Food Review: Chinese Cricket Club
Stately, formal and with the cricket-club-circa-1980 decor extremely on point, signed test match shirts and black and white photos of W. G. Grace hang on the wall. Like plenty of hotel restaurants, the vibe at Chinese Cricket Club — in a corner of the Crowne Plaza Hotel — tends towards the corporate and carefully neutral. But the wealthy-sports-club set up means that feels on-theme. And any hint of beige is blasted away on arrival by the sizzling lamb plate on a neighbouring table, sending clouds of meaty fragrance through the room.
Chef Ken Wang's menu takes in traditional regional dishes: Sichuan squid, Chengdu chicken, and Huaiyang cuisine like the Emperor's Crispy Duck — a dish so butterflied, prawn-stuffed and elaborately rich that during the Qing dynasty it was allowed for the Imperial family alone. It's not crispy duck as you know it, closer to surf-and-turf in its marriage of red meat and seafood flavours — but it's delicate and seriously rich at the same time.
Slow-braised pork belly comes as a pile of soft, juicy meat draped over gelatinous rice, the hefty portion size and serious richness making it better shared between several than eaten solo. That's true for all of our dishes, tiny dim sum platter aside. Our recommendation: go double on the dim sum, halves on everything else and you'll eat like an emperor. It ain’t cheap, though — so prepare to pay like one too.
Chinese Cricket Club, 19 New Bridge Street, EC4V 6DB.
Last Updated 18 September 2017