Sunday, 2 December 2007

Modern Chinese Food at Haozhan on Gerrard Street

We tried to book Great Queen Street for our Brown family trip after King Lear. But unfortunately their kitchen closes at 10.30 and we were unlikely to get there before 11. So we opted to give Haozhan a go instead.

Buzzing after being mesmerised by McKellan as a brilliant Lear we raced down from Covent Garden to China town and were treated to a master class in big tasting modern Chinese food.

Haozhan stands out from its Gerrard Street neighbours. Its what the Anchor and Hope is to the dodgy pub grub you get at a Toby Carvery. You won't find any freaky red plastic dragons or surly staff.

I was delighted with my chilli quail which was generous in both the portion size and the amount of spice. It brought an enormous smile to my face as I picked away at it with my greasy hands. Dad loved his curried soft shell crab; Mum enjoyed her sweet corn soup and Cowie couldn't have been happier with her single steamed scallop. You can order crispy duck and sweet and sour pork if you want but they have a piece on their menu encouraging you to try something new. Maybe Haozhan is the Sainsbury's of the Chinese restaurant world.

My cod with champagne and honey was stunning. The flesh flaked apart and was a sweet balance of golden honey and winey liquor. I swopped half way through with Cowie and upgraded to the XO cod which had a similar sticky, chilli sauce to my quail. Again is was delicious, if not quite as delicate as my original fish. Suz had an amazing loaf of bread filled with Assam prawns and Dad was delighted with his Sechuan lamb chops.

It was a brilliant way to end a much needed family day out and we can't wait to go back.

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