Thank you for your feedback. We appreciate your comments and feel very proud that the team at the Phoenix Palace were able to meet you expectations and that you loved the Restaurant.
We look forward to welcoming you back at the Phoenix Palace.
3-5 Glentworth Street, Marylebone, London NW1 5PG
- Baker Street Tube Station (<0.1 km)
- Baker Street Station (0.1 km)
- Marylebone Station (0.3 km)
- Contact us:
020 7486 3515
Contact via email
- Opening hours:
Mon - Sat: 12:00 - 23:30
Sun: 11:00 - 22:30
Bank Holidays opening hours 11:00 - 22:30
County Hall, Riverside Building, Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7PB
“Zen China specializes in Imperial Beijing cuisine, with a focus on traditional North Chinese regional cooking, influenced by the imperial tradition. Zen China’s signature dish is the Authentic Beijing Roast Duck, as known as Peking Duck. We are...” more...
16 reviews of Phoenix Palace in English
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It's a shame because the food is really quite good, but the rude staff and customer service let this place down completely.
The food was very good! The atmosphere was very nice and friendly. Also, they were able to spontaneously arrange a dessert with a candle for the birthday girl :)
The waiters did occasionally forget to bring water or toothpicks, etc. though..
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(for photos and more :)
For me there is no better Sunday lunch than dim sum. I like the sitting together and sharing. In addition after a week(end) full of gluttony, it is a healthy option, particularly when you manage to stay off the fried stuff. When asking trusted foodies about their favourite dim sum place, Phoenix Palace is popping up again and again. As this year is my year of the dumpling, it was about time to visit Phoenix Palace located in a little side street just off of Baker Street to test their vast variety of dim sum. When we went to Phoenix Palace on a sunny Sunday afternoon, the place was packed. I would estimate that at least half to two thirds of the patrons were Chinese, which promised authenticity and quality. I rather liked the Chinese decor and style of Phoenix Palace, and it is not as stuffy and claustrophic as for example the famous (but in my opinion overrated) dim sum joint Royal China.
Interesting were the Cold Tossed Baby Octopus (3.80) which came in a chili and lemon sauce. Half of the table hated it; the other half really liked it. I was part of the latter and really enjoyed the chilled pieces of tender octopus with the flavoursome sauce, spicy but not overwhelmingly so. On the insipid side were the Noodles with Spicy Hot Meat Sauce, Sichuan Style (6) – they were not spicy at all and for me there were no Sichuan flavours detectable at all unfortunately. I would not order these again.
My favourites were the steamed Wasabi Prawn Dumplings (3.80) – thin and translucent dough filled with plump and tender prawns followed by a fierce wasabi kick. A definite must have!
Something I always order when I see it anywhere on the menu are the Pork Buns (2.80). At Phoenix Palace, the dough was the revelation of fluffy and light, filled with perfectly seasoned and non greasy bbq pork.
Nothing to write home about were the sticky rice things (their correct name being Glutinous Rice in Lotus Leaf Wrap). I have had them much better at Leong’s Legends. Excellent however were the Vegetarian Spring Rolls (2.80). I usually never order spring rolls. The greasy variant filled with low quality meat that we used to eat when the first Chinese restaurant opened when I was a child, put me off them forever. I therefore was glad that someone else on my table insisted on ordering them as the light and crispy batter with the fresh and tasty vegetables were a real pleasure.
The Grilled Chicken Gyozas (2.80) and the Prawn Cheung Fun (4.40) were solid fare. Not spectacular but definitely in the upper range. None of us liked the Cheung Fun with Dried Shrimp. Sometimes it just doesn’t pay off to order something weird sounding…
Now we come to the desserts. I have a weakness for desserts that are not too sugary and you often find this kind of sweets in Chinese and Japanese cuisine. The desserts we tried at Phoenix Palace had a rather mixed reception on our table, but that’s the thing with Chinese sweets, they are definitely an acquired taste. I thought they were actually the highlight of the meal.
