New Mayflower needs no introduction in my opinion – it was my first post on here back in September 2012 and I’ve been a regular diner still. Staff have changed, the punters are different, they are based in the same location but most importantly the one thing that has remained constant all this time is the awesome food. Cantonese to be exact and seriously do your taste buds a favour go down there and order some of the dishes below (Some are off menu so show your waiter/waitress the pictures!). They will love you for coating your tongue with such excellent flavours and you WILL thank me later. Also go in a group as Cantonese food is best enjoyed that way so you can order/eat a multitude of dishes.
Ordering bottles of crisp-refreshing Tsing Tao is an elemental thing when having Cantonese food.
You would ordinary get peanuts as an appetiser but ask for these little pickled onions – they are super sweet and moreish.
First up we have crab with blackbean and green pepper sauce on a bed of fresh egg noodles. It’s a mighty dish with alluring flavours from those savoury umami blackbeans against the super sweet crab. It’s fiddly getting all the flesh out but it is very rewarding to eat especially with all the sauce soaked into the noodles.
Soft shell crab with chilli and garlic. Fried to a crisp yet the flavour integrity of the crab is still intact, sweet as ever and pimped up with all that chilli and garlic. Crab on crab action is a must in my opinion – why not when it’s this good?
This plate gets attacked with ferocity every time it lands. My love for it will never diminished so I’ll include a fitting description borrowed from my original posting.. “So let me tell you about this squid dish, because I think it needs a proper mention. Pardon my Cantonese but if you’re going to order it, it goes like ‘Ging-dow-sheun-yung-je-ma-bow-choy-tung!’ Bit of a mouthful (no pun intended) but it is simply awesome. It comes in a crispy sesame/garlic batter with a sweet sticky sauce. Every mouthful is greeted with a crunch and hot, sweet, sour kick followed by the tender baby squid flesh – YUM!”
If you’re stuck just show the waiter/waitress the picture – ‘King To’ or ‘ging-dow’ from my above rough and ready Cantonese translates into the capital which is why this dish is also known as Peking Squid – Peking is the former spelling for Beijing. There’s another history lesson for you kids.
I was saying to another diner that it’s like playing Russian Roulette with these chilli’s as there’s always one that blows your head off. This time every single one was loaded and ready make your mouth numb. Needless to say stuffed chillis’ (prawn filling) with blackbeans is a must though as they are packed with tonnes of flavour.
Honey pepper eel. Seriously if eel grossed you out before I will put money on it (if I were a betting person!) that eating this will convert you. It’s crunchy, sweet, peppery and rich from that oily fish – above all it’s really addictive.
Egg yolk eel. It comes with a crispy exterior with that soft nutty egg yolk coating peppered with spring onion. Less intense and sweet like the the honey pepper variety but a well rounded and the richness of the eel still comes through.
Another off menu item of sizzling beef fillet with pickled vegetables. It comes out hissing and popping so it’s not shy of theatrics on table or off table in your mouth too as the savoury blackbean fillet against those sweet sour pickles is outrageously good.
There is nothing not to like about this hot pot of sizzling hot pot full oysters, Japanese tofu and mushrooms – enoki and shitake to be exact. Can you imagine the flavour you get from all those umami rich ingredients bubbling together? The custard like silky smooth tofu acts as a vehicle carrying heaps of flavour in every mouthful.
You’re not having desert until you eat your greens! With pea shoots as sweet as these doused with oyster sauce you wouldn’t want desert! It’s always a winner when ordered.
X rated top shelf piggy, every cube is a mouthful of pure unadulterated pork belly, braised in wine, soy and spices to butter tenderness. It’s comforting, satisfying, packed full porky deliciousness with the alluring flavour of star anise. It’s called ‘Dong-Bor-Yok’, order it, it’s that good and you will be taken into pork custody.
It’s that frogs spawn soup again otherwise known as Taro and Tapioca Pearl desert. But don’t let looks deceive you. It’s utterly delicious. It’s rich from the coconut flavour, creamy from the tapioca and the little cubes of taro gives it that earthy, nutty textural element.
When did I go? Mid Dec 2015
The damage: Expect to pay £35-£40 per head with drinks
The good: There’s not much to dislike about this place, it’s always busy, full of Chinese folk (rule of thumb for good Chinese food remember?) and above all the else the food is excellent – please give your local a wide-birth for one evening and check out some of the delights here in a group of 4-6 people so you can order more!
The bad: They sell Western Cantonese food too.
Address: 68-70 Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 6LY
Phone: 020 7734 9207