menu says nothing of the contents). This was to be a theme of the meal - Prawns, prawns and more prawns. My congee was quite good but bland which you might say is common for rice soup but in this case it was more bland than it should be with only a few small pieces of seafood in it (pepper helped a bit).

At this point we were still a bit peckish and slightly under our £40 voucher amount so we ordered the Steamed Dim Sum Platter (8 pieces, £8.50) which had a lot of colour so was very pretty (reminding me of some dumplings I had in Xi'an in China but, unfortunately, no where near as tasty). My companion was once again disappointed to find that all of the four different variety of dumplings were ALL prawn…to me they were all quite tasty but bland with little to differentiate one from another.

Financially, the prices here are quite good, from a quality perspective they were also quite good. The staff were reasonably polite and seemed to be always on hand to pour us more tea or clear away dishes (though if it was busier this might change). From a taste perspective, not so good but I might be back to give some more items from the menu a try. Perhaps I can get a booking in Shepherd's Bush…

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2015-10-11


Cuisine: Chinese

Address: Hotel Xanadu 26 - 42 Bond Street Ealing London W5 5AA

Public Transport: TUBE Ealing Broadway NRLOGO Ealing Broadway

Location: London (England) - Ealing

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Telephone: +44 (0) 20 8567 2770

URL: http://www.shikumen.co.uk/ealing/