Red bean ice cream (3.80) with little red beans sitting on top like tiny insects was almost savoury and highly addictive.
Even better and so pretty were the perfectly round and white Cream Custard Buns (2.80) filled with a sweet and salty vanilla custard.
Everyone liked the hot and glutinous black sesame things (3), which funnily enough were decorated with a couple of parsley leaves. So much for non-sweet. Verdict: Even though it is overall not the best dim sum I have ever eaten, some of the dishes were truly outstanding and considering that the atmosphere is rather pleasant, I can only recommend Phoenix Palace for some serious dumpling feast.
Decent dim sum, but a tad expensive. Really enjoyed the steamed wasabi dumplings and the crispy beef. Also, it's a bit kitsch, but I loved the 'celebrities who've eaten here' photo collage at the entrance. Very convenient to Baker Street tube
Comment 1 comment on this review
phoenixpalace, 1 July 2011:
Thank you for your feedback. We appreciate your comments and feel very proud that the team at the Phoenix Palace were able to meet you expectations and that you loved the Restaurant.
Great setting, food is of good quality. If you're not fussed and in the area, definitely head to Phoenix Palace. But there are better dim sum places out there.
To read the complete review, please go to http://chopstix2steaknives.blogspot.com/2010/12/phoenix-p...
I was recommended this place as I have been on a quest to find the best Dim Sum in London Town and it did not disappoint. The menu is humongous with anything you may want and then some. The food is so fresh and absolutely delicious, and the portions guarantee you get some to take home as a night grub if you are planning to go out the next day ;)
This place is very popular so you may want to book to avoid disappointment.
Phoenix Palace - Pics at The London Foodie
After a disappointing dim sum experience at Royal China Bayswater (until now my gold standard dim sum venue in London) over the Christmas period, I thought I should broaden my repertoire and so recently decided to give Phoenix Palace a try.
Louise of Penguinette Cooks and a few Italian friends accompanied me to this well known Chinese restaurant in the Baker Street area. Despite our 2pm booking, we waited in the restaurant’s cramped entrance for 45 minutes before being seated.
As a table of 6, we could order a large variety of different dishes. Carefully chosen by Louise, who is a native Cantonese speaker, these were:
“Spicy baby octopus in chilli, garlic and pickled onion dressing” @ £3.80 – this was a recommendation by Mr Noodles and was indeed one of the best dishes we had – the octopus was very soft, it was also sour and sweet from the marinated sauce with a gentle burn from the chillies.
“Salty pork and black egg congee” @ £4.20 – I love congee, and this was as good as the ones I tried in many cafes in Hong Kong.
“Pork and prawn turnip cake” @ £2.60 – this was disappointing as the texture was slightly floury and there was little pork or prawn to be seen.
“Cheung fun with crispy dough stick” @ £3.40 – I normally go for prawn cheung fun, but this was a pleasant change – I enjoyed the crunchy texture of the crispy dough stick against the delicate cheung fun skin.
Some of the fried items like “Sesame prawn roll”, “Mashed prawn in soya pastry roll” and “Octopus patty with vinaigrette” all @ £3 were competently made but were rather unexciting.
“Prawn and chives dumpling” @ £3 – I always order this dish but Phoenix Palace’s was a big let down. The skin was white and very thick and filled with little if any chives or prawns. They looked like they had come straight out of the freezer.
“Shanghai dumpling with pork” @ £2.60 - this was the most disappointing item on the table – the skin was again very thick and the dumplings were completely devoid of broth. They ought to go down as the worst Shanghai dumplings I have ever eaten.
“Noodles, beef brisket with ginger and scallions” @ £7.50 – the brisket was very tender and sweet, making for a delicious dish that went well with our choices of dim sum.
“Glutinous rice in lotus leaf” @ £3.50 – these were smaller than the ones from Royal China and with an ungenerous filling. I would not recommend this at Phoenix Palace.
“Egg tarts” @ £2.60 – I am not a huge fan of these little tarts, preferring the original Portuguese “pastel de nata”. Phoenix Palace’s version had a strong taste of eggs yolk (not custard); they were lacking in sugar and were not to my taste.
