I spent the whole of Monday really looking forward to a nice relaxing evening at home, then Henry messaged asking if I was free to review Chai Wu with him. He knows I can't resist Chinese food, so naturally I said yes almost immediately, despite the fact I didn't have my camera with me, so apologies in advance for phone photos.
Chai Wu only opened last week on the fifth floor of Harrods, it was interesting to dine here as it was only last month I was dining in Harrods' basement pop-up, Stelle di Stelle.
The idea behind Chai Wu was to create a modern Chinese restaurant that will bring fine dining to the famous department store, who's usual offerings are designed for families and those just stopping to grab a bite to eat inbetween shopping for Chanel handbags. Similar to Stelle di Stelle, this is more of a destination dining experience rather than a spontaneous late lunch.
The restaurant is nestled amongst the mens sportswear, and if it wasn't for the window I was sat opposite, looking out over it all, I would never have known. The restaurant feels very separate to the store, it doesn't feel as though you're in Harrods at all until you glance out of the wooden window and spy women forcing their partners into buying clothes they don't want.
I arrived on-time, and as usual, Henry was running five minutes late from a boozy lunch. Boozy Henry arrived and we did our usual forceful high-five and loud 'HOLA/Bonjours', much to the horror of the staff. I'd already ordered a cocktail before he'd arrived, the Passionfruit Kiss, however I never got to taste it as it never arrived.
Henry ordered a cocktail and it arrived a few minutes later, so we just shared it (again, much to the horror of the staff) as mine had seemingly got lost along the way. We perused the menu and everything looked pretty amazing, but we weren't sure what to go for so asked the staff to bring us what they thought we ought to try. I'm not sure if this was a blessing or a huge mistake, as what proceeded can only be described as a very satisfactory gluttonous feast.
We started with venison puffs which reminded me very much of Hakkasan's, aka, delicious.
Then we moved on to the impressive, or as Henry called it, melodramatic, sashimi. Just look at it!
After being spoiled rotten with the incredible sashimi, we then tucked into the dim sum platter. Prawns, scallops, caviar, truffle...it was a fine dining sensation.
After the tasty seafood came cocktails (the cocktail menu is pretty good) and even more tasty seafood, this time in the form of sushi. And what sushi it was. I devoured far too many pieces and by this time was well and truly full.
But then the main courses arrived.
Duck Salad and Sea Bass. I picked at these as my belly felt as though it would burst, and also, I really really wanted to save space for dessert. I had my eye on their chocolate sphere.
At 7:50pm the waitress informed us that she needed our dessert order as they had to close at 8pm. Erm, what. A restaurant closing...at 8pm...eight. pee. em. Ok, fair enough, we ordered the chocolate sphere and finished our cocktails. The sphere arrived and dramatically the chocolate melted away before our eyes to present a moreish gigantic scoop of vanilla ice-cream. The warm chocolate melted into the ice-cream and we tucked in despite our bodies telling us desperately to stop.
Overall the staff were delightful and the food was sublime, and whilst I had entered the restaurant ravenous and ready to eat a horse, I left completely beaten and on cloud nine from such a wonderful culinary experience. If you make sure you sit facing away from the window, dining at Chai Wu is a must for those who enjoy high-quality Chinese food. We left holding our bellies and wondering, what the dickens had happened to my passionfruit cocktail?!
Find me: Twitter | Email | Facebook | Bloglovin | Pinterest | Google+ | Instagram
*We received our meal complimentary in return for Henry's journalistic talents. As always my views, and his, remain horrifyingly truthful.