The small, family-run restaurant Ekachai, situated in the heart of the revamped King’s Cross area of London is a bustling and welcoming lunch spot that’s easily one of the busiest restaurants in the area, made busier by a compact 16 tables and 50 covers altogether.
With branches in Flat Iron Square, south of the river, Wandsworth, Selfridges and its flagship restaurant in Liverpool Street, it opened its newest doors in King’s Cross in January 2018. We went down to try the street food menu and see if the dumplings really lived up to the social media hype.
In 1999, two school friends, Thomas Tjong and Sidney Tsang from Hong Kong, missed their favourite, authentic street food dishes so much that they decided to set up a South East Asian hawker food restaurant joint in London – focused on wok cooking and keen prices. It reminds you of Wagamama walking in, with a touch more authenticity; the wooden tables, bamboo down lighters set the casual tone for professionals and a creative media crowd, looking for a lunchtime hang-out.
Social media had already familiarized us with head chef Uncle Lim’s menu so we started off with the soft-shell crab in a light batter with sambal dip on the side. It was extremely well-seasoned with a welcoming kick of chilli.
Ekachai are particularly proud of their Wok Hei, translated as the breath of the wok which is central to their menu. We had to try the prawn and scallops Sui Mai, a traditional Dim Sum plate from Hong Kong. Topped with a small dollop of fish roe, it was truly moreish and delicious and the four dumplings disappeared in no time.
Onto the mains and we went for the Kai Krapow, a classic Thai dish of ground chicken with chilli, fine beans and fragrant lime leaves, holy basil. It’s traditionally eaten in Thailand with a fried egg and was deliciously spicy.
The Seafood Curry Laksa was an incredible, and large portion of noodle soup; there were mussels, prawns, calamari and tofu in a rich vermicelli noodle with curry laksa infused with the taste of coconut. Fab for dunking in the roti and definitely filling, we were left feeling more than satisfied. All washed down by a lovely light Pinot Grigio Blush, the whole meal was a complete delight.
Starters are from £4.95 and mains start from £8.95. (lunch for two came to just over £40)
Ekachai King’s Cross
62-67 York Way
Visit the Ekachai website
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