There comes a time in every blogger’s life when they have to confront a harsh truth.

Their dearly held prejudices are blinkered, unreasonable and plain wrong.  So this was how I was frogged marched to a Chinatown eatery, where I previously would loudly proclaim that is where you go if you don’t know what real Cantonese food is like.  To add insult to injury, eating in some place called Orient offended my sensibilities.

Its name was trying to be different – simple and sweet.  Different from most Cantonese eateries I knew.  They didn’t go with generic Dragon, or something along those lines.  An imminently forgettable name like that would help it to fade into the abyss of generically bad Cantonese food.  I thought as the universe revolved around me, the least they could do was help me to stay on my high horse and continue to look down my nose at everything.

So from such low beginnings, the meal started.


Char siu bao, roast pork buns.  Roast pork inside, sweet bread outside.  Decent with fluffy bun outside and fairly tasty pork inside.

Bo lou bao, pineapple buns.  These pineapple buns (sugar layer on top) were rather tasty.  Crunchy top contrasting with soft bread underneath.  Set off with some roast pork inside.  A good bun.

Jia loong cheung fun, fried dough wrapped in rice noodles.  These were excellent.  Crispy fried insides soaked with sweet soya sauce wrapped in bouncy rice noodles.  I could have eaten these all day.

Har cheung fun, prawn wrapped in rice noodles.  In the same way that the kitchen got the fried dough version down pat, this continued the trend.  Juicy seafood wrapped in delicate rice noodles, smooth noodle set off with umami prawn, a delight.

Xiao loong bao, soup dumplings.  With a bit of fish egg on top, these seemed to offer much.  They delivered rather less.  The dough was sadly rather too heavy which not only upset the delicate balance of soup and minced pork inside but also led to a slightly slimy texture as the dough soaked in too much of the soup.  Best avoided.

Har gao, prawn dumpling.  Fairly average, again it was the dough that let things down.  Should have gone for something else.

Mushroom dumpling.  A bit of a weird addition, we thought to give it a try.  Here, strangely enough, the dough was of a more suitable thickness.  Or perhaps more dough just goes better with minced vegetable filling.  Alright if a bit non-traditional.

Siu mai, pork dumpling.  These were not bad if not stand out.  Think generically decent pork.  Not something to avoid but also not something to chase.

Melting custard bun.  With custard inside ready to ooze out when you bit into the fluffy bun, these were excellent.  Salty, sweet, bouncy and gooey all combined to create something greater than the sum of their parts.

Fujian fried rice.  A gloopy meal of goodness.   I liked how they kept the ingredients separate so allowing you to decide when the sauce should permeate the rice.  A generous helping with a decent amount of seafood.  Lightly fried in egg with thick sauce, this satisfied my need for something to build the base of my stomach.

Egg tart.  Smooth but weirdly not as crispy as they looked.  It not that fresh (I suspect it was standing under a heat lamp for a while).  Probably had been sitting there too long.  Similar to how I am treated at parties sometime.

Now, usually at this point of my story, I would be making fun of the name.  Orient is after all better than being another Peking Dragon, Golden Duck or Mandarin Dumpling.  Yet, I don’t think they really deserve this treatment as it is something rather better than the rest of the places in Chinatown.  A Cantonese restaurant that seems to mostly know what it is doing.



A quiet eating 8/10.


Lunch (dim sum for 1) was about GBP25 excluding drinks and service.



15 Wardour St,
London W1D 6PH

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