“Mini onion pancake” @ £2.60 – we were expecting small, flat pancakes and were surprised when these little morsels arrived. The pastry was crisp and delicious, and filled with fried spring onions.
“Pork and prawn dumpling” @ £2.60 – these were hard and rubbery, and tasted as if they had been sitting on the steamer for a few hours.
“Char siu pork bun” @ £2.60 – these were surprisingly light and with a delicious filling of char siu pork.
“Black sesame glutinous ball” £2.80 – the glutinous outer layer was a tad thick on these sweets although I enjoyed both the texture and nutty flavour of this dessert.
Front of house staff were unfriendly and brusque – when inquiring about our table, we were simply told to “be patient”. It baffles me why the restaurant would bother taking bookings for dim sum if these cannot be honoured.
Since my visit to Phoenix Palace I read a positive review of their a la carte menu by Mr Noodles of Eat Noodles Love Noodles which made me think that standards might be better at dinner time. I hope to try this later in the year and report back.
Cost: total bill came to £75.60 (or £12.80 per person) including £9 for tea, and 12.5% service @ £8.40.
Likes: large & spacious restaurant, good central location, some recommended dishes are spicy baby octopus in chilli, garlic and pickled onion dressing, salty pork and black egg congee and cheung fun with crispy dough stick.
Dislikes: rude service particularly front-of-house staff, not honouring bookings, slightly pricier than other venues in Bayswater or Chinatown, some dishes to avoid are the Shanghai dumplings and the pork and prawn dumplings.
Verdict: Mediocre and forgettable dim sum experience, rude staff, pricier than other similar venues. To my surprise, the place was heaving. Not recommended.
Favourite dim sum restaurant ? Mine is Phoenix Palace (on Glentworth St just off Marylebone Rd near Baker St tube). Its charms aren't immediately obvious from the slightly gaudy exterior and identikit Chinese restaurant interior design. However when it's busy and it usually is, there's a great buzz which combined with quality Cantonese cooking makes it one of my favourites.
On a recent visit, we ordered bbq pork bun (cha siu bao), beef ball dumpling (sai choi ngau), shanghai dumplings with pork (xiao long bao), bbq pork puff pastry (cha siu sao), octopus patty (mak yu beng), pork in yam croquette (wu gok), rice pasta roll with crispy dough stick (zhaliang) and from the specials menu, steamed wasabi prawn dumpling.
Being growing lads, we bulked out the order with a platter of roast belly pork & roast duck and some fried noodles with beansprouts. To finish, we ordered some egg tarts (dan taat) and cream custard buns (lai wong bao).
Highlights? The zhaliang transported me to Hong Kong - perfectly cooked cheung fun (rice pasta roll) filled with crispy (not greasy) dough stick. I don't usually care for fusion dim sum but the steamed wasabi prawn dumpling (the green ones in the photo) was different class with a real kick from the wasabi inside the dumpling. Of the desserts, the sweet dense coconutty filling of the steamed cream custard buns won us over.
We were also impressed by the quality of fried dim sum like wu gok - so much better than the greasy oily crap often served up in Chinatown. The Cantonese BBQ was spot-on too, particularly the crispy crackling on the roast belly pork (siu yuk).
UPDATE: Returned here for dinner with two mates. We kicked off with the lai tong or soup of the day (£3.50/bowl) – a consommé with chunks of carrot, mooli, and belly pork. It was a great palate cleanser, very flavoursome without being overly salty.
To follow, we ordered steamed sea bass with ginger & scallions (£24.80), and three kinds rotisserie (£13.80) consisting of siu yuk (crispy belly pork), cha siu (bbq pork) and siu aap (roast duck). These Cantonese classics were the stars of the night. My mate reckoned the sea bass was the best fish he had in years whilst the three roasts were as good as ever.
