Well, this little post is rather late, isn't it? I had meant to write it up just after the New Year, but we are now nearly a quarter of the way into 2012 which means I have failed rather miserably.
I know that I've claimed quite a few times in the past that Dragon Castle was my favourite dim sum place in London, but I'm afraid that is a lie. It's actually only my second favourite, having been pushed out by a new contender. That interloper happens to be New World in Chinatown - an old stalwart which I've recently sort of 'rediscovered'.
Tripe with...stuffhar gow
Crispy roast pork belly
Roast suckling pig
The dim sum served here is more or less similar to the prawn and pork mince-based items served in most dim sum places, along with a few other specials including roast suckling pig. I was particularly excited to try the suckling pig. It proved, however, to be slightly disappointing - while the meat itself was tender and succulent, the skin (which I had looked forward to) was hardly crisp and crackly, probably a result of having sat too long in the cart.
Oh yes, the carts! Probably the main reason why New World is now top of my list - the waitstaff here trundle around with little carts stacked full of dainty dishes. The carts are brought round to your table, where you can point at the dishes that take your fancy. It makes for a much more entertaining meal, as well as negates the need for the guessing game that sometimes occurs when faced with a long list of dishes.
Other carts are filled with boiling stock and topped with nests of noodles, much like street food carts in some Asian countries. You can ask for freshly cooked noodles in soup, made right in front of you. I resisted the temptation to go for a bowl of noodles this time, but that's not to say I won't be so wise in future.
Deepfried prawn springrolls wrapped in beancurd skin
Dessert soup thing of mango juice with grapefruit and mango bits
This little bowl of soupy dessert has now become my new favourite dim sum dessert. The first time I went to New World, I asked for my usual dessert option of mango pudding - the delicious but boring choice - but was offered this because the pudding was out of stock. The cold, sweet and slightly citrusy 'soup' is light and just refreshing enough after a heavy dim sum meal, and definitely much more interesting than a mango pudding. But I still love you too, mango pudding...
1 Gerrard Street