There’s a warm welcome at Shikumen in Shepherd’s Bush, the bar and restaurant on the ground floor of the Dorsett Hotel. Translated, the word Shikumen means ‘stone warehouse gate’ and is a traditional Shanghainese architectural style, combining Western and Chinese elements.
As you enter the ‘gate’ you’re greeted by a huge airy space with lots of polished granite and dark wood, I liked the intimate private spaces alongside large tables with a Lazy Susan centrepiece to encourage sharing.
Like the architecture, East meets West in this restaurant serving modern Chinese food. Handmade dim sum and afternoon tea are popular and this year there’s a special Valentine’s Day menu.
Mr and Me arrived at about twenty past six when the restaurant was relatively empty, an hour later, the raised floor area was full.
A waitress came straight over and took our drinks order and within moments a tray of pickled vegetables arrived. Mr took a shine to the sweet and sour cabbage, and, without prompt, another plate arrived.
Shikumen is the type of place you can come and eat comfortably with friends, large groups, as a couple and not feel out of place if you’re on your own either. It’s a great space for large celebrations and isn’t too heavy on the pocket. If you’re after a budget buffet eat-as-much-as-you-can meal, you won’t find it here.
The restaurant prides itself on Peking Duck and a few special dishes like soft shell crab, braised chicken with radish and clay pot tofu with mushrooms in a black bean sauce.
We chose from the a la carte menu and began with half a Roasted Peking Duck (£26.50) – carved at the table.
The rest of the duck was ours to have with a choice of fried rice or noodles and it arrived with our other main courses. The Restaurant Manager, Alan Ho, suggested we try the skin dipped in a little icing sugar. Wrong but so right. The meat was delicious and came with homemade pancakes
and Gua Bao steamed buns,
along with the usual sliced spring onion and cucumber and there were plenty of pancakes to stuff too.
The eight pieces of seafood Dim Sum (£8.80) not only looked beautiful but tasted stunning. Filled with lobster, king prawn and king prawn and crab, they were hot and peeled away easily from the base.
Our second (and probably not needed) appetiser was another restaurant speciality, soft shell crab in almond butter egg sauce (£9.80), which was sweet and tasty, plenty for two.
The Fish section of the menu has plenty of choice and features Black Cod. All of the fish served here is fresh and so I opt for the fried scallops with Macadamia nuts (£16.50).
Again, a generous portion and the scallops were beautifully fresh, and cooked perfectly, easily enough for two to share.
Mr had the Mongolian Venison (£14.50) which was buttery, spicy and with lots of flavour, although to be fair I didn’t really get the richness of venison.
Our duck with fried noodles arrived and had that lovely just -fried wok taste, however, we struggled to finish the dish and
We had no room left for dessert.
The staff here are incredibly attentive and knew the menu well, we didn’t drink wine so couldn’t test their knowledge on the list but safe to say the staff speak good English and were fluent with the Chinese guests.
Our bill was £106.20 including water, a ginger beer and service. We ordered two dishes too much, take advice from the staff – they did warn us we might be overdoing it.
This is one of the best meals I’ve eaten near my home in a very long time. I have no hesitation in recommending Shikumen which is definitely a rival for many Queensway and Chinatown restaurants.
Parking is an issue in this built-up area, but you can park in Westfield Shopping Centre and walk across the Green. Nearest Tubes are Shepherd’s Bush on the Central Line or Shepherd’s Bush Market on the Hammersmith and City and Circle Lines.
Shikumen Shepherd’s Bush, Dorsett Hotel, 58 Shepherd’s Bush Green, London, W12 8QE. Tel: 020 8749 9978
Open: Mon to Sat: 12:00 to 23:00 & Sunday 11:30 to 23:00.
I was a guest of Shikumen.