This past weekend we went on a much needed date night and we headed into London. I still find the term ‘date night’ a bit cringe, but it was fun to get away for an evening minus the children. I’d been invited to dine at the Pan Chai restaurant in the Harrods food hall, so when we popped onto the train to head into town, we were expecting something quite fancy. I mean, it isn’t
often ever that I have eaten there. Pan Chai did not disappoint!
First of all, I liked how the restaurant was set up. It is stools that are around the corner unit of the restaurant. I thought that you might get people brushing past you as you ate, but it is set back from the main thoroughfare (plus, there are some barriers to stop that from happening). I liked seeing how the food was prepared. It makes for a fun and interesting meal when you can see how the chefs prepare the food. The team were friendly, professional and very helpful. They seated us almost immediately and were very attentive.
The menu is quite vast. I wasn’t quite sure where to start as there are several different options from sharing platters, cold sushi to warm dishes. So we did ask the serving staff for recommendations. That was such a good idea as the food we has was truly amazing. the menu is varied in price too, with some dishes or platters costing around £100, and some smaller ones more in the region of £12-£15. We started off with a Shogun sushi sharing platter which was some of the best sushi I have ever tasted. It came in a fancy wooden boat with dry ice, so that was a spectacle in itself. It included:
- Sashimi (tuna, yellowtail, salmon, tuna)
- Nigiris (incluing grilled eel, Russian caviar and snow crab)
- Salmon rolls
- Crab and seaweed salad
I think the only thing I was not 100% keen on was the grilled eel. It was, as you might imagine, a bit tougher than the other fish on the platter. But the rest was so tasty and complimented each other really well. There was a choice of chopsticks or knife and fork, which is important. I’m happy sing chopsticks but I know not everyone is, so there is no need to be put off eating somewhere like this.
We then tried a sea bass dish, which was marinated in plum juice and miso paste. Super delicate, flaky and tasty. Then we had the a rock shrimp tempura dish. They were both super tasty and it was nice to mix up some warm food with the sushi – it isn’t all just cold! Though if I was to pick, then I think I preferred the tempura over the sea bass. We finished off (we were getting rather full at this point!) and had the Harrod’s special sushi rolls. That consisted of:
- Fresh snow crab
- Avocado and spicy mayonnaise
- topped with chopped seared scallops
- orange and black caviar and spring onions
We honestly had the best evening. It was nice to be out just the two of us and I think it worked well as I could not imagine my children eating out there at all. I found that the restaurant had a surprising cosy atmosphere to say there are people walking by the whole time. We both thought that the food was delicious and would definitely want to eat there again. Going to be honest, quite a lot of the menu is quite expensive. So it wouldn’t be somewhere that we’d eat all the time. But for a date or special occasion I think it is the perfect choice. I think some of what you pay for is the atmosphere and the environment – you’re sat eating in Harrods! The food was top quality and so was the service. All in all, I would recommend Pan Chai.
Have you ever eaten here? Would be interested to hear what you think.
*we dined as guests of Pan Chai. As ever, all thoughts and opinions are my own.