What is it about good Malaysian food that just makes you feel all fuzzy and melt inside? Is it all that butter that they fry their flaky roti in? What about the gallons of condensed milk that they use in the Teh Tarik? Or all the crispy deliciously fried chicken pieces in the nasi lemak? You get what I’m saying, it is pure and utter comfort food. So when I heard about Zheng, a new Malaysian getting rave reviews in Chelsea, I just had to get me a piece of this high end Malaysian.
Walking in, I was impressed at how chic and sexy the restaurant was. It would be the ideal place to go on a date or a small knit of friends, so I took two lovely ladies with me, one being a vegetarian.
Deep fried aubergine cubes that had been dusted in salt and pepper, and sprinkled with green chillies. Decent, but I would have liked the aubergine to be crispier with a nice squishy centre.
A Malaysian classic consisting of beef satay served with a spicy and chunky peanut sauce. The flavours were great with a nice amount of smokiness from the grill combining well with the creamy and nutty sauce. However, it became quite tough to eat after a short while.
Fried tofu and vegetables on skewers, and served with peanut sauce. This was quite disappointing and tasted like, well, tofu really.
The duck arrived, finely shredded, with all the usual trimmings: spring onions, cucumbers, hoisin sauce and pancakes. I found that the duck was dry and absent of the usual aromatic, salty flavour.
Chicken pieces that had been cooked with chillies and crunchy peanuts, but was lacking that punch that spicy Kung pao usually packs.
My favourite dish of the night! Large, juicy prawns that had been deep-fried and topped with curried oats, curry leaves and chilli. The flavours were superb and incredibly moreish, and I just couldn’t get enough of this dish.
A large slab of fried squidgy tofu that had been topped with chillies, spring onion, and garlic. This was surprisingly enjoyable with the accompanying toppings adding a burst of spice to the, otherwise flavourless, tofu.
A forgettable vegetable-based dish; not enough pizzaz in there for me.
The total bill for three people amounted to approximately £114, including drinks and service, so £38 each. Crikey, that is pricey given the food and the service at Zheng was just average. A real shame as the menu looked so promising, but most of dishes ended up being subpar and it made me think that I could have ordered the wrong items. Perhaps I would visit again to explore more of the food, especially for the crispy cereal king prawns, but I’m in no rush!
See Zheng Chelsea’s website here
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