We also ordered the minced beef & garlic spring in XO sauce (£10.80), and winter melon, dry shrimp, and vermicelli hot pot (£11.80) aka dong gua har mai fensi bo. These dishes were from the chef’s selection at the back of the comprehensive menu. It is to Phoenix Palace’s credit that their entire menu is in both Chinese and English as many places hide dishes like these on their ‘Chinese-only’ menu. Nothing wrong with these dishes but sadly neither hit the same heights as the sea bass or the three roasts.
Once we ordered rice and drinks, the bill crept up to a shade under £150 including 12.5% service.
This seems expensive but bear in mind we did have two bottles of a rather excellent 2008 Sancerre Domaine Gerard Millet (£26/bottle). With a more modest drinks order, the bill would’ve dropped down to between £30 and £40 per head. This may still seem pricey to some but it was worth every penny given the overall quality
Smartiboo, 22 February 2010:
Yeah definitely. The 'three kinds rotisserie' is really tasty. I always order it for delivery to my home, and it never lets me down. You can have 'four kinds rotisserie' too. Excellent stuff.
eatlovenoodles, 22 February 2010:
Thanks, Smartiboo. For those that are wondering, the 4th rotisserie is soy braised chicken - technically not a roast !
Smartiboo, 22 February 2010:
Yeah, I think they just use the term 'rotisserie' to describe cooked dry meats (without them being soaked in gravy). I'm not 100% sure, but I always thought a true rotisserie was a revolving spit where you cook things like chicken etc. I don't think they actually use this method to cook the '4 kinds' (Soy chicken, Crispy belly pork, Roast duck, Char sui), so I guess it's just a nickname?
Hey Eatlovenoodles, I've always wondered, how do they heat up a portion of roast duck before they deliver it to you? Obviously the duck's been cooked already, so do chinese restaurants just microwave a portion before serving it to you? Or do they use one of those speed ovens like they have in Subway? Do you know by any chance?
eatlovenoodles, 26 February 2010:
Probably a microwave. if you go to Chinatown, you usually see a microwave discreetly tucked away near where the ducks and other roast meats are hanging.
Smartiboo, 27 February 2010:
One of my favourite things to do, as a part of my exercise regime, is to catch the 274 bus from Baker Street, and ride it all the way to primrose hill to go and let some steam off. There’s something very relaxing , and conveniently cathartic about Primrose Hill. It’s small enough to pop in and get some greenery, without being overwhelmingly open like say Hyde Park, for example. I come out of Baker St tube station (on the Baker St side), then turn right, then cross over at the first pedestrian crossing, then cut through the Gloucester arcade that houses a little Japanese restaurant called Nambu Tei (I must try it out sometime, it looks lovely), then hook a left out of the arcade, past Tescos, and onto the 274 bus stop which is just across the way on the other side of Gloucester Place. I’ve been doing this ritual for ages. But there was one particular day, (I can’t remember exactly when), when I was casually sauntering along the route, when I was literally bowled over by a whiffy waft of ‘Chinese smells’, seemingly coming out of the side street adjacent to Tescos. You know the smell, that irresistible classic Chinese restaurant smell, that is the same no matter where you go, or what calibre the restaurant is; the quintessential Chinese smell.
Just like those Walt Disney cartoons, whereby an odour or a smell is depicted as little whirls of white clouds by the cartoonist, here too, just next to Baker Street, I was being pencilled in by Baker Street’s own ‘Lolf Hallis’. “MMM” I thought to myself, as one of the whirls whisked me down the side street, titillating my olfactory nerves, as I followed the scent back to its origin. The aroma trail led me to a white façade of a restaurant, which was situated on the street level, right at the centre of a monolithic Art Deco block of flats. The writing on the wall said “Phoenix Palace”.
I couldn’t see much through the front window, apart from a glitzy bar on the left hand side, some very chinesey lacquered chairs and tables, shelves decked with oriental ornaments, some sort of fish tank, and a preacher’s pulpit directly facing the front door, the pulpit supposedly meant to be manned to receive the guests as they enter the restaurant. It is never manned, so just nod to the invisible preacher, upon arrival.
