12 Gerrard Street
London W1D 5PR
020 7494 0870
We’ve always been going to Four Seasons at Bayswater whenever we want to have Roast Duck Cantonese style. However, we were told that the Four Seasons at Chinatown is equally good, so we went to try it a couple of months back, and indeed it was. Since then we’ve just gone to the Chinatown branch since it’s far more convenient for us than Bayswater is.
K insists that this is the best roast duck in the whole wide world. He could be right. Today we went with the same 2 friends we had dinner with at Koba. They had a long day sightseeing in London – Changing of guard, Harrods, British Museum, so we wanted to end the day nicely for them, and brought them to Four Seasons for arguably the best duck rice in the world.
We had the Convolvulus Malaysian Style, which once again, is not the kind that we’re most used to in Singapore, but was nicely cooked anyway. The vegetables still had a crunch to them. The ginger slices were quite unnecessary, and a generous dose of sambal balachan was lacking, but that would have turned it into a completely different dish altogether.
We love squid fried with salt and pepper, and the one at Four Seasons is one of the better, if not the best one available. Today’s squid was delicious, as always, but the squid pieces were slightly too big. It would have been nice having bite-sized pieces that would fit immediately into your mouth, instead of having to split each piece into more than 1 bite.
We also ordered Ma Po Tofu. One of our friends commented that it was too salty, but we felt that it went very well with the rice. Eaten by itself, it was indeed on the salty side, but I guess this dish is meant to be eaten with rice, so the rice can balance the saltiness of the tofu.
The star of the night was the Roast Duck. When it came, our friends were surprised by how large the duck was, and thought that we had ordered far too much food. However, once they started eating, they all exclaimed that the duck was indeed fantastic, and in no time at all we finished all out food. What is so fantastic about the roast duck in Four Seasons is that it’s incredibly juicy and tender. The skin is usually very crispy and the sauce is extremely yummy. Yes, the ducks they use tend to be very fat, but that makes for an even more delicious meal doesn’t it? Those who are more health conscious can just remove the fats before eating the meat, while those who truly know how to enjoy life will just enjoy the whole thing as it is.
In general, the quality of roast duck is quite high in London, as compared to what we have in Singapore. K doesn’t like the duck in Singapore at all, as it tends to be very dry. Here in London, he absolutely loves the roast duck at Four Seasons. We’ve also eaten at Goldmine in Bayswater, which is just a few shops down the road from Four Seasons, and apparently there’s some history between the chefs at both restaurants. Whatever that rivalry/friendship may be, the ducks at both those places, and the one at Chinatown, are excellent. We’ll gladly go to any for our roast duck fix. However, since the Chinatown branch is nearer to us, we’ve been going there much more this year.
A quick note about service: they are very quick to sit you when the table is ready, and to take your order. The food arrives in record time as well. The downside is that they also expect you to eat quickly and leave quickly. Even before we finished our food a plate of oranges was put on our table, signifying the end of our meal, and even before we finished that plate of oranges the bill was given to us. No sooner had we paid that they came over and cleared our table cloth from right under our noses. It was something we were used to, having eaten there for many times already, but it was hilarious to watch anyway.