Hotly following in the footsteps of the original in Oxford, Zheng Chelsea has received rave reviews since it’s opening last year. The husband and wife duo, manager and chef, Adam Abdullah and Izlinda Baharom are bringing Malaysian food to the centre stage.
Not far from South Kensington station and just off the Fulham Road, we had the perfect sunny day to indulge in some Malay food over a long overdue catchup with friends.
I fell in love with the sleek interiors as soon as I walked in. A chic palette of muted greys and black with a shot of vibrant chartreuse on the velvet banquettes. Black pendant lights and a beautiful hand-printed Chinoiserie wallpaper completed the exquisite look.
The reasonably priced lunch menu offers you a range of options dependant on how hungry you are – 1 course for £13.90, 2 courses for 16.90 and 3 courses for £21.90. The menu is predominately Malay cuisine with a few Chinese and other southeast Asian influences.
Our Malaysian taste adventure began with a trio of starters, kicking off with vegetarian spring rolls. They were crispy with the perfect crunch and flavoursome – Just as they should be.
The salt and pepper squid, garnished with spring onions was lightly fried and delicate. In the words of Nat – amazing!
Lastly the chicken satay skewers, tender and subtly spiced, delighted Tim and his chilli sensitive ways.
All our mains came beautifully presented, accompanied with a mound of rice and salad. The stewed aubergine and chilli was my standout dish.
The perfectly cooked aubergines was so soft and coated in a lip-smacking sticky ginger soy sauce. Rich in flavour, the dish also had a real fiery kick which meant I was in chilli heaven.
The Rendang beef received a big thumbs up too. Tender beef in a fragrant and appetising sauce.
Roast duck was the final main (or so we thought!), the meat was moist and the skin crispy. Exactly as it should be and like all the mains a very generous portion.
And back to the ‘so we thought’. The lovely staff kindly made us an extra dish of Singapore noodles to sample.
It looked incredible, but as it came with juicy prawns I left the dish for Nat and Tim to try. Both professing how full they were they still managed to polish off the plate – Testament to the dish.
Of course by this stage we really were rubbing our bellies, wondering how on earth we’d manage the desserts. In most cases when sweet treats are concerned we found the extra space.
The sagu melaka, a typical Malaysian dessert was probably my least favourite. I’m not a huge fan of tapioca, which is where it failed for me. Served with a palm sugar syrup and evaporated milk, the dish carried caramel undertones.
Second on the list was a fruity number – The mango pudding. Very similar in texture to a panna cotta, it came topped with cream. Although pleasant and not overly sweet it was a simple dish and nothing to write home about.
On the other hand the kiuh ketayap is insanely good! The green crêpe flavoured with pandan juice, a tropical plant commonly used in southeast Asian cooking, is filled with a sweet sticky mixture of coconut, palm sugar and nuts. A delectable combination of flavours which left me almost licking the plate clean.
Impressed with the service from the friendly staff who exhibit a ‘nothing is too much’ attitude. Zheng Chelsea is definitely worth a visit, especially with its fantastic value lunch menu. Everything we ate was of exceptional quality. Now I can say I have a favourite new Malaysian!
Zheng Chelsea | 4 Sydney Street | Chelsea | London | SW3 6PP
Disclaimer: Our meal at Zheng Chelsea was complimentary, however, all views, opinions and photos are my own and remain a trademark of the Curious Pixie.
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