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Contemporary Asian Dining at Pan Chai, Harrods:
I’ve always liked the food halls at Harrods. A fantasy land of fine foods, groceries fit for a Princess and some of the nicest chocolates in the world. The addition of a few, select dining opportunities only adds to the experience for me. I’ve already tried Mango Tree and had my eye on Pan Chai, the South-East Asian restaurant opposite.
Like all the dining areas in the food halls, it’s a compact space where you can watch the food being prepared in front of you. Of course, when that is somewhere which specialises in Sushi, it’s a real treat. It’s a stunning area, with a great view into the kitchen
We started our meal at Pan Chai with a glass of Moutard Vintage 2007. It was easy to find dishes to share – though I didn’t expect each one to be quite so spectacular
First of all, a Sashimi Salad (£24.50) with lightly seared tuna, salmon sashimi, Japanese salad and wasabi dressing. It came with a lot of dry ice! Once the spectacle had died down we could see a perfect plateful of fish, with a light salad and dipping sauce.
Mixed Tempura (£42.50) was beautifully light and crispy with a good mixture of fish, including rock shrimp, soft shell crab and lobster
It came with a deliciously citrussy orange ponzu dipping sauce. Tempura is one of those dishes that is so often not quite right. The batter needs to be just a whisper, nothing too heavy. Here, at least for me, it was spot on.
The Harrods Special sushi (£24.50) is a California roll with fresh snow crab, avocado and spicy mayonnaise, topped with chopped seared scallops, orange, black caviar and spring onions. With its accompanying wasabi and ginger, it was a delicious and refreshing dish.
The star of the show though, for me at least, was the Omekase platter, which comes with 9 pieces of chefs choice sashimi, 5 pieces of sushi (I think we have an extra one), and four Tamago sushi rolls. At £48 this would be a good meal for two in its own right.
I was impressed with the variety and quality of the fish that was served and with the picture perfect presentation. And, I’ll definitely be returning – I love this kind of Asian dining. As is generally the case, I probably ordered too much food, but I didn’t end up feeling bloated thanks to the quality of the ingredients (no MSG) and the style of cuisine. This kind of dining has to be a perfect solution for those ladies who lunch BEFORE they go shopping for yet another Versace dress.
London SW1X 7XL
Disclaimer: I dined as a guest of Pan Chai