Blue Pacific - London
Blue Pacific is on a pretty empty and unattractive part of the Finchley Rd near Golders Green. It's just one restaurant sitting next to a hairdresser and a lighting shop, with no other shops let alone foodie spots nearby. In short, it is not the kind of place that you would find just strolling around and certainly not the kind of place you would normally risk going into. The room inside is small (maybe 8 tables) and pretty uninspiring too. Yet on most evenings it is pretty busy which raised my eyebrows, every time I passed by (I live close) - 'it can only be busy by people actually travelling here specifically' I thought, 'which means that something good must be going on in the kitchen'.
I have since eaten here a few times and thought I'd fill you in. The menu is a bit confused, mixing the standard Chinese restaurant staples with a few eye catching traditional dishes. Avoid the crispy chilli beefs and crispy wontons (of course you chowhounders wouldn't even think of those) and head for the Pan Asian dishes dotted around the menu. The woman who runs the place is Malaysian with a passion for food.
Their Rendang is pretty damn good, thick, rich and loaded with whole spices. I also liked their Nyonya chicken curry, it was comforting and flavourful with soft boiled potatoes - kind of a child's version of a curry but in a good way. Another memorable dish is their Fried Pork with Garlic and Curry Leaves. They also do a decent Char Kway Teow and a friend told me that he enjoyed their Laksa. But what you have to try is their homemade Tofu. The skin is so thin and nutty from frying and the tofu inside is soft, silken and rich. It's a joy to eat. They have a laminated 'special menu' with the better dishes and there are quite a few dishes with the homemade tofu so take your pick. This is also one of the few Chinese restaurants outside chinatown that has a full range of Chinese vegetables including my personal favourite, Dau Miu.
This place is not going to blow you away, service is a bit awkward and there are a few duds on the menu (especially if you order the more standard cantonese dishes), but if you happen to be passing nearby then its a good one to have up your sleeve.