London - Spice Market @ W Hotel
I walked into Spice Market expecting something special - heard that it's owned by NY superchef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, whose Vong outlets took the world by storm back in the 90s. My first experience with Vong was when its HK outlet opened atop the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Its Thai-French fusion cuisine was absolutely gorgeous then.
Sadly, no such luck with Spice Market here. What I had:
- Crab dumplings with sugar snap peas & aromatic spices. The measly amount of crabmeat weren't terribly prominent under the wanton wrappers, nor fresh/assertive enough in taste;
- Spiced chicken samosas with yoghurt-coriander dip - a dumbed-down version of what you'd get in most Indian restaurants here. Again, pretty underwhelming;
- "Nyonya' Laksa with tiger prawns, scallop and seafood. This bore NO resemblance to any type of laksa known to South-East Asia and, the disappointing thing is, it didn't even taste good - there is a rather disagreeable taste/scent about the spice mix used. Pity really - the tiger prawns were huge and fresh here, and so was the scallop. But as a whole, I wouldn't recommend this dish at all - just stick to places like Sedap or Rasa Sayang if you want Nyonya chow.
The complimentary pappadums served at the beginning turned out to be the only thing I enjoyed at Spice Market - they were ultra-light & crispy, and comes with a fragrant Indian-spice dip.
What a pity, this place could have been nice, with such a central location - where Swiss Centre used to be. Gad, I think even Movenpick's Marche, which used to stand near this spot, offered better fare at a fraction of the price!
10 Wardour St, London, England W1D 6, United Kingdom