Bright Courtyard Club 煌庭, London

6.10.2014

Once in a while, I would have a sudden craving for dim sum. Especially cheong fun (rice noodle roll), which is by far one of my firm favourite of dim sum dishes. But sadly living in UK, it is hard to find a place that does really good cheong fun. The best that I have had is in Hong Kong, Hop Yip Tai (合益泰小食) located in Sham Shui Po. The cheong fun were incredibly silky and smooth when they are freshly made.

I have always heard that the Chinese restaurants on Baker Street does some of the best dim sum in London. Since always going to Chinatown for dim sum, I wanted to go somewhere different this time and mostly due to laziness of living close to Baker Street. How have I not had dim sum yet on Baker Street? Bright Courtyard  was startlingly posh, different to most Chinese restaurants it was hushed but bright. A la carte menu is on a iPad, but we were here for dim sum.

Beef Cheong Fun

Persevered Eggs and Pork Congee

Turnip Crispy Puff

Scallop and Spinach Dumplings

Crabmeat Xiao Long Bao

Chicken Feet in Black Bean Sauce

Steamed Barbecue Pork Buns (Cha Siu Bao)

Without tea, the term "yum cha" wouldn't exist. It literally means drinking tea. It's a Chinese term for morning/afternoon tea, which involves drinking tea and eating dim sum dishes. I was impressed by their extensive tea menu which isn't something you get in most local Chinese restaurants. Our chosen tea for the meal was 'Tie Guan Yin' which I found it lacks the complex taste.

The beef cheong fun was good, but I found the layer of rice noodle a tad too thick. Xiao long bao could possibly be one of the best I had in London, it held their broth and the skin were thin. I liked the turnip crispy puff, it was crispy and the filling was flavoursome. Other classics such as cha siu bao, chicken feet and  scallop dumplings passed muster. Although the one relative let down was the side chopped up youtiao (Chinese fried dough stick) that came with the congee. By re-frying the youtiao, it lost its freshness and the texture becomes hard.

Dim sum like this doesn't come cheap with prices of individual dishes starting at around the £3.50 mark. Slightly more expensive than the average restaurants in Chinatown. For the quality and atmosphere it is worth it. The food is well executed and the service is friendly and pleasant. Next time I'd explore the a la carte menu.

Score Rating: 3/5
Price: Roughly £25/head including tea and service,

Bright Courtyard on Urbanspoon
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http://brightcourtyard.co.uk/

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