XU, Disrepute, 26th July
When I told my ex I had been at the new place from the people by Bao, he scoffed they were turning into a chain already. Oh no no no, I chastised. This is something altogether different. Not a bao in sight (I don't think).
This place is grown up. This place takes reservations. But there is similarity in that this place is delicious.
After having stirred up our appetite around the corner at Disrepute, we were starving and dived into a couple of morsels to start before deciding on what to have for our main meal. First up, cuttlefish toast. Oh cuttlefish toast. How you make me sneer now at normal, boring prawn toast. This was served in four neat tranches with whipped cod roe on the side, and were the pHD version of your normal prawn toasts - an altogether more profound experience.
I ordered the sweet potato and miso taro dumplings with a kow choi chilli sauce after the waitress tried to coerce me into ordering something spicier in the form of eel. Sometimes I can be adventurous but sometimes I don't want to take the risk and I'm glad I stuck to my guns. My chewy dumplings were filled with minced sweet potato which gave it a meaty texture and the sauce it came with was perfectly piquant.
But all of this was forgettable compared to the Shou Pa Chicken. Will it really be 'shuper' my date asked, and I groaned. But seriously, it was. Wow. It so really, really was. One of the best chicken dishes I've ever tasted - and so much of it. We scooped out hunks of tender, moist chicken into our dishes and spooned over the light, zingy sauce, of which I could have done with much, much more to drench my rice with. It had spring onion and ginger giving it a bite, as well as some chillies, and then, throughout, a crunch from the chicken skin it had been sprinkled with. This dish will stay with me for some time.
So that was by far the star of the show, but we didn't exactly end on a damp squib either. Despite feeling pretty stuffed, we couldn't resist the sound of the condensed milk pudding with orange blossom and toffee sauce. Presented in cute little steamers with pots on the side, this was lightly stodgy, perfectly good enough to eat on its own, but even better soaking up its sauce