Zheng started out as a Malaysian restaurant in Oxford, which gained a lot of popularity within the local community. Recently, they’ve opened up another branch here in London, named Zheng Chelsea and situated near South Kensington in Chelsea, bringing halal-friendly fusion-style Malaysian cuisine to the market.
Having grown up with an East Asian background, of course I’m inclined towards Southeast Asian cuisine. So I was thrilled when Zheng Chelsea invited me down to review their lunch menu.
We arranged for a late lunch on a Monday and we had the whole restaurant to ourselves. The interior was well-lit, featuring an elegant setting and some plush seating. As we sat down, we were served with some prawn crackers and a sweet chilli dip to munch on.
For its lunch menu, it is priced at £13.90 for one course, £16.90 for two courses, and £21.90 for three courses. ere is what we picked:
Satay Chicken Skewers
For starters, I decided to go for some Satay Chicken Skewers. I’ve always absolutely adored Satay Skewers back in Asia. It’s my favourite of all time and I look forward to it so much every summer whenever we go on a family summer holiday in Thailand, Singapore or Malaysia where there’s an abundance of Satay Skewers to savour.
The chicken here was quite well marinated and got a nice tender texture. The satay sauce was well seasoned as well with a mildly spiced and nutty touch. It did quite hit the spot in overall but just lacked a chargrilled touch to the meat in my opinion.
Hot & Sour Soup
We also had the hot & sour soup. It includes chicken and prawn in the soup but a vegetarian option is also available.
The soup carried a savoury and piquant flavour with a mild but stimulating touch of spice. I liked the thick consistency of the soup, which reminded me of of my home food.
This Roast Duck dish at Zheng Chelsea was the highlight of the meal. Initially, I was thinking the idea of roast duck screamed more Cantonese than Malaysian to me, but all of those thoughts were gone out of the window once I had a taste of it.
The duck carried this perfect ratio of fat, creating a lusciously soft and melty sensation in the mouth. It’s so easy to overcook duck and result in a dry rubbery texture. So glad that this was nothing like that! The duck offered such an umami flavour which was simply heavenly to taste.
The duck pieces were laid out neatly and served over a bed of roasted peanuts. Those peanuts were nicely salted and very crispy & crunchy. All in all, absolutely loved it!
Beef rendang is a classic Malaysian slow-cooked beef dish. Upon serving, there’s a decent swift of spice and coconut aroma. Flavour-wise, it was okay. It got quite a strong hint of curried flavour than I expected. Though slow-cooked to a shredded tender texture, we thought it tasted relatively dry.
Sagu Melaka is a traditional South East Asian dessert. It’s made with sago, coconut milk, and palm sugar syrup. It really does wonder how such a simple ingredients make such a delectable dessert.
The dessert is most typically served after a spicy meal. The coconut milk definitely helped to add a cooling touch after the mildly curried Rendang Beef.
Iced Milk Tea is a speciality around East Asian. Each country has their own take of milk tea and each I absolutely adore. And so, I ordered the Teh Tarik (Malaysian Milk Tea) to see whether Zheng can create one that’s up to par. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite live up to it. It was rather bland. It was lacking the tea strength and fragrance of Ceylon tea. The sweetness level was fine but the flavour just wasn’t there. Especially after the ice started melting, it was really tasteless.
As for the Mojito, it was sharp and tangy. It’s certainly refreshing and we both liked it. I suppose you can never go wrong with a good mix of mint, lime and syrup!
…we feel that Zheng Chelsea is a decent spot if you fancy an East Asian meal with a nice setting. We generally enjoyed the food, especially for the roast duck which we absolutely adored. Other dishes were overall nice though some weren’t particularly outstanding. Portions at Zheng Chelsea were quite decent too. Both main dishes came with a generous amount of steamed rice and salad, which definitely filled us up. It was, overall, a satisfactory meal!
All meats are halal at Zheng Chelsea.
Alcohol is present on the menu.
Nearest station: South Kensington
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