20 Gerrard Street
Plum Valley pairs succulent Chinese cuisine with a low-lit, salubrious backdrop. Just as you step onto the busy hum of Gerrard Street, Plum Valley winks at you with an understated eye and the promise of some serene dining. Inside the restaurant, its dark wood interior lends the place an intimate feel and any hustle and bustle is reserved for the waiting staff who dash about with trays of steaming hot food.
We ordered a whole clutch of dishes to work our way through, and started with baskets of pretty dim sum, which came in beautiful bundles of prawn and vegetable. They almost looked too good to eat, but we persuaded ourselves to bite through their soft dumpling covering, into mouthfuls of succulent seafood. Hot, fiery chilli dips arrived on our table for dunking, and in all honesty we’d probably have been quite happy with a repeat order of dim sum for the rest of the night. But we had dishes to try, not least the guangdang duck, which tasted fantastic with its gamey flavour, lifted by a fresh lick of tropical sweet mango.
Black cod with honey and champagne sauce followed and offered up a decadent sweet hit on the taste buds. We also managed to stuff in caramelised aubergine and Mandarin beef, which came suitably hot, sticky and sour. We washed all of this down with endless cups of jasmine tea, and a modest stream of bellini’s served in Martini glasses of skyscraper proportions.
Pudding came in the form of Chinese doughnut buns, willow dew cream, coconut puffs and green tea sponge cake. The willow dew cream was the most intriguing dessert of the bunch with its fresh tasting fruity flavour and yoghurt-like texture, and the Chinese doughnut buns won for sheer deep-fried indulgence, complete with a moreish custard filling.
If you love Chinese food, and you’re on the lookout for somewhere with a sophisticated finish, Plum Valley is the place to take yourself. A meal for two without wine will set you back by around £90.00
**Plum Valley: **20 Gerrard Street, London, W1D 6JQ. Tel: 020 7494 4366.
**Reviewer:** Helenka Bednar