In this latest post we will look to analyse the broad spectrum of Chinese cuisine. We all have our favourites and for me personally I’m usually highly predictable when it comes to selecting my options. I mean, it took me a long time from a child with a limited palette of chicken nuggets and fish fingers to fully appreciate the wonders of what Chinese cooking really entails. I had later gathered that there is a holy trinity that forms the base of most Chinese dishes, namely – garlic, ginger and chilli. Bliss!
The mighty red rose (England rugby) were playing at Twickenham and my parter and I decided to get hold of a few tickets for us and some friends. Here’s where the fun starts, we had spent the whole of a Friday afternoon on our feet and felt like that nothing other than a Chinese meal would be sufficient to settle those amounting hunger demons. So we headed to China town (Leicester Square) and I decided that we should pick a restauant to eat at. We read no online reviews, we just picked on based on the percentage of Chinese people eating in the restaurant and we figured that we would get the most authentic representation of food based on this premise. In this case, ‘Little Four’ had 100% Chinese natives and when we stepped in it was somewhat intimidating as were not greeted with the hospitality that we have become accustomed to in the western world.
As I have already mentioned it was a Friday and the place it’s self is a relatively small expanse, although they did have another floor. We stood in the door way to the restaurant for around 15 minutes until eventually a table became available and we were seated. There was a hot plate in the middle of each table, giving the assumption that the various Chinese hot-pots available were a specialty of the restaurant. A bowl, soup spoon and a set of chopsticks were placed on the table and the option of a knife and fork was not given. The gentleman that served us ‘Steven’ was not really a pleasant chap. His whole attitude kind of gave off the impression that oozed with a certain swagger and arrogance as if to say we’re not bothered whether you eat here or not your seats will be taken.
We decided that we would go all out, 4 soups; 2x crab and sweet corn, hot and sour and wan ton and I think that it is safe to say that I was starting to understand Steven’s attitude. Good start. My companion and I felt the necessity to order roast belly pork to come with the starter. Greedy? Maybe… justified choice? Definitely ! Then like a smooth flowing river we moved on to the main as plates and bowls came and went. Sizzling beef in black pepper, garlic and chilli chicken, sweet and sour chicken accompanied with boiled rice and Singapore noodles. Without doubt every single thing that came to the table I tried and loved. It was single handedly the best Chinese food that I Have ever eaten. The beef was tender and melt in your mouth, the chicken was crisp and clean, the boiled rice was sticky and the noodles were soft and delicate and packed a punch. Before eating here I had clear picture of what I thought Chinese food was and how wrong was I ? The clarity of the flavours were astronomically good. Now I am fully on board with Steven’s attitude. I understand the arrogance and I don’t feel that unless i visit China I will get to experience Chinese food like that again.
To summarise then, ‘Little Four’ is a small, unassuming , unwelcoming restaurant with an overwhelming sense that the food speaks for itself. This will live long in my memory and I will be forever reminiscent this experience. I was completely stunned with the overall price of the meal totalling £110 for 4 people eating way more than they should have and having two or three drinks each. It will continually endure I pose the question… where do the natives eat? This is an absolute must try for any one visiting London. Out of this world good. 10/10