My first impressions of this place were “wow, look at this. Fancy that, finding a Chinese restaurant on a back street, like that”. And “wow it looks really nice inside, I bet the food is good in there”. It did look a little bit like mutton dressed up as lamb, from the outside; a bit pretentious, a bit 80’s. In fact, so 80’s was it, that I was expecting Alexis-Morrell-Carrington-Colby-Dexter-Rowan to be receiving me from behind the pulpit. Nevertheless, when I got home, I googled it, and it turned out to be hailed as one of the best Chinese restaurants in London. Apparently tonnes of Chinese families flock there on the weekends to scoff down good dim sums.
So anyway, when my father texted me one night asking me to pick a restaurant of my choice, to take me out to dinner to, I said lets go to the Phoenix Palace.
This place is absolutely HUGE. You cant judge the depth of the restaurant just from looking from the outside, because three quarters of it is tucked away behind a wall, and there’s a further two or three private banqueting rooms which are hidden away from view too. I was really really surprised when I walked in for the first time. After saying good evening to the invisible man, I veered myself towards the channel that lies between the bar on the left and the first screened private dining quarters, which is on the right. It was then that I witnessed the true extent of the dining room. In fact, when walking down this channel, it feels like you are being cast away into the sea; like the mouth of a river, or something. Two or three waiters/managers/people that look like they’re ranked above the waiters, swarmed in front of my father and I, and it felt like we were being intercepted by a shiver of shark, circling and surrounding us on all sides. I didn’t know whom to turn to, so I just tried my luck with the older looking male of the school. “Hi, table for two please”, I announced, doing a pan-American double-thumb-whammy in a vain attempt to try and inject some enthusiasm to the prospect of having dinner with my father, then simultaneously wiping the trail of saliva that had started to drool from the corners of my mouth. He just stared at me blankly (like I was the village-idiot) and then looked straight down at my calves (which were on full show because I was wearing Nike shorts). “Cantonese calves” he probably thought to himself as he began to lead us on a voyage to the other side of the room. My father, having the same physique as a beached whale, didn’t like the idea of sailing the full breadth of the dining room, and so chose to sit right in front of the counter, which is in the middle of the channel, right next to the ‘cutlery and menu trolley’, which was nice.
We opened up the menus and I made a bee line for the exotic dishes section. The menu is extensive too, its like a culinary ‘War and Peace’. They had Kangaroo on the menu. I said dad can we try a bit of Kangaroo please? And he said hop it, you’re not going to catch me eating that stuff. So I said, what about some Ostrich? And he said, “for Pete’s sake, can you just take your head out of the ground and start thinking straight?”. So then I said ‘Frog’s legs?’ , and he said “do I look green to you?” So I said, “come on man, what about some Venison? And he said “oh dear”. Okay, so we didn’t really say those things to each other, but it’s a nice way for me to illustrate to you what the contents of the “Game section” are, in their Encyclopaedia Chinaticca. Kanagaroo meat? Aren’t those supposed to be native to Australia? I’d hate to see what their version of ‘Spotted Dick’ is like.
Being an art deco building, the ceiling height of the dining room doesn’t compare to the lofty enclaves that the Victorians had crafted in their dwellings, but that doesn’t detract from the room’s vast expansiveness. Although it is so spacious inside, it still feels compact (probably due to the low ceiling height), and what this all adds up to is a lovely relaxed ambience (no matter how full up it is). You feel really comfortable in there. To put it another way, I felt right at home wearing my shorts, even though the sleek and stylish grandiosity of the décor looks a little imposing at first. It’s brill for people-watching, if you’re prone to a bit of boredom during the course of a meal.
Here are a few dishes that I have sampled at this restaurant.
1) PEKING DUCK. – If you, like me, are a newcomer to this fabulous dish, then look no further. I say ‘you, like me’, because I only discovered Peking Duck a couple of years ago when I got bored of ‘crispy duck and pancakes’. I had no idea Peking duck was basically a roast duck with a delicious crispy sugary skin that has been separated from the duck meat. Their one comes tightly knit on the plate, sliced up perfectly, with the golden brown skin resting on top. The taste is scrumptious (or as good as you can hope for in a restaurant this side of the Caucus mountain range), the maltose (or whatever equivalent they use in their recipe) is delicious, and the skin is nice and crispy. Pukka. The duck meat is chewy and tender, but well cooked and brown throughout.
