Victoria isn’t a part of town blessed with great food options. However, a visit to the theatre to watch Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre gave Emma and me the perfect opportunity to visit A Wong, which had entered my radar with good reviews from critics.
It was a rainy night when we visited and fortunately, there was some cover from the elements while we waited to be let in. It isn’t the largest restaurant but we had a great view of the pass where the food is plated before its sent out.
We started with crispy duck, Mrs Chow’s pancakes and plum sauce. For £12.95, we only got a quarter of a duck, which wasn’t very generous. The arrival of a paint brush at the table was a first clue that the restaurant tries to be a bit different. Apparently, the chef feels you get more even distribution of sauce on your pancake if it’s painted on. We did get 3 things to accompany the duck pancake – plum sauce, which was more piquant than the hoisin sauce usually served with crispy duck in other restaurants, ginger & spring onion sauce and pepper powder. It was fun playing with different combinations of these with the duck.
Then came our favourite dish – honey roasted foie gras with candied pork jerky and pomelo, a citrus fruit – just think of a sweeter version of grapefruit. Foie gras isn’t an ingredient you normally find in a Chinese kitchen but here, it was handled perfectly, resulting in a rich, velvety liver with sweet elements to cut through the richness.
For main course, we chose Gong Bao chicken with roasted peanuts and Dong Po slow braised Blyth burgh pork belly to go with egg fried rice. Warning warning! The Gong Bao chicken is a Sichuanese dish and arrives swimming with pieces of red chilli. These are easy to spot and not chew but hidden in the sauce are whole little Sichuan peppercorns. Bite into one of these and it will spray tongue-numbing fragments into your mouth. Watch out for them! Both the main courses were nice without being overly memorable and they were plated in fine dining style – small portions in large bowls.
We still felt a bit peckish at the end of the meal and ordered a mushroom, bamboo and vermicelli spring roll to top us up. We’re so glad that we did as it was yummy. The little twist was an extra skin on the spring roll to add extra crunch. The filling was moreish.
It’s nice to see restaurants try something different. While not all the dishes left a wow impression, our first visit left us with enough intrigue to want to return try other dishes, especially those from the snack part of the menu.
Food: ★★★★☆ Service: ★★★★☆ Ambiance: ★★★★☆ VFM: ★★★☆☆ Overall: ★★★★☆
Price: It’s expensive for Chinese food but they are trying something different
Restaurant A Wong
70 Wilton Road, Victoria, London SW1V 1DE