Has it already been a year? How had she done it? She being IT Girl and it being putting up with yours truly. But we had made it to this milestone and so for our 1st anniversary together we treated ourselves to our first Michelin star dining experience at Kai of Mayfair.
Back at this year’s Taste of London, Kai was our top find of the food festival. Especially those wasabi prawns. Actually that’s why we really came here – just to eat them again. Our anniversary was merely a convenient excuse!
Surrounded by elegant and understated furnishings we were seated on the ground floor where we were excellently attended to. I had expected the staff to be stiff and formal but, on the contrary, they were friendly and chatty though always with a professional air. All of which helped as we leafed through the menu trying our damnest not to order the entire menu. Which, in a twist, was helped with the menu listing the desserts, a usual weakness of Chinese cuisine, first and gave us extra impetus to leave room for them.
We began with two starters of soft shelled crab with julienned green mango and, of course, those wasabi prawns. You don’t need me to tell you that the food was cooked perfectly. The delicate flavours of the crab came through well and weren’t drowned out by the deep-frying process. As for the king prawns, they really have to be tried to be believed. The creamy wasabi-infused mayonnaise, the light crunch of the batter, the substantial and succulent meat of each prawn – all makes up a heavenly combination. It was so tempting to order another round but we resisted.
Next up was aromatic Peking duck which, arguably is an iconic / cliched dish to be having – depending which side of the fence you’re on. Nevertheless, it was IT Girl’s first time to try out this dish and to learn the fine art of pancake folding. Her verdict – really yummy and can she have some more.
Our second main course was Chilean sea bass fillet, chopped snow leaf , topped with prawn crumb. The sea bass literally flaked away in the light broth – it was that good quality and that well cooked.
Complementing the sea bass, we also had Kai’s ‘Great Tiger of the Spice Route‘ dish. This was king prawn dish which fused Indian spices, through the curry leaves, with Asian seasoning, through the lemon and chilli dressing. The combination worked well though, honestly, if I hadn’t read the description I would be hard pressed to know that’s what they were doing.
When it came to desserts we were both struggling for space so we shared the Amedei chocolate fondant with pistachio. I’ve always had a thing for this kind of dessert with Asian cuisine and Kai’s take on it didn’t disappoint. The chocolate could’ve oozed out just a touch more but that was just a minor point. It went down a treat and we sat back elated by such fine dining until we realised our mistake … the petit fours were still to come and we couldn’t just leave them.
Compared to eating in Chinatown, dining at Kai is definitely an indulgence to be savoured. My parents would balk at paying such prices and I’m sure that my Dad would wander into the kitchen to show them how to cook the food properly. For us, it was an fine way for us to celebrate our anniversary and we will surely return to try out the dishes we missed out on like the seared diver scallop with spicy XO Sauce or the 5 hour slow cooked Oriental spiced pork belly.
PS: For those of you wondering how I dared to bring a camera to our anniversary meal I did ask IT Girl’s permission first and she graciously said yes. Thanks hun. :)