2) SALT AND GARLIC SPARE RIBS. – These ones are a real winner. If you’re a fan of spare ribs and order them on autopilot whenever you visit or get a delivery from a Chinese restaurant, then you’ll really like these. The spare ribs I’ve had at various places, tend not to be too meaty, and a bit dry and papery and thin. Not these suckers. These ones have a fair bit of meat on them, but it’s the greasy juiciness that stands out here. Juicy spare ribs anyone? (more greasy than juicy, mind you).
3) DIM SUM – I’ve had the dim sum basket, which contains 9 dim sums. Nothing to write home about, and I think the dim sum at ‘Dim Sum’ are tastier. But Phoenix have a special dim sum menu (they have a few menus, might I add. So keep your eyes peeled) which is only available at certain times (weekends and lunch I think?) and I think that this is when they serve up the real Mc Coy. Herds of Chinese families who congregate there can’t be wrong can they?
4) KING PRAWN FRIED RICE – This one is great. It’s your normal fried rice fodder, but what sets this dish apart is the size and the sheer quantity of king prawns they manage to include in just one portion. Last time I counted about 10 of these suckers. And each one is about the size of ping pong ball. It’s like the Chinese Olympic ping pong team have accidentally misplaced their entire ping pong ball set in a special fried rice they once had for lunch there one day.
5) SQUID- As a starter they got ‘shredded deep fried squid’ (never had it that way before), which basically looks like Mc Donald’s chips and tastes great. They also got ‘salt and garlic deep fried squid’, which is pretty decent too. These guys no how to make a decent batter, so no worries there.
The bottom line is that if your looking for a relaxed but atmospheric place to go and have a good Chinese meal, no matter whether there’s just two of you, or ten of you, or even just one of you (last time I went there, this American business man, obviously a regular, just bowled in all casual, grabbed one of those big round family tables, setup his laptop computer to one side, with his grub on the other side, and started eating and working at the same time. The manager even joined him for a chinwag (see what I mean about relaxed?)), then the Phoenix Palace is just the place to go. There’s plenty of tables, so if you’re on a romantic date and you want an isolated table away from the crowds, then no sweat, this place is for you. If you enjoy spinning Lazy Susans round at 10,000 rpm, just for kicks, then this is the place for you. I mean, the ex-prime minister has his picture up on wall next to the bogs (along with various other famous people); so it’s got to be pretty good. But then again, maybe he was just sent there on a tip off that these guys were harbouring ‘Kangaroos of mass destruction’, somewhere back in the Phoenix pantry. Boing boing boing boing, “haro evrebrodeeeee!!!!” Boing boing boing boing.
First, the positives. As a HK native and avid foodie, my expectations are high. The dim sum menu featured the usual fare plus a couple of "specials" which were pleasing to find. The deep fried items like sesame prawn rolls and beancurd sheet rolls were good - easy to get right as deep frying is a forgiving cooking method. We also had a braised noodle dish which was beef brisket braised in soya sauce served with spring onions, ginger and cantonese style egg noodles (believe it or not, a typical HK "dai pai dong" dish which everybody loves); this was good. The beef brisket was most tender and flavoursome.
Now, a lesser positive. The chive dumplings contained very little chives and the dumpling wrapper was thick and doughy, as opposed to thin, translucent and al dente. The pulled pork and thousand year egg congee was lacking in both feature ingredients and the congee was gloppy, which was a sign of starch thickening having been used to effect the porridge like texture of congee and which was WRONG. Actually, it was cheating. Congee is made from long simmering in order to make the rice's starch granules burst thus yielding a porridge like consistency.
