Monday, September 22, 2008

Fabulous floating chinese at Feng Shang

Feng Shang Princess
Prince Albert Road
Regent's Park
T: 020 74858137

After a long, tiring but fun day at nearby London Zoo, we decided to head back to a floating restaurant we had noticed on the way there. The main appeal of the Feng Shang Princess was that it floated and was a restaurant, which is definitely a cool combination. Neither of us had ever been to such a place before so the deal was done.

The restaurant is fairly opulent and was very clean and inviting. Although we were having an early dinner there were several other diners there already. The menu wasn't too large and was more expensive than your run of the mill chinese, with mains around £9.00 upwards. However, The Veggie was pleased to discover that they had an extremely good vegetarian section and she had plenty to choose from, so much so that she deviated from her usual starter of soup.

We ordered Jasmine tea for two, a good deal at £3.60 as our teapot was refilled with hot water a few times. The teaset that we were presented with was lovely, with earthware "teacups".

I ordered my usual starter of BBQ spare ribs, as I was in the mood for them. The other starters were tempting with Duck rolls, salt and pepper squid and prawn toasts being just a few of the other choices.

The Veggie had the tempting combo of the Vegetarian wrap, which was a mixture of garlic, sweetcorn, mushroom and other vegetables in a tangy sauce served with lettuce leaves. I have had the chicken version of this dish before and this was even better. The leaves are used to scoop up the filling and it was quite a light and refreshing starter although not as small as the waitress led us to believe.

My ribs were good, quite meaty and finger-burningly hot to begin with! I would have preferred a salt and pepper version and it may be they would have done that if I had asked, but no mind they were tasty and at around 9 small ribs, a well proportioned starter.

The menu had some pictures and one of them made my choice of main course very easy. The Roasted duck with mango was quite expensive at £12.00 but I decided the description of fresh mango, duck and mango sauce had to be tried. Duck can be a tricky thing to order at a chinese as all too often you are presented with limp, grey and very fatty meat. Not this time. The dish wasn't very large but as I ate it quite slowly savouring every bite it felt larger than it was. I would go so far as to say it would be worth returning to the restaurant just for this dish.

The pieces of duck, crisp skin and tender, delicious meat was laid on the plate with a slice of mango inbetween, so duck, mango, duck, mango... and was surrounded with a lovely mango sauce which was not too sweet. The slices of mango were quite firm but well flavoured and the whole dish was a perfect blend of flavours and textures. The sort of dish that you close your eyes to moan appreciatively over.

The Veggie's Mock chicken with sugar snap peas was another triumph; succulant, golden brown what I assume was tofu, pieces which had a crispy outer skin and soft innards were served with the peas and carrots. It was a dry dish, as in no sauce, but the mock chicken was gorgeous, just the right side of tasting and looking like meat. The Veggie loved it and ate every bite.

We had our dishes with egg-fried rice to share, which was brought in a covered dish so as not to lose heat. It too, was delicious.

We finished our meal by sharing a Mint Parfait. Again, unusually for a chinese, the ice cream wasn't half frozen and was presented beautifully with a chocolate wafer, strawberry and cream. A great end to a fantastic meal.

Even though we weren't seated to look over onto the river, the whole experience was great. Top-notch food, pleasant staff and surroundings. Plus our bill only came to £54.00 with service included. If you are in the area or visiting the Zoo this place is a must go!

Scores on the Doors: 9 out of 10

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