Meal courtesy of Shikumen
Attended and written by Luxmmi V
Shikumen is one of the many restaurants in the o2 centre on Finchley Road. Whilst the centre itself is pretty standard, Shikumen’s sophisticated and smart interior stands out. We were there on Valentine’s Day meaning it was also pretty busy, although not overwhelmingly so.
After the Shepherd’s Bush branch gained popularity, Shikumen became known for its great value dim sum. Knowing this, we ordered the Cong mushroom dumplings, chive and prawn dumplings, the char siu buns and sticky rice in lotus leaf. Although the sticky rice was slightly disappointing, the dumplings and buns lived up to expectations with great flavours and textures. The chive and prawn dumplings were especially soft and delicate. Most importantly, you really do get a lot of food for your buck. The majority of dim sum dishes are £4 for 3 pieces.
The mains didn’t disappoint either. The crispy duck and pancakes were better than most we’ve had, with the duck being carved in front of us (always a good sign). The stand out dish, however, was the grilled cauliflower. The charred cauliflower was perfectly crispy and came with black sesame and truffle sauce. The sauce initially was a bit odd. It had a weird tar-like look and consistency, with an equally unusual taste. It took some getting used to but eventually it became the best thing on the table.
The mango sorbet dessert was pretty standard and a refreshing end to the meal. Unfortunately, the great meal was marred by the fact it took almost half an hour for the bill to arrive. The staff weren’t as attentive as they could have been, but this could have been down to the Valentine’s Day rush.
Overall, the meal was tasty and well priced; if you ever find yourself in the o2 centre, definitely give Shikumen a try.