Kai Restaurant Review, London

Finally a double date happened after months of planning and cancelling, this time for some posh Chinese cuisine at the 1 Michelin Star, Kai Restaurant in Mayfair.

The restaurant is on a quiet street and a bit of a walk from Green Park Station. The restaurant from the outside looks more like an art gallery or something beauty related, as you’re greeted with this large framed image of a ladies face, very arty indeed.

Kai Restaurant Mayfair
Kai Restaurant Mayfair

My fiancé and I were the first to arrive, and were greeted by a lovely lady at the door who checked us in, took our coats and even complimented the colour of my handbag, which is always nice. Kai is a two floor restaurant, with the bar on the main floor; we were taken downstairs to our table. The restaurant is small, therefore an advance booking is needed, the interior is white and brown, and I really liked the Buddha statue that you see when coming down the stairs.

Kai Restaurant Upstairs
Kai Restaurant Upstairs
Inside Kai Resturant
Inside Kai Resturant

Whilst waiting for the other couple I had a quick glance at the menu and liked the fact that there was a separate vegetarian section, which was perfect as the other couple are both vegetarians. Unlike many Chinese restaurants that have full-on menus, Kai has a few dishes in each section, making your choice easier. My fiancé started the night by having some Jasmine tea.

Jasmine Tea
Jasmine Tea

Next we had to decide on the wine which took a while due to the exhaustive list, followed by ordering some starters. The vegetarians opted for:  ‘Wasabi Chai’ (£17) which are bean curd rolls with a mild wasabi mayonnaise with cubes of sweet mango and basil seed.  And some Aromatic Crispy Bean-curd (£25) made with layered paper thin bean-curd sheets served with soft pancakes.

Wasabi Chai
Wasabi Chai

My fiancé and I opted for the ‘Soft-Shelled Crab’ (£14) with chilli, shallots spiced batter and green mango. And ‘A Nest of Imperial Jewels’ (£13) which is chopped prawns, mustard greens, on lettuce wraps. Both dishes although small in quantity were delicious; you could actually taste the sea freshness from the crab. However the vegetarian quantity seemed more therefore I got to try some of the wasabi chai, which was tasty, and the wasabi wasn’t overpowering at all, complementing the bean-curd very well.

Soft-Shelled Crab
Soft-Shelled Crab
A Nest of Imperial Jewels
A Nest of Imperial Jewels

Onto the mains: I have no clue what the vegetarians chose (could be due to the amount of wine we drank or the fact I actually forgot to take pictures) either way they both they seemed to have enjoyed there dishes. I opted for the ‘Chicken Cashew Nuts’ (£ 18) which was corn-fed chicken, dried chillies, spring onions, cashew nuts, seaweed in a dark soya sauce and my fiancé went for the ‘Lamb with Szechuan Peppercorn’ (£24) topped with crispy rice vermicelli noodles.  The chicken was the favourite from the two dishes, the Lamb I felt didn’t feel like a main dish, but more of a starter, however the chicken especially the sauce that it was cooked in was delicious, this also went well with the egg fried rice.

Chicken Cashew Nuts
Chicken Cashew Nuts
Lamb with Szechuan Peppercorn
Lamb with Szechuan Peppercorn
Egg Fried Rice
Egg Fried Rice

After some great conversation and also ganging up on my fiancé (sorry) our evening came to an end, as we didn’t want anything from the dessert menu, but were given a few small bites to end the evening, the coconut bites were fab, and tasted just like the Indian sweet dish topra pak.

Mini Desserts
Mini Desserts

Kai in Mayfair is a nice posh restaurant, perfect for a cosy dinner but it is very pricey, bearing in mind you are paying for the Michelin star. Although the food was great I doubt I would make a second trip, I definitely prefer Hakkasan, where I’d be happy to go again.

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