Aroundthis time of year, our thoughts turn to New Years Eve. With so much going on how do you choose? Drinking and dancing in a club, watching fireworks at the river, or a fancy dinner with friends? We can’t make a decision without doing a little research, so we paid a visit to pan-Asian restaurant Chino Latino to check out the menu and plans for New Year.
Hidden away within the Riverbank Park Plaza Hotel on the South Bank of the Thames, the restaurant is a sumptuously decorated venue lit in soft, warm colours. The concept here is based around sharing (yes it’s on trend), this isn’t the place for people who are protective about their food! First to arrive was the crispy duck and pancakes, a generous portion of pancakes served alongside a shredded quarter duck and mounds of spring onion, red onion, chilli and cucumber. Perhaps we’re biased, but crispy duck might just be one of the greatest dishes ever invented. Shortly afterwards our other starter arrived, the Chilean sea bass and crayfish dumplings. Gyoza-style translucent casing concealed delicious, delicately flavoured fish.
After a short break, the first main course arrived, barbecued pork ribs in a sticky, sweet oyster sauce with onion and coriander. There is no dignified way to eat ribs and appear sophisticated, so it’s best to just dive in with your fingers and not care if you get sauce all over your face. Combined with side orders of Bok choi in sesame and soy sauce and coriander and lime egg fried rice, it’s decadent comfort food in elegant surroundings. Equally as delicious was the barramundi parcel, with flaky fish in a gently flavoured sauce of lime, lemongrass and asparagus.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit, and NYE sounds like it could be even better! The number seven symbolises togetherness in Chinese culture, so what better way to welcome in 2013 than with a seven course feast. The menu has been put together to include a number of dishes again symbolic to the Chinese – duck representing married bliss, garlic representing sexual well being and coriander representing immortality. Needless to say we’ll be eating more garlic next year.
The £99-a-head meal includes four appetisers, two main courses and a dessert (book by 12th Dec and score a bottle of bubbles for just £12). Highlights include black cod poached in sweet red miso and Korean lamb cutlets with wasabi cream and cucumber.
Riverside Park Plaza Hotel, 18 Albert Embankment, SE1 7TJ