Pan-Asian Dining

Banana Tree

 An Indochinese, café style chain restaurant offering a scrumptious variety of Southeast-Asian cuisine, which include, Malyasian, Vietnamese, Singaporean & Thai. All dishes are freshly prepared using the freshest authentic ingredients thus providing exotic flavoursome food. The menu is reasonably priced, with special deals at lunchtime. There are 6 locations around London to choose from. 

Chi 火 Kitchen

Chi Kitchen is a quirky pan-Asian restaurant just off Oxford Street. Created exclusively as a departmental brand for Debenhams, it can be found on the ground floor of the flagship store with a separate entrance.

 

Chi means energy in Chinese and the symbol means Fire. The combination indicates that this establishment is focusing on creating cuisine which will provide energy to its clients.

With a vast selection of culinary delights from across the whole of South East Asia, you can sample Thai, Chinese, Malaysian, Japanese, Vietnamese and Korean food. This is the perfect place for groups as every palate can be catered for.

 

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, there is an opportunity to frequent Chi Kitchen at any time. After a spot of shopping on Oxford street would be ideal.

For this first visit, from what was sampled, the seafood was a hit. Can highly recommend the chef’s signature Wasabi Prawns, deed fried tempura shrimp in the most delicious wasabi mayonnaise and the Szechuan Prawns. This spicy Chinese chilli dish can be served with an option of prawns, tofu, chicken or beef. Most of the dishes have this option which is great.The flavours, freshness and variety of the foods is evident.

The Malay specialty of roti canai cannot be missed and these flaky breads were cooked to perfection. Desserts from South East Asia can be an acquired taste, and… the  Sago Gula Melaka was tried but not liked…it is a typical Malaysian dessert of sago pudding and palm sugar.

The restaurant is open plan so you can be seated close to the action if you choose too. Sushi, sashimi and the meats on the robata grill are prepared right infront of you. Designed with all the Feng Shui elements in consideration, namely fire, water, wood, earth and metal, helps to establish the correct ambiance for customers. The Executive chef is Ping Coombes, MasterChef winner 2014 and Eddie Lim, is the co-owner, an experienced restaurateur who also owns Mango Tree and Chai Wu in London.

 

Champor Champor

Wow! A hidden gem found on the doorstep of The Shard in Southwark. The décor is totally quirky, with little Buddhas placed on small shelves, oriental masks, wooden carvings and other Thai artefacts. This quaint little restaurant has amazing food which is mainly Thai with influences from Malaysia. Each dish on the menu has a little twist to its authentic version which makes it more exciting for the taste buds. The flavoursome choices are all presented in fine dining style and are good portion sizes. Highly recommend to save some room for dessert as the ‘Steam Tara and black rice pudding served with mango icecream’ is delicious and something totally quaint. If you like your martini cocktails, the Ainiseed Martini is fabulously unique. Definitely a place to return back to as this food is totally awesome!

Gilgamesh

A truly unique experience in the heart of Camden's stables market. This restaurant is decorated to resemble a Babylonian palace. There is a fully retractable roof for 'outside dining' when the weather permits. The amazing blue lapis lazuli stone bar in the bar area has to be admired, it has been handcarved in India.

Inamo

2 venues in Soho & St.James, this is the only restaurant where the customer controls the whole dining experience. Inamo boasts a pioneering interactive ordering system, which is projected onto the table. Orders are placed from a 3D menu, a selection of virtual tablecloths can be selected, games can be played, a live video feed from the kitchen is provided and information on the local neighbourhood is given, including the ability to order a taxi whilst sitting at the table. A great variety of food, ranging from black cod and sashmi to curries and tempura. A good selection of vegetarian options too. The cocktails are fabulous...try the 'White Chocolate Martini'!!

Silk

Part of the Courthouse Doubletree Hilton Hotel off Regent Street, the Michelin-recommended Silk restaurant has a rich history. It was originally the Great Marlborough Street Magistrates Court, which conducted the trials of many famous people, such as Oscar Wile, Mick Jagger and John Lennon. Many of the original court features remain, which include the judge’s bench and dock. English oak panelling surrounds the room. This classic setting offers a totally unique dining experience, not to be found anywhere else in London.

Umami

This hidden gem is tucked away within the Crowne Plaza Hotel in South Kensington. Umami, taken from Japanese, is regarded as the fifth taste, after sweet, salt, sour and bitter. It is a pleasantly strong, savoury taste derived from natural ingredients which makes the food taste delicious. At Umami London there is a great selection of dishes from Malaysia and a few from neighbouring Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand. The restaurants concept of ‘sharing portion’ dishes and ‘tasting portion’ dishes is a perfect way to enjoy a selection when in a group and ideal for an individual who can also sample a variety of dishes. The no-fuss menu has a good variety for all courses, from starters, salads, soups, mains and desserts. Try the signature Tempura Lychee, with exotic flavours in every bite, something totally quirky not found anywhere else in London. The Malaysian inspired Duck Kerabu salad with crispy fried duck and green mango had an amazing sweet and sour flavour, again totally unique. For a different take on the classic deep fried Calamari, try the pan-fried version here at Umami where green peppercorn is used to create an intense spicy flavour. Note this dish is s-p-i-c-y so not for the fainthearted! For the mains, the Thai Coconut Prawns which has a delicious coconut cream sauce and the Malaysian Seabass (Siakap Garing), fried crisply to perfection are highly recommended. Make sure to sample the Malaysian dessert Kuhi Dada which is coconut and palm sugar crepes. Umami’s cuisine is a true reflection of its name, flavoursome food in every mouthful! The contemporary décor in this feng-shui inspired room with natural light coming in from the bay windows and background jazz music makes it the perfect location for couples, families and groups. In the summer months there is also the option to dine outside in the hotel’s private tranquil garden under a massive canopy.