If you're following our East London Line excursion and starting to feeling hungry, follow us on a diversion to Hong Kong City, This Chinese restaurant on an unglamorous stretch of New Cross Road more than adequately fulfils any dim sum shaped holes in a person.
Standard dim sum fare - steamed prawn dumplings in white wrappers (har gau), pork and shrimp dumplings in yellow wrappers (siu mai), fluffy roast pork buns (char siu bau) and a long list of others - are all as good as any you'd find elsewhere. The deep fried and pan fried items are also no better or worse than those in Chinatown, though if London's dim sum restaurants are competing on just how little won ton filing they can get away with in their fried won tons, Hong Kong City is way ahead.
Little variations appear in the cheung fun which is served without the usual lake of soy sauce and the Vietnamese spring rolls are excellent and nearly twice the size we've come to expect. Steamed glutinous rice comes without a lotus leaf wrapper, which is convenient but far less fragrant or hot, having nothing to keep the pleasant scented heat in, but otherwise there are no major shocks or disappointments for coming out further than Gerard Street.
What most distinguishes Hong Kong City from its rather drab surroundings and Chinese restaurant rivals is its decor. While not very enticing from outside, once inside, guests have to cross a faux bridge over a (very small) indoor waterfall and the dining area is broad with all the tables spread out with luxurious distance between them, rarely seen or felt in Chinatown. The only slight downside is the open space means a higher chance of food arriving not quite piping hot to your table.
Hong Kong City, 43 New Cross Road, London, SE14 5DS, Tel. 0207 252 9888. For more information, go to the Hong Kong City website.