Thursday, 21 May 2009

Peninsula, Greenwich (Dimsum Restaurant Review) - UPDATED

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UPDATED 22/01/2012: Haven't been to Peninsula for a few years, and I certainly won't again ...

The Peninsula is a Chinese restaurant marooned at the bottom of a Holiday Inn in Bugsby's Way - a nowhere place near-ish the O2, but more importantly next to See Woo Cash & Carry, a veritable oasis for all chefs of Asian persuasion.

I've probably had finer dimsum in Queensway and Chinatown, but I've always had a soft spot for the Peninsula and their interpretation of yum cha.

Ordinarily you can't book at the weekend, but my middle brother persuaded them to hold a table for us to celebrate three wedding anniversaries - our parents' 40th, my brother and his wife's 10th and me and hubby's 5th. Mind you, we had to turn up at 11am.

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Sunday morning, 10.45am, we've parked our cars and we're waiting for the doors to open. We're not alone as one-by-one dimsum lovers start to assemble.

Impatiently, some of them rattle the doorhandle, on the off-chance they might be able to wait inside. Peninsula's staff must feel like Shaun of the Dead did as the ravening zombies attempted to claw their way into the Winchester.

Finally entry is approved, and I can't help feeling smug when my family waltz past everybody straight to our table.

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We've got the menu and we've got the tick sheet. I try to read the thing but middle brother takes over and so I weakly bleat "Char Sui Bao for my hubby and 'low the tripe!"

Middle brother promptly ignores me and orders three pages of entrails and feet and other gooey stuff.

I want crispy, so I try to order suckling pig only to be denied. However, they do have a mixed roast meat platter so that will do for me.

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Soon the dishes arrive - wave after wave of har gau and shiu mai and cheung fun begin to stack up.

There's jellyfish and chicken feet and curried whelks for my dad, and char siu puffs and spring rolls for the rest of us.

My nephew asks me to pick out the duck meat from the duck feet for him and I try to explain that there isn't really any.

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We've also got two types of fried rice - one bog-standard with cardboardy prawns, but one with a gloriously gloopy gravy oozing throughout - we all want more of that one.

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The mixed meat platter is another triumph - toothsome morsels of Peking Duck, char siu, siew yuk (crispy pork) and more jostle each other.

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There's Singapore noodles, too dry but well-spiced, there's more-ish, slippery char kway teow.

There's also the best dish that day, beef brisket noodles. This is unctuous and intense, and we fight over the fat, meaty chunks that hide amongst the flat rice noodles.

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I'm disappointed by the xiao long bao which stick to the steam basket and tear, so the chicken broth escapes through the cracks.

But the overall impact is lots of pockets of deliciousness which we can't stop cramming into our mouths, and I can't believe that we manage to leave quite so many leftovers (
see below).

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Eight adults and five children manage to eat like kings for £180, with plenty of leftovers (
which of course we pack up to take away).

As we stagger out in a dimsummy haze, I reflect that the Peninsula's location may not be pretty, but delights await you inside.

Note to self - don't let middle brother order next time.

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Peninsula Restaurant
Holiday Inn Express
85 Bugsby’s Way
Greenwich
London
SE10 0GD
0208 269 1638
www.mychinesefood.co.uk

Peninsula on Urbanspoon

7 comments:

  1. See Woo! That brings back happy memories - I used to live in Blackheath, quite close by and used to go there all the time. Not only for the fresh stuff, but for the catering equipment (best value linen glass cloths, white crockery etc.) and for some of the seafood - razor clams, cockles, I even used to get some of my live lobsters and clams there. I miss it, but it's a bit of a trek now, there's another oriental supermarket near me on the North Circular, but it's nowhere near as good.

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  2. Wow meemalee, that is quite the spread! I love the "I can't help feeling smug when my family waltz past everybody straight to our table"......it describes exactly the way I feel when you finally get a table and walk pass the queue...either that or feeling liek you hit the lottery.

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  3. @Catherine - You inspired me to go to See Woo at the weekend and I bought me some razor clams - never cooked them before!

    @KirkK - Your Wal Mi Do spread blows mine out of the water :)

    http://mmm-yoso.typepad.com/mmmyoso/2009/05/just-for-the-halibut-sort-of-the-live-halibut-dinner-at-wal-mi-do-in-photos.html

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  4. Wow, how many were you? That's an incredible spread!

    What are those hexagon-shaped fried things?

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  5. Hi Kavey - 13 in total but we still over-ordered :)

    The hexagon things just tasted like spring rolls - I can't work out which one it is from the menu though!

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  6. The crispy looking hexagon things are sweet and sour deep-fried wontons. (Sauce on the side). It was a MUST order for us kids when we had dimsum treats!
    Ah, the gloopy gravy rice is Fujian Style Fried Rice. The funny thing is in Hakka (a chinese dialect)when you say that dish it sounds like you are swearing! (Foo-kin fried rice!)
    Certainly looked like a feast! Can't believe the amount of left-overs you had!

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  7. @PlumLeaf - Thanks for explaining :)

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Thanks for taking the time to comment!