Wednesday, 25 August 2010
Last night I went out for dinner with my friend Anya to Seventeen in Notting Hill. The menu is a mixture of Chinese cuisines, focusing on food from Szechuan. Whilst I love Chinese food I really don't know much about the flavours from the different regions of China but a little research before hand left me expecting a spicy and yummy meal. The restaurant is furnished and decorated to perfection - very modern but with a traditional theme running throughout. Wooden screens seperate the room into sections so you don't feel seated too close to other people dining there. The downstairs is more impressive than upstairs and has a much more edgy feel to it. From the outside the place really didn't look like much but we were very impressed once we'd gone inside.
The waiters were lovely and helpful although I felt that as they got busier the service became a little slow. To be honest though, I was in no rush and was quite happy to enjoy the surroundings a little longer. The menu actually features a lot of dishes you might find in a local chinese takeaway, such as Sweet and Sour Chicken, but done to a much better standard.
We ordered Aromatic Crispy Duck and King Size Shrimp in Abalone Sauce for starters. The duck was great with good Hoisin sauce. But to be honest, I'm no food critic - it was just yummy! The Shrimp was a toughie to get the edible parts out. I performed decapitation surgery but was totally stuck after this. Luckily our friendly waiter took pity and helped us out. After we ordered the Kung Pao Chicken which was so full of flavour but very spicy - I couldn't handle more than a little! Their noodles were also fine, but not particularly better than other places I thought.
All in all, I like the food and love the atmosphere of the restaurant but probably wouldn't pay the high prices for the dishes. This time we had vouchers which essentially gave us a 60% discount. It was good to see dishes usually butchered in local chinese takeaways be prepared carefully and with flair though. They also have a dim sum menu, which although a little limited, looks good and is much better priced - I think I'll give it a try soon.