Second, the negatives. Both the Xiao Lung Bao (Shanghainess dumplings) and Xiu Mai were clearly bought in wholesale, frozen and steamed to order. The Xiao Lung Bao had NO BROTH inside!!! It was plain dry mushy seasoned minced pork meat. Sacrilege! The Xiu Mai were just lumps of mushy meat. Yuk. Next, the pan fried turnip pudding slices. They were mushy, had no cured meat/chinese sausage bits, shrimps nor mushroom pieces inside them. Another sacrilege.
Finally, the service.
PLEASE TEACH THE FRONT OF HOUSE STAFF ADEQUATE POLITE ENGLISH TO COMMUNICATE WITH CUSTOMERS. I cringed listening to them in both Cantonese and English.
We booked and arrived 5 minutes early, only to be told to wait (which we did for over half an hour) and when followed up, the male maitre d' bluntly said in broken English that we had to wait because we were late arriving. Totally untrue!! He also told us to "be patient" in a blunt manner. Could he not have said "please bear with us"??
All in all, I felt that the dim sum was of a good enough standard to satisfy a need but really, one had better elsewhere.
The main reason I visited here was because it was pretty much the only place in the immediate area that was open at 11am on a Sunday. I was out with a group of seven friends to support my wife and one of her colleagues having participated in a morning 10K race around Regents Park. Needless to say, she and her workmate were HUNGRY afterwards. Most of the good places I knew around there didn't open until noon. No was against dim sum, and the only person among us that had tried it was keen to go.
Going here turned out for the best. Having a huge round table with a Lazy Susan packed will a wide variety of dim sum was perfect for our varying appetites and tastes. I found the food to be yummy too. Not the best dim sum (even within walking distance) but not bad at all. A somewhat celebratory atmosphere,cheap prices, quick service, tasty and plentiful dim sum options with a space that can accommodate large groups in comfort - I would not be averse to returning to Phoenix Palace and will definitely keep it in mind for future occasions.
This place is a find, for this dimsum afficonado. After the Princess Garden disappointment of a fortnight ago, my dimsum chum Helena and I went to this place. It's in an odd area for it, you'd think, just by Baker Street station, but then again so is a branch of Royal China.
We went for the dimsum. Unlike most such places, the service was actually quite good, and the interior decoration is so OTT it's actually.... good?!?
The bill was a bit higher than usual for such fare, at 23 pounds a head, but then we had an absolute feast (no wine tho, we both drank tea, NB). The dimsum were fresh and refined, yet very tasty and well-balanced. Most of them were there, and the menu was -- if not quite Chinatown-like -- relatively broad, which allowed us to actually try a few dim-sum we'd not had before.
All in all a top place which would be perfect if it was a little bit cheaper.
A friend and I stopped by this place for supper, as we were in the area visiting another friend. I had had dinner, so was just planning to have a soup and a starter, while she had not had dinner, and was planning to order a big plate of noodles.
Initially, the place itself was very impressive, the decoration inside was amazing and service was quick and prompt. However, when it came to ordering, we were told that there was a £10 minimum charge per person… even though the restaurant was half full and this was at 8:30pm on a Tuesday night!
We then politely asked to leave, as the £10 minimum was written in font size 8 right at the bottom of the menu, and there were no warnings at the entrance bar the same small warning at the bottom of the massive billboard menu outside. To our shock, the manager came over and insisted that we pay for our chinese tea, which came up to £3.30 for the two of us, even though we only had a small cup each.
Although I am sure the food is good and the atmosphere was indeed amazing, the reluctance of the manager to allow an exception to a rule on what was clearly a very slow night was shocking, as well as the insistence to pay for tea. In addition, the prices were rather high, I would say at least a good 30% more than other good chinese restaurants in London. Dim Sum was being served at £4.80 a basket; most other good dim sum places charge between £2.50 and £3.
The best Chinese restaurant in London! I used to go here all the time when I worked in London, and always make the trip back whenever I’m in the city again. Delicious dim sum, generous portions, great value, excellent service and nice décor. What’s not to like? Go there - you won’t be disappointed!
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