[London] Kym's: When you crave Chinese.

I'm not usually one to crave Chinese food in the thick of travelling a foreign land. But when golden boy Andrew Wong (responsible for the Michelin star welding A. Wong) opens up a second, more laid-back restaurant. It's best to get in line to experience this new culinary destination.

Sporting some seriously stylish interiors with subtle Chinese inflections and gorgeous design details that romanticise the orients; it's easy to see why the destination draws in the handsome crowds. Those looking for a casual date night, I would recommend cozying up to the copper-topped bar that sits below a dramatic cherry blossom tree. It's nothing short of a whimsical experience.

Casual dining is the order of the day and here, you can get your hands on A.Wong's famous roast meats in decidedly more comfy settings. It's refreshingly approachable.

Nearly all the food has a traditional inclination, but nothing quite spells it as the Cantonese Crispy Pork Belly (£16) - a labour of love that is 48 hours in the making and proves its prowess with earth shatteringly crisp crackling. 

Where greens are concerned, it's a mixed bag of more contemporary versions and quirky fusion numbers. We enjoyed the Sichuan Spiced Aubergine (£6), it's no holds barred illustration of ma la spices, very much welcome in the hawkish winter chill. A dish of lightly battered French Beans fritters is the best riff on vegetable snackage I've enjoyed in ages. It's enlivened with spirals of spring onion, red chili, and an amicable dosage of spices (13 to be exactly), quite a combination capable of keeping the mouth busy between sips of champers.

Crispy Noodles & Pork and Shrimp Bao Bao
Negatives were far and few between. But, in the name of constructive criticism, the infamous Pork and Shrimp Bao Bao (£12), an amazing Instagram fashion icon of pork and shrimp pan fried dumplings in a cast iron skillet, set by bubbling fried eggs in between crevices was a bit flat. The treat beckoning for a heavier hand of Pat Chun black vinegar and a more generous dosage of crispy chili sauce to keep the chili fiends satisfied. Then there was the simple Taiwanese Chicken Chop (£12), golden brown, plump, redolent under a blanket of curry leaves. It's a plain Jane and could do a little better in the packaging department.

While the waiters were charming and attentive at the table, the food isn't quite enough to warrant a full dining package. Visit with caution and lowered expectations. Where decor and 'wow-factor' intentions outshine the food value, it's easy to see why the menu skews towards lubrication tendencies instead of satisfying wholeheartedly.

Kym's - Chinese Restaurant
19 Bloomberg Arcade
London EC4N 8AR, UK

Operating Hours:
Mon - Sat: 12 - 3pm; 5 30 - 11pm
Sun: 12 - 6pm

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