Located on the upper ground floor of the Crowne Plaza - The City hotel, the Chinese Cricket Club offers gourmet cuisine for both guests and the public. The décor and feel to the restaurant paid homage to both China and the England cricket team, with framed shirts and balls on some of the walls. But, as odd a combination as it may seem, the overall style was very relaxing, modern and in no way as headache inducing as Planet Hollywood.
Once seated my Fiancée and I were given the chance to sample many of the gourmet dishes on offer, whilst Jo enjoyed a lovely glass of champagne. Now, I’m not one to try new things and have been known to order the same safe dishes but tonight, however, I opened my mind and my mouth to a world of new and beautiful flavours. Up first were starters of Battered Soft Shell Crab In Chilli Mayonnaise, Club Lobster Dumplings and Prawn With Chilli and Sichuan Pepper. All three were a wonder of flavour and a pleasure to eat but my favourite was the crab, which, with the sweetness of the mayo complementing the meat and without being too spicy, was absolutely delicious.
Up next was the first of three main courses to sample: two gigantic Prawns With Chilli and Black Beans and side dish of Soy Butter Asparagus. The prawn was moist, flavoursome and a joy to eat. The asparagus somehow managed to explode with flavour upon the first bite which seemed to cleanse the pallet and refresh my taste buds. After the prawn and asparagus came the tender Dry Fried Lamb With Cumin, which, after sampling such exotic tastes as the prawn and crab, came across as the safe bet for anyone who, like me, have a tendency not to try new things; but still a nice dish. Along with the lamb cam a beautiful Beef Tenderloin With Black Pepper, Yangzhou Friend Rice and Dried Fried Sichuan Beans, which I found to have too much of an overpowering soy taste, but Jo finished them off with a look of satisfaction.
For desert we were given the delicious palette cleansing Club Coconut Custard With Mango and Lychee Coulis. A desert so nice that, even after having consumed the amount of food we’d been offered, I could have enjoyed twice over.
And with our desert bowls clear and nothing left to sample, our meal came to an end. I have to say that, with the brilliant service, wide range of gourmet Chinese dishes to suit everyone and truly delicious flavours, the Chinese Cricket Club was a pleasure to dine at.
Written by David Hart