Goldfish City offers the chance to have classic, tried and tested chinese dishes.
If you’re feeling adventurous you can also try some unique (and incredibly tasty) modern dishes.
Disclosure: I was asked to review Goldfish City for this blog. The staff knew I was a reviewer and I did not have to pay for my meal.
Address: 46 Gresham Street, Bank, London, EC2V 7AY.
Tel: 0207 726 0308.
I was asked to review the restaurant as it has only recently (June) opened. It is the sister restaurant to the Goldfish in Hampstead, and shares a similar menu. In fact, Goldfish City in Bank is slowly adopting all of the dishes from Goldfish in Hampstead, and should have a full compliment of them in the next few weeks.
The decor is chinese-styled but relatively minimalist, putting the focus firmly on the food. The maître d’, Denzel, greeted us at the door and he and the waiting staff looked after us attentively for the rest of the evening. Denzel was a great host, talking us through the dishes and making very welcome suggestions.
It’s worth noting that we were eating on a Friday evening outside of the peak business hours for the restaurant, which mainly caters to city workers and their clients during the week. The lunch time menu packs the restaurant, with the bento boxes proving especially popular at £8. We sampled some Dim Sum from the lunch menu, which were very tasty and I’d like to try again.
Appetizers and soup.
After consultation with Denzel, we had wok-grilled pork ribs in smoked barbecued sauce with sesame seeds, chef’s special pumpkin broth, & prawn won ton and vegetable soup.
Wok-grilled pork ribs (£5.50) are a Chinese classic and did not disappoint. The meat was succulent and fell form the bone, but even better was the barbecued sauce, which was enjoyably sticky and very moreish.
Next, to clean our palate a little, we had soups.
The prawn won ton and vegetables mushroom soup (£5.50) was light and delicate and ‘woke me up’ ready for the meal ahead. The prawn won ton is worth mentioning as it was just at the perfect point between being ‘crunchy’ and ‘chewy’.
The chef’s special pumpkin broth (£5) was sweet and had a great texture, quite viscous with sparing chunks of vegetables to provide a pleasing texture. This soup is apparently very popular as a healthy lunch option, and I can see if being even more popular during autumn and winter.
The main event.
Following a short digestion break our mains arrived:
- pan fried duck breast with mango and garden greens served in lime, orange dressing (£8.50)
- wok fried sliced beef with bell pepper, onions in black pepper sauce (£10.50)
- the very special mocha ribs (£13)
- and surprisingly tasty green fry rice with eggs and yuzu juice (£5).
Let’s kick off with the mocha ribs. These are deep fried spare ribs in chocolate and coffee sauce, sprinkled with almond flakes. They are like nothing I’ve eaten before. And they are delicious. They are incredibly rich and not for people who don’t like strong flavours, but if (like me) you enjoy a unique and lip smacking mouthful of food then you’ll share my joy at a dish like this. The almonds are a perfect accompaniment to the meat and eaten at the same time you’ll be left with an experience unlike most others in a Chinese (or any other style, for that matter) restaurant.
The mocha ribs are so rich that they could easily overpower the other dishes on the table, so are best eaten on their own followed by a short gap before moving on to your remaining dishes.
The pan fried duck breast was very tender and just a little pink (a good thing for me), and well matched with the fruit and sauce (the slices were thick and I’d suggest cutting them on the plate before taking to your bowl in order to avoid finding your mouth too full of duck).
The wok fried sliced beef was a very warming, very ‘familiar’ and comforting dish. I loved the seasoning, which gave it a little heat without ever becoming ‘hot’. The vegetables added to the dish and still had a little bite in them; all too often it’s possible to feel that vegetables are almost an afterthought, but here they provided greater depth to the flavours on the plate.
The beef itself was delicious and went especially well with the green fried rice with eggs and yuzu juice (yuzu juice, I am reliably informed by Denzel, has a taste similar to lime juice, and comes from the Yuzu fruit which is similar in size to a melon and can be bought from Chinese supermarkets).
We had a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc Carmenere, which was new to the restaurant that week (approx. £20). It smells fragrant, with hints of honey and melons, leading you to believe that it is very sweet; however, the taste is more complex than this, with a hint of dryness. It was very easy to drink and served to calm down our taste buds after some of the richer dishes.
We had a great night and left the restaurant full, talking about our dishes, and happy. A good way to finish your evening I’m sure you’ll agree! At the time at which we ate the restaurant was quiet and so lacking a little in atmosphere, however this was more than made up for by Denzel’s hosting and actually became a strength in that it allowed the food to take centre stage. Since lots of the dishes were modern takes on Chinese dishes we often find ourselves with new tastes to discuss that, due to the relaxed environment, we were able to discuss them and enjoy them. If you went as a couple for dinner, had 2-3 appetizers, 2 mains and a bottle of wine then you could expect to pay £40-50, which (given the excellent quality of the food and the hosting) makes this a worth while treat for anyone who enjoys their food.
We ate a on the ground floor but took a look at the lower floor, with it’s bar seating and Dim Sum trolley, and could see that it would be a vibrant place to take a client for lunch (although it’s worth noting that the Karaoke has yet to take off at the restaurant). If you were to go earlier during the week, especially at lunch time, you could expect to find a buzzing restaurant with two floors full of city-folk eating Dim Sum, bento meals and noodles.
Goldfish City was a great place to go eat, think about and discuss exciting and tasty Chinese food. Denzel was a great guide and the waiting staff were attentive without being intrusive. I’m already planning a trip up the road to sample the lunch time menu at the Hampstead Heath Goldfish and can’t wait to have a go at some of the soups and sauces for theboycancook.com.
And finally . . .
If you do go (and I thoroughly recommend it) then other dishes recommended by Denzel are:
- chef’s signature steamed seabass with minced ginger, spring onions in light soya sauce
- Wasabi prawn (deep fried prawn tossed in avocado dressing with tobiko)
- Crispy prawn with passion fruit mayo.