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Seventeen Notting Hill

May 22, 2012 by Dini

Sichuan Bloggers Dinner

May 2012

Chinese food is a cuisine that I know little about, having spent a week in Guangzhou and just two days in Beijing, my food adventures extended to finding out about Chefs’ love of ‘nose to tail’ especially in garnishes and visiting a snake restaurant, where the snakes’ heart and blood were prized over.  When Mark (the GM at Seventeen), a Sichuan-Chinese restaurant, in Notting Hill invited me to a bloggers dinner, I accepted but hoped that tripe and exotic meat were off the menu…

17 Notting Hill

My only knowledge of Sichuan, was of the peppercorns and of course their inclusion in five spice seasoning, one of my favourites. Therein, I knew it was going to be a ‘hot’ dinner…  I was welcomed into the basement of this Chinoserie decorated restaurant and a glass of sparkling wine to start off the proceedings. Pre-starter nibbles included boiled peanuts and pickled vegetables

Pickled vegetables

Seventeen Skewers Platter – had grilled lamb, that had been marinated in cumin and fiery Sichuan chilli

Lamb skewers

Sichuan style fish – This was a dish that involved poaching the soft grouper fish and then leaving to infuse in oil with a bountiful amount of red chillies

Sichuan style fish

We were asked if we’d like the chillies strained off, the usual presentation to table, but the daring table resisted and went in for the kill…

You can see from the photo below, we didn’t even manage to make a dent on the chillies, as there was an immense amount of them.

Leftover chillies

Sichuan Beef shank – This was served cold, a mouth quelching contrast to the heat of the previous dish. It was also a stand-out dish as the meat was so tender and soft, that I think the Chef may have used a velveting technique, in the preparation

Beef shank

Chongqing Chicken – This was another cold dish, but fiery in it’s concoction of dried red chillies, Sichuan peppercorns and sesame seeds. I wasn’t a fan of this, as it was a little greasy and not sure how I felt about it’s temperature, I’m okay with a cold salad, but not so with ‘curry’ type dishes

Chongqing Chicken

Wok fried Gai Lan – I loved the heady quantity of garlic laced through this dish, certainly enough to keep the vampires away but taste buds in check

Wok fried Gai Lan

Twice cooked pork – suitably fatty from using pork belly, the pork had a good contrast against crunchy vegetables and soft chillies

Twice cooked pork

Dry fried green beans with minced pork – another stand-out dish and reminded me of the Laon dish, Laab, a great side dish to perk up rice with

Green beans with minced pork

There has been a common thread  with all the mains and side dishes to this point and that is – CHILLIES, this restaurant certainly challenges the Scoville scale barometer, but done in an artful way. I’m not going to lie, it’s hot, I didn’t suffer from heart-burn, but did need a good cool down and certainlly made my heart race a little faster…

For the cooling down period, a helping hand was given with a dessert of Mango pudding, just like a soft set mousse

Mango dessert

Next up were mochi balls (I know traditionally Japanese, but looking at their dessert menu, there’s usually only western dishes, so this was a trial) – glutinous rice balls stuffed with a sweet black seasame filling and rolled in crushed peanuts. I’ve tried these once, before at Feng Sushi and preferred these ones because of the contrast of the crunchy exterior to the soft centre

Mochi balls

Finally came Chinese tea, served in a dainty pot and cups. This was well indeed to soothe and aid digestion for the night

Chinese tea

This is a Chinese restaurant that offers a mix of the typical dishes a westerner would expect and want as well as authentic dishes that would appeal to a native (such as tripe and the several abalone dishes – or perhaps that is catering to the Notting Hill set?). It ticks boxes and the prices seem reasonable (for Notting Hill) at £38 for a set dinner menu.

Thanks to our host Mark and Chefs on the night, for the entertaining evening and complimentary meal

I really want to find out more about the cuisine and dishes, so I’ve got a feeling that I’ll be perusing Fuchsia Dunlop’s blog and reading her memoir: Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper!

 

Website: http://seventeen-london.com/

Address: Seventeen, 17 Notting Hill Gate, London, W11 3JQ
Telephone no: 0207 985 0006

 

Seventeen on Urbanspoon


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