First Restaurant Review: Nyonya

This is my first restaurant review on the blog. I have always wanted to try this out, and now I’ve moved to London where there are restaurants aplenty and a large possible population to go to them. A few warnings first: I can be a harsh towards eating places. It is not so much that I am picky of food, but I did not grow up going out a lot. While it is not that I do not like that others cook for me, I prefer home cooking (not necessarily my own). Secondly, family members and I have all worked in the restaurant industry, and while I love food, the experience with the business aspect of it makes me wary and also knowledgeable about what goes on behind the scenes. While I can be sympathetic to servers having been one before, I also know of servers who have gone the extra mile. I rarely have restaurants I go back to; it takes a lot for a restaurant to become my regular or favourite. Finally, this feature will not be as frequent due to this and other reasons, and since I am new at this (and harsh), bare with me. This is why this restaurant has no photo. I will also try to review more casual eateries and cafes.

2A Kensington Park Road
London W11 3BU
Tube: Notting Hill Gate
Tel 020 7243 1800

The Date & Cost: Sunday 19 Oct 2008 / £45 for 4

Food & Drink: Malay Chinese restaurant. I had the Penang Char Kway Teow (a signature dish apparently) which is wok fried rice noodles with prawns, beansprouts, egg, fish cake, soy sauce, chive and chili paste. The others had dumplings, a curry noodle dish, the beef, and another dish noodle I don’t quite remember. Two had drinks. We all had tap water too.

Setting: Probably the best thing about this place is the architecture and design. Their website has maps of the curved dining rooms on two levels. We were seated on the first floor, and it is decorated modernly with minimalistic touches. It did not look cold, and while we were there at night, it was still bright. I did like the decor and look of the place.

Service: Our waitress had a hard time understanding my choice of Penang even when I pointed to it and said the menu number. She forgot someone’s diet coke. They gave me less change than I asked for. Service in Europe is not the same as in North America so I have to have even lower expectations here now. Service was not horrific or anything to rave about. Service charge was not included in our bill so tip accordingly.

Story: This was the first real restaurant I actually ate out in England. One of my American classmates lives near by, and after some wine (from Nicolas) and cheese (we had some damn good English sheep milk cheese), we headed out for dinner around 8ish. We basically walked around and found this place decently priced considering the area and also spacious and well lit. Our other options in the area included asian fusion, pizza, and of course, pubs. The food was not that bad and we all liked it fine. My dish could have been done far worse, but was not terribly filling at £7.80. Also, while the menu has many spicy options, I am finding that spice in this country is not really spice at all.

Overall: Considering the other things in this area that we saw, this is a pretty good option. It may be a bit trendy, but food is decent considering the price range (also good for the area). I like the decor most of all though, and people who enjoy well and intriguingly decorated restaurants will enjoy the curved dining room which is a bit small, but interesting and well lit.

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