If you think China Town is THE place to go to for an authentic Chinese meal, we challenge you to visit Murger HanHan, nestled in the heart of Mayfair. Our editor, Joy Joses went along to sample the menu, and shares her review.
There’s something about strolling down Mayfair that always sees me striding even more purposefully than usual, this soon turned into a full-on gallop as fat drops of rain started pelting it down and I was relieved to see the subtle signage of Murger HanHan in a side street off the main road. I’d noticed a number of other well-known Asian food establishments in the near-by vicinity, and thought to myself, this must be the up-market China Town.
I noticed the tasteful decor, dark brown exposed brick work, dark woods and intimate seating spaces, tea-light spot-light features over each table.
I’ve always judged the authenticity of any cultural restaurant’s food by the number of citizen’s I spot eating there. It was a good sign to see that all of the other diners were Chinese, in fact I was the only one who wasn’t. I had the feeling that I was being let into a well-guarded secret.
Another plus for me was the open kitchen. There’s something reassuring about seeing my food being prepared!
The friendly assistant manager, Martin, who was also doubling up as my waiter (I found out later he also makes the cocktails) took my order and returned shortly after with my drink and starter.
In the interest of the review, I chose a couple of starters, first was the signature Murger (£6.50), which is stewed meat in crispy bread. This had a lovely heat to it. The beef and vegetables complemented each other beautifully. And the pastry was nice and firm and made a nice parcel for the filling. I was quite surprised at how much I enjoyed the Murger. I’d go back just for this alone!
I’m not really a fan of noodles so the second starter, Cold Rice noodle didn’t really rock my boat. It always seems strange to me why anyone would opt to have cold noodles. I generally preferred the warm dishes.
We were soon back on form with the BiangBiang Noodle (£10.80). I chose to have it with lamb instead of the pork that it comes with. The three toppings are tomato and egg sauce and chili oil. (Martin gave a word of warning that the chili is really hot, but I told him to bring it on.
This pasta was delicious, soft and tasty and warm. The lamb was lightly cooked and well-seasoned. This is definitely one to try. It was a very generous portion too, so you could easily forgo a starter if you’re choosing this. It didn’t disappoint on the heat front either as it was very spicy, just the way I like it. The heat was tempered by the fragrant tomatoes in the dish. An all-around great combination of flavours. Definitely a must-try.
I had to try one of these and opted for the Ox Tripe Skewers (£1.20 per skewer). My West African heritage meant that I simply had to try the tripe (stomach of the cow).
I wasn’t expecting these to be cold. But that was not a problem. While the texture was how I expected, chewy and slightly rubbery, the dish had the loveliest sauce drizzled over it. There was a hint of spice and a burst of flavour.
Grilled chicken Gyoza (£5.50)
These were melt in your mouth delicious. Little parcels of chicken that were well-seasoned and delicately spiced.
I chose their Murjito which is obviously their take on a classic Mojito. Recommended by Martin, I was not disappointed, very refreshing. It was made of Bacardi Blanco Rum, Lamb Navy Rim, hibiscus syrup, mint and lime juice. I could have had three!
If by chance you manage to still crave dessert after all this gorgeous food, a word of warning as it’s rather limited in this area with only one item – mixed Mochi Ice cream. I have to say I’m not really into ice-cream, but the unusual textures and tastes of the Mochi was very pleasant. Essentially, three balls of ice cream, mango, green tea and sesame seed, although not too sweet, enjoyable nonetheless.
This is definitely a place to round up the girls for a lovely night out eating good food or a romantic date.
8A Sackville St
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