Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pearl Liang, Chinese Oriental Restaurant, Paddington Central, London

There was once a time when the title of best roast duck in London belonged to Four Seasons Restaurant in Bayswater. Their roast duck was so famous that a long queue would form outside the restaurant; late visitors can expect to wait from 1 1/2 to 2 hours for a taste of this famous duck. Since then, the duck roasting sifu from Four Seasons moved to Gold Mine (a few stores away from Four Seasons) and consequently standards at Four Seasons have dropped drastically.

During my recent visit to London, I visited neither Four Seasons nor Gold Mine, as I had found, that the 1 hour plus wait was no longer worth it. I personally have not visited Gold Mine, but during my last visit to Four Seasons (circa end 2008), the duck had disappointed on many fronts. The skin was not as crispy as it used to be and there was slightly rubbery fat under the skin. But during that visit I discovered another restaurant serving a magnificent roast duck right in the heart of Paddington going by the name of Pearl Liang.

Naturally I decided to make a second visit to Pearl Liang to reaffirm my view that Pearl Liang served currently the best roast duck in London. Of course there was a well constructed excuse that I was there for a 10k run, but make no mistake that the trip was mainly for the FOOD!

Pearl Liang is tastefully decorated in a classy, modern oriental setting. The restaurant serves dim sum and has an extensive a la carte menu with various Chinese delicacies, which I have yet to try. We were immediately taken to our seats once we stepped into the restaurant, as our fellow diners were already there. No sight of a queue at this place, but I guess they do have a larger restaurant with a bigger amount of tables; contrary to the cramped seating arrangements in Four Seasons.

Making its way first to the table was the Barbequed Roast Duck (£24 for the whole duck). The duck was as good as I remembered it. Succulent duck meat with crispy thin skin and a slight layer of fat under that just melts in your mouth. A great way to start off the meal!

Next up our dim sum arrived, in no particular order:

Cheung Fun with King Prawn (£3.20) - this was my favorite:

Cheung Fun with Fried Dough a.k.a. Cha Leung (£3.00). Yet to find a place which does this in Malaysia, if anyone knows of any good ones, please let me know!:

Scallop Dumplings (£2.80):

Prawn Dumplings (£3.00):

Pork Shu Mai (£2.80):

Steamed Ox Tripe with Ginger and Spring Onion (£2.70):

Pork Ribs in Black Bean Sauce (£2.80):

We also had Wasabi Prawn Dumpling (£2.80), Chicken Feet in Black Bean Sauce (£2.70), Pan Fried Turnip Cake (£2.70) and a Baked Seafood Rice with Abalone Oyster Sauce (£12.00) which I did not photograph as we were, well, too busy stuffing ourselves with duck. It might be an injustice to their dim sum, but the duck was by far the star of the day. And the dim sum was of pretty high quality too.

Pearl Liang has some really fantastic dim sum desserts to round up the meal. We had only 2 types as we were far to stuffed to order any more. We went with:

Steamed Sponge Cake Roll with Custard Yolk (£2.80). Although it was called Ma Lai Kou on the menu but it was nothing like the Ma Lai Kou I have eaten before. The cake was soft with a nice custard yolk filling.

Chrysanthemum Custard Bun (£2.70). The bun is steamed and then deep fried on the outside giving it a nice crispy outside layer and combined a soft, moist and sweet custard filling. Heaven in a bun for dessert lovers! Certainly looks pretty as well!

The bill for 6 persons came up to about £90 which was pretty good considering the amount of food we consumed. I shall make a point to try out the other dishes from their a la carte menu the next time I visit. All in all a great meal in good ambience. And we didn't have to wait!

Service: Good.

Price: Considering its food quality and environment, approx. £15 per person is, albeit not cheap is rather reasonable.

Location: Pearl Liang, 8 Sheldon Square, Paddington Central, London, W2 6EZ

Nearest tube: Paddington Central Station. Walk towards the high-rise glass buildings once you step out of the station. Otherwise, visit the website for more precise directions.



  1. nice n3..visit mine if free k.;D

  2. wow the food here looks so mouth-watering good, especially the roasted duck!

    and i like the look of the custard bun, so cute.. looks like little chicks!

  3. Good guest blogging by "the unc" very professional. I may have to try this place next trip to London - best visited in a big group though I suppose. Does Seremban still have the best duck in your opinion?

  4. It was the roasted duck at Four Seasons which converted me into a duck lover, a real shame that it's no longer good :-(

  5. 天下沒有走不通的路,沒有克服不了的困難,沒有打不敗的敵人。........................................

  6. chloe's daddy: thanks! Seremban's duck is good...probably the best i've had in msia but pearl liang just shades it with its crispy skin and melt in your mouth fat :)

  7. Had dinner in Pearl Liang couple of months ago .. yes, the foods were really good. and nice ambience


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