Princess Garden of Mayfair, just off Oxford Street, has been around since 1983 and over the years I have been a number of times without it really making any sort of impression on me, good or bad. Following a recent recommendation from a friend, and noticing that it has a 5-star rating from Timeout, I figured it was time to give it another try especially given its convenient location close to the hotel of visiting friends who had expressed a preference for Chinese food.
The dining room at Princess Garden is certainly an upgrade on the eating spaces at restaurants in the two Chinese food hotspots in London – Queensway and Chinatown. As is the service. This is most definitely an upscale Chinese eatery.
We started with Aromatic Crispy Duck that was wrapped in pancakes for us. Each pancake was stuffed with far too much meat, the proportions of duck, cucumber, scallions and hoisin sauce completely wrong – inexcusable really.
The rest of the dishes then arrived altogether. Lobster Noodles with Ginger & Spring Onions was a below average rendition. Pan Fried Minced Pork with Salted Fish was nothing special. The vegetable dish of Garlic Pea Sprouts lacked flavour. The only dish of note was the Beancurd (Tofu) with Enoki & Conpoy/Dried Scallops – excellent, silky smooth, deep fried Japanese (egg) tofu in a tasty sauce. I should add that most of the items we ordered were recommended by our waiter so no question of our experience being tempered by a poor choice of dishes.
Dessert of Oriental Pancakes was again very ordinary – the pastry not very good, the balance between crust and red-bean filling, not quite right.
In a nutshell…
A useful location, and décor and ambience streets ahead of most of the establishments in Queensway (save possibly for Royal China) and Chinatown makes it, perhaps, a more respectable venue for entertaining guests. The quality of the food, however, leaves much to be desired.
Princess Garden of Mayfair
8-10 North Audley Street, London, W1K 6ZD
Average Price: £30-£40