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Rémy Martin Awards

London Winners 2009

Pearl Liang, Paddington

The theory behind this classy contemporary Chinese is that a well prepared Chinese dish should appeal to more senses than just the sense of taste. Its colour should be pleasing to the eye, and there should be evenly contrasting textures and tastes within the meal – crispy and smooth, spicy and gentle, yin and yang. Its sumptuous décor – black marble bar, floor-to-ceiling bamboo poles, giant wooden abacus and purple padded thrones – gives it a fantasy-land feel. The menu is long and varied, excelling in traditional Chinese cuisine. Both manager Humphrey Lee and Chef Paul Ngo previously worked at the Mandarin Kitchen, but in Pearl Liang have created a unique Chinese restaurant.
Pearl Liang Pearl Liang, click to enlarge

Ristorante Semplice Ristorante Semplice, click to enlarge
Barrafina Ristorante Semplice, click to enlarge

Ristorante Semplice,

This sumptuous osteria is co-owned by chef Marco Torri and manager Giovanni Baldino with business partner Marino Alberto. In the past, Torri has worked at The Halkin Hotel, Locanda Locatelli and Stefano Cavallini. Inside the luxuriously decorated interior, with golden walls and leather chairs, the focus is on simple Italian ingredients that stand out from the crowd – free-range rabbit, cheeses flown in daily from Caserta, Sarawak pepper and home-made egg pasta. Dishes that have gained high praise are the octopus starter and the main course risotto of clams and cime de rapa. The restaurant also boasts an impressive all-Italian wine list served.


Texture is the brainchild of chef Agnar Sverrisson and master sommelier Xavier Rousset. Sverrisson, originally from Iceland met Rousset, a former head sommelier at Hotel du Vin, whilst they were both working under Raymond Blanc at La Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons. Thanks to their combined expertise, they have created a restaurant where light healthy food and exquisite wines are accorded equal importance. The cuisine is modern European and, as the name suggests, focuses on combining and emphasising different consistencies. Signature dishes include Icelandic lamb with broth, barley and root vegetables, and chargrilled Anjou pigeon with sweetcorn, shallot, bacon popcorn and red wine essence.
Texture Texture, click to enlarge Texture Texture, click to enlarge
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