Le Chinois is an upscale Cantonese restaurant in the prestigious Millennium Hotel Knightsbridge, headed up by Executive Chef Anthony Kong. Located at the heart of the fashion designed Mecca of Sloane Street, the restaurant appeals to both hotel guests and discerning shoppers alike.
The bar and dining room decor walk a fine line between modern and classic. Just up the whitewashed stairs from the lobby, this open and tranquil space feels a bit like being in an atrium, with its spectacular soaring glass ceiling providing the perfect glimpse of the last rays of the summer sun.
When you peruse the sophisticated new sharing menu, it’s easy to see how Anthony Kong and his team have earned Le Chinois its two AA rosettes. The menu embraces both modern and traditional dishes including delights such as soft shell crab tossed with fluffy egg yolk, Mapo tofu, black cod with a champagne sauce, a deluxe dimsum platter and barbecued char siu pork.
We opened the meal with a delicate steamed scallop displayed proudly on a bed of vermicelli with a Shaoxing broth that was an utter coup. There really is something very special about prising an enormous scallop from its shell. We followed the scallops with intensely savoury squid tossed with peppercorns and adorned with chillies and garlic shards - an ideal starter to whet the appetite.
You know you’re dealing with a refined menu when you see wagyu beef rear its head, and when it arrives sizzling in ginger and spring onion, we knew it was going to melt in our mouths. Paired with the ubiquitous Sichuan dry-fried green beans with minced chicken (the only way I ever want to eat beans again) and steamed jasmine rice, we had all we required for the perfect meal. Upon recommendation we also tried the prawns with Singaporean chilli sauce, which were wonderfully fresh and plump but the sauce needed a tad more oomph.
For a wonderfully refreshing endnote, we tucked into the sago with fresh diced mango, a delicious silky tapioca pudding of sorts that we adored. We also couldn’t resist a portion of good old-fashioned banana fritters.
The Spanish Pez Rio Macabeo Sauvignon Blanc is very reasonable at £25 a bottle and its fresh acidic apple and pineapple notes complimented the seafood but still cut through the richness of our main course. The range of wines and spirits on offer is vast, ensuring it caters for all moods, tastes and occasions.
Le Chinois is no doubt accustomed to some well-heeled clientele, yet it manages to emanate a casual and welcoming ambience with resident guests popping down for a bowl of noodles alongside guests celebrating with more lavish dishes such as lobster and Peking duck.
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