Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Alisan review Wembly Chinese dimsum restaurant - fabulous century egg and pork congee


Address: Wembley Retail Park,
London HA9 0EG
Tel: 020 8903 3888
Nearest Tube station: Wembly Park

Ratings (out of 5 *)
Price: Below £15 pp
Service charge: 12.5%
Taste: ****
Service: ***
Ambience: ***
I have heard that Alisan at Wembley serves a mean dim sum but the journey required to get there puts me off. So when one wintry snowy day I was offered a ride up to Wembley to join some friends on a dim sum feast I quickly seized the chance.

Due to poor traffic conditions it took us almost an hour and a half to get there and we were famished by the time we arrived. In our state everything tasted like manna to us! Though when our appetites have been appeased a bit, and we were in a better position to appreciate the food for what they were, we agreed that the dim sum at Alisan was a cut above the offerings of Royal China , our benchmark for acceptable dim sum.

I loved their congee something which Royal China does not even have on its menu which I have always thought to be rather strange. Isn't congee a crowd pleaser that all self respecting Cantonese restaurants should serve? I had mine with century egg and pork and am pleased to say that it was perfect, smooth with just the slightest touch of graininess for texture it was the ultimate comfort food for a cold winter day.

The usual favourites were competently executed. Xiao long bao had skins of just the right texture which with one bite yielded the delicious broth within. Cheung fan was smooth and was a delight with the fresh prawn filling. Their exotic creations were just as delightful, of which my favourite would have to be the yam croquettes with scallops. Who would have known that sweet yam paste would have worked so well with scallops? It was simply genius.

Not everything was perfect however. The cheung fun with fried dough in it was disappointing the fried dough tasting flat and of hardly anything. The beef hor fun was ordinary nothing to shout about. These were but minor glitches in an otherwise perfect meal. Now if only they have a branch in Central London!

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Mr Noodles said...

I've been meaning to come here but Wembley is a bit of a trek for me. Glad to hear the food's good but how plain is the interior? I normally couldn't give a toss but that room is far too beige!!

C K said...

@Mr Noodles,
My fault totally. Didn't bring my camera along and used my phone instead. But one thing's for sure, interior wise, Alisan is no Phoenix Palace.

Anonymous said...

I’ve just had the worst restaurant experience in my entire life! I have been to Alisan three times before and the food and service was fine. This time my husband, my 2.5 year old and I didn’t even get a chance to order the food. A waiter came to take our order. I asked what ‘Young Chow’ rice was. ‘Mixed meat’, he said rather abruptly and got very annoyed when I asked which meats exactly. Turns out there was seafood too which my husband is allergic to! He finally took our order and I asked for jasmine tea to drink. My husband was about to ask for his drink but the guys grabbed the menus and rushed off. When I said ‘Excuse me, could you please get my husband a drink’, he got very annoyed and told me that he would come back for that. Seeing the shock in my facial expression, he came back, slammed the menus back on the table and asked looking at me ‘Yes, what do you want to drink then?’, like he was doing us the biggest favour ever! At this point, my husband said he wanted to leave. I asked whether I could speak to someone else but the waiter kept smiling and saying ‘Sorry, you feel this way’. He didn’t look sorry at all and wouldn’t call anyone else. I then said we were ready to go and the guy started moving the high chair with my daughter in it! Totally bizarre! I went to the counter at the entrance and asked to speak to the manager. The gentleman there said ‘No, he is the manager’ (smiling) and then both of them escorted us out!!!
Oh my God! I am still in shock. I feel utterly humiliated. There is something definitely wrong with this guy as there is no possible explanation or justification for his behaviour.
Their chef might be good but the attitude and conduct of their front staff is disgraceful. They don't deserve their customers.

London Chow said...

It sounds really bad. We were the only ones there (well nearly) when we were there so the staff were rather attentive. That said, there's no excuse for them to behave like how they did during your meal.