Zheng – Legendary Malaysian Cuisine in Chelsea!
June 14, 2018
I had just finished reading Giles Coren’s rave review on Chelsea’s latest Malaysian culinary offering when a friend mentioned she’d love to go. Zheng Chelsea on Sydney Street is big on the concept of innovative cuisine which tantalize the taste buds while you feast on ‘mix and match’ dishes.
Zheng is named in honour of a Chinese admiral called Zheng He, who whilst traveling the world on seven voyages across Africa and Asia, would exchange gifts whilst sharing his knowledge and learning new things. These small actions, which of course spoke greater volumes and were essentially the beginnings of trade, impacted greatly on Malacca’s growing empire, and today, its rich melting pot of culture and history. As a result, Malaysian cuisine also saw a fusion of different styles of cooking. The art of Malaysian cooking with all of its herbs and spices, mixed with the Chinese style of wok cooking and rich sauces, plus the Indian influence of roti’s and curries, led to the emergence of unique flavours and dishes and you can experience the authenticity of these dishes at Zheng with recipes passed down through the generations.
Zheng’s interior is contemporary with clean lines, a dark colour palette punctuated with luxurious green velvet seating and pretty, yet simplistic designs on the walls. Zheng’s understated design implies this is a place for non fussy informal dining in somewhat of a swanky setting, where the food will speak for itself!
In addition to a plentiful wine and sake menu, Zheng’s small but impactful cocktail menu will definitely pack a punch. Go for the Pina Colada, Mojito or Long Island Iced Tea, or to really get those taste buds going, try the Apple Martini for the perfect aperitif before you tuck into dinner.
To start, and get a feel for Zheng’s menu, we ordered the impressive starter platter which at £12 per person is great value and also a colourful feast for the eyes and the belly! A delightful combo of nutty satay chicken skewers were served with crispy sesame prawn on toast, juicy salt and pepper squid and crunchy vegetarian spring rolls, accompanied by a seaweed salad. We possibly ate too much of this, because when our mains arrived, we were already pretty full!
Mains include Rendang Chicken, Malaysian Chicken Curry and the extra spicy Godmother Chilli Chicken – a stir fried dish with dried chilli oil and peppercorn! Not brave enough to try that particular dish even though it sounded incredible, I opted for the somewhat safer Crispy Mango Chicken – chunks of freshly fried crispy chicken, served alongside the chefs special, punchy mango sauce. My friend opted for the reliable Sweet and Sour Sesame Chicken which was equally as delicious.
If you’re a big dim sum fan, you’ll find Zheng Chelsea also offers a selection of steamed dim sum and grilled dumplings with Chinese vinegar. Also, and perfect if you’re new to Malaysian cuisine and are unsure what to order, you can go for the personalised meal surprise and the staff will surprise you with what they think you’ll enjoy!
For casual dining, top notch food, beautifully presented dishes and all based around the legendary Zheng He, for a taste of Malaysia, you should definitely head to Chelsea!
Written by Luxuria Lifestyle UK’s Ashleigh Whitfield