By Tiffany Lo
Chinese Cricket Club, named in honour of the Chinese national cricket team, is based in the financial district of London Blackfriars.
Established in 2009, the AA Rosette awarded restaurant is located on the corner of New Bridge Street, opposite Blackfriars Station, inside Crowne Plaza London – The City hotel.
With a warm welcome to the table, against a backdrop of a green ambience, we met executive Chef, Ken Wang, known for his individual style of cooking which fuses modern techniques with traditional and authentic flavours. Just by spending a few minutes talking to Chef Wang, we could tell his knowledge of Chinese cuisine was very deep. Chef Wang introduced us to dishes which were from different regions of China, to give us a taste of different flavours and styles of cooking.
This restaurant offers a range of dishes from different regions of China, predominantly from Sichuan, but also from regions such as Beijing, Huaiyang, and Guangdong.
The signature dim sum platter – a combination of freshly steamed prawn & scallop dumplings, har gow, chicken and spinach dumplings, and mooli pumpkin puff – is a wonderful choice if you are having a hard time making decisions on appetisers. The restaurant is extremely proud of their dim sum dishes that are made in-house with the freshest ingredients and the skilful hands of a former Hakkasan chef, Mai Lan. The selection of beautifully crafted dim sum is worth the visit alone. For those who are active on social media, this platter is definitely a ‘like-gainer’.
The Emperor’s Crispy Duck is a dish favoured by the emperor Quanlong many years ago. It is served with a bamboo basket of pancakes that requires your own effort to complete the ‘preparation process’. The dish was prepared in a different way to how you normally see it in restaurants. The duck is cut into small chunks and was smeared with a battered deep fried prawn mince. This gave the dish an impressive twist compared to the traditional recipe. The sauce for the duck was a little too tangy for my palate.
Before the slow-braised pork belly was brought to the table, it was cooked for five hours to increase the tenderness. The accompanying gravy was enriched and thickened by the meat’s collagen that had dissolved into gelatine in its pot-roasting process. The meat, additionally, was soft to chew, very moist, and delicious. A well-balance of flavours and texture.
Steamed sea bass. This is packed with flavour by Chef Wang’s secret sauce which consists of a spicy ginger, garlic, mushrooms and bamboo. This dish was perfectly cooked and the steamed sea bass marinated in the flavours with inviting colours of orange and red, the epitome of a Sichuan dish.
Chinese Cricket Club is definitely worth a visit if you are in Central London. The contemporary and informal feel alongside the friendly front of house staff makes this restaurant an ideal place to catch up with friends and try delightful specially devised dishes from Sichuan and other regions.