There’s something rather unbeatable about the combination of sushi and shopping, especially when both happen to take place in the hallowed grounds of Harrods…
Although I’ve often passed by Pan Chai, it’s almost always been in the midst of a frenzied afternoon running errands in the department store’s gargantuan Food Hall.
Going by the throng crammed elbow-to-elbow around the sleek counter-style restaurant, it was clear that I needed to park myself down at some point rather than just whizzing past! So a recent bout of window-shopping later, my friend Shivani and I did just that, setting upon our evening with a round of lusciously sweet mango bellinis as we scanned the all-too-extensive Pan-Asian menu.
Harrods’ signature special seemed an obvious choice to start with – a snow crab and avocado roll topped with chopped seared scallops, spring onions, spicy mayonnaise and a delicate dollop of orange and black caviar for a touch of decadence… In Shivani’s words, it was quite special indeed, substantial and remarkably well-executed.
The Black Dragon roll (tiger prawn tempura, cucumber and avocado roll with more caviar and unagi sauce) was relatively bland in comparison, failing to deliver on its promised potential. While I’d say that my veggie roll (avocado and cucumber) was just par for the course…
Our mains on the other hand, were simply masterful.
Shivani opted for a grilled Chilean sea bass, marinated in plum juice and miso paste. It was both light and rich at the same time, its tender texture bringing out the pops of sweet and buttery flavours… she simply couldn’t get enough of it, declaring it on par with its famous counterparts at Nobu and Roka.
Meanwhile, the deep-fried tofu “steak” was a star dish for me – lightly crisp and crunchy on the outside, all soft and creamy within. It was paired perfectly with plumptious stems of asparagus and a generous drizzle of teriyaki sauce for a sweet finish.
Sadly there were no desserts on the menu, but this was just as well given the tantalising array of treats beckoning from each corner of the Food Hall! It also gave us the extra room we needed to spring for the “matcha”-flavoured soba noodles. Although more sweet than bittersweet (the astringent flavours of the green tea powder could have been a bit more pronounced), the dish was hearty, wholesome and apt for sharing on a cold wintry evening…
It was a fabulous evening from start to finish, but then again one would expect nothing less of supper at Harrods!
Pan Chai, Harrods, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL