Friday, June 6, 2008

Kiasu, Bayswater

I am often in Notting Hill but not often in Bayswater. Despite it only being a stroll down Westbourne Grove the atmosphere becomes more fraught, the clientele shifts, the bars thin out. True to form, as my boyfriend and I headed down there at 9pm on Friday night a man was being questioned by police for deliberately 'bumping himself' into women... However, we had a craving for noodles and some of the best places are down here.

We were actually off to try our luck at Royal China, which I still haven't tried but along the way we spotted Kiasu. I have read a lot about it and forgot it was down here. We only wanted a quick meal so decided to save RC for a more relaxed occasion and darted into Kiasu. It was busy but there were a few tables free and we were seated immediately. The tables are very close together (my neighbour had to move her bag along as it was infringing on my seat) and very light and very noisy. I didn't like the atmosphere at all, actually.

It took a long time to order - there were plenty of staff but none came our way. Eventually we accosted someone and selected a starter of Malay chicken satay to share, one Nasi Goreng Istimewa and one beef Wat Tan Hor. The Nasi Goreng can be ordered in three different strengths and I chose the mildest. Our server said that the satay would arrive at the same time as the mains as they take a while to prepare and so we cancelled them, ordering some crackers instead. All we wanted to drink was tap water, which was no problem.

The food didn't take long. My boyfriend's noodles were soft and tasty with a thick egg white gravy, full of flavour, with a lot of tender beef and beautifully salty pak choi. The Nasi Goreng was hot. That is the overriding memory of the food as I could barely taste the flavours. I dread to think how hot the hottest one would have been. To be fair the prawns were good, and so were the satay. The fried egg was cooked perfectly. In fact, all elements that made up the meal were good but it was just too hot and that's all I can really say about it.

My boyfriend loved it and I didn't. There wasn't one particular thing just average service, average atmosphere, average food (for me).

One course: £8.50 per head

Value: 7/10

Service: 5/10

Atmosphere: 4/10

Food: 6/10

SCORE: 22/40

Kiasu, 48 Queensway, London, W2 3RY. Tel: 020 77278810.

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