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A whole new world of Asian dining,London West End, Gloucester Road, London Bridge, Hampstead, Highgate, Tunbridge Wells, Nottingham

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    • More +
      22.10.2011 16:51
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      tasty oriental food

      There seems to be a plethora of pan Asian restaurants and noodle bars that mix and match oriental cuisines from Japanese and Chinese to Thai with a bit of Malaysian or Vietnamese thrown in for good measure. Wagamama seems to be the granddaddy of them all but there are a number of mini chains in London that have sprang up in the past decade or so. The Hare and Tortoise is a particolar favourite but after reading a good review I decided to go somewhere different and try Dim T when my friend and I were having a girls night out catching up over a meal.

      HOISIN IN HAMPSTEAD

      There are five Dim T restaurants in total, four of them in London with a Winchester outpost. I went to the Hampstead branch, the others being in equally leafy Highgate, the West End just off Oxford Street and one by London Bridge. They serve a good cross section of oriental style food with a slight emphasis on Chinese dim sum and teas.

      It was fairly easy to find the Hampstead branch. It's on the right hand side of Heath Street if you are heading away from the heath. Its only a couple of minutes walk from the tube station on the Edgware branch of the Northern Line. My first impressions of the restaurant were very good. It seemed quite a small narrow restaurant with dark wooden furniture and chocolate brown comfortable leather sofas. On further inspection when heading downstairs to use the toilets I found there was a lot more seating on the level below. We arrived at around 6. 30 on a Tuesday evening and the restaurant seemed fairly quiet with only two or three tables already occupied. During our meal it became busier by the time we left about an hour and a half later all the upstairs tables had been taken.

      NOODLE DOODLE

      Dim T has a fairly extensive menu and there should be something for everyone as long as you vaguely like oriental style food. I was tempted by the sound of some of the Dim Sum especially that day's special black and white prawns or the prawn, crushed peanut and coriander dim sum for £3.60 a basket but in the end we decided to share a bowl of edamame beans which cost £4. At first I though this was a tad expensive but when the bowl came out it was a pretty big bowl and between us it made a nice healthy starter.

      As a non meat eater I was spoiled for choice. Main courses are divided into noodle bar, soup noodles, salads and specials and are all priced round about he £8 mark. You can have a choice of chicken, prawn tofu and some cases salmon or steak with most of the noodle and soup noddle dishes although there is a 95 pence supplement for the steak and salmon. It took us quite a while to decide on our mains, as there was plenty of choice. I was torn between three dishes. I loved the sound of the fire cracker prawns with chilli, ginger and cashew nuts and the Malaysian butternut squash curry also sounded very tempting but in the end I plumped for the sweet coconut noddles with prawns. My friend decided to be very healthy by going for the super food stir fry with salmon. This would be an ideal choice for those on a Atkins type diet, as it does not include noddles or rice but does include loads of different vegetables and cashew nuts in a light teriyaki sauce. I was tempted by the cocktails menu at about £6 for a cocktail but decided to be good and selected a ginger lemonade at £2.65 that sounded very refreshing whilst my friend chose the mint lemonade.

      Our starter and drinks arrived fairly promptly. I was disappointed that my lemonade was fizzy, as I was looking forward to more a homemade style still lemonade but it still had a decent kick from the ginger especially when you got near the bottom. My friend's mint one was very refreshing.

      TASTY THAI

      Our main courses also arrived pretty promptly. They were substantial but not huge. Both dishes were very tasty and I could not fault the freshness and crispness of the vegetables. My sweet coconut prawn noodles consisted of a bowl of flat, quite thick in width Japanese rice noodles smothered in the most heavenly, creamy but piquant from the lemon grass Thai style coconut sauce. It was the type of sauce that had me wanting to lick the bowl just to get the last few drops of the sauce. Lovely crunchy peppers carrots and delicious green bans accompanied this dish. Perhaps a few more prawns would not have gone amiss but they were far from absent, perhaps I' m just being greedy. All in all it was a very tasty dish. My friend's super food stir fry was also pretty nice. The chunks of salmon were substantial and there were enough cashew nuts as well as veg.

      TURNING JAPANESE

      After that feast we still had room for a dessert. We did not wan to pig out too much, just a little, so chose the chocolate sukiyaki, which is basically a chocolate fondue with tropical fruit (banana, lychee and pineapple) and marshmallows (my one fall down as I know they have gelatin in which I should not really have). I think we were kidding ourselves that the fruit would cancel out the chocolate and marshmallows. This was pretty tasty with a lovely rich chocolate sauce. We also ordered a pot of tea each. I had lemon grass and honey whilst my friend had fresh mint. The honey from the tea mixed really nice when scooping the remains of the chocolate from the fondue bowl. The lemon grass tea was a nice end to a very tasty meal especially when it had brewed fully. Our meal cost us £36 for a starter, two main courses two lemonades, a dessert and two pots of tea, which was not bad value at all really. We could have saved more if we had subscribed to their mailing list beforehand as there was an offer of £1 noodles if you bought a main course saving ourselves about £8. When the bill came I was impressed also liked the long slightly coconutty fortune cookies that came with the bill rather than mints presented in the bamboo baskets dim sum came in. it just gave it that final little touch to round off a good meal

      I liked the fact that service was not included on the bill as is so common nowadays. However I had no problem with leaving a tip , as i could not fault the service. I found the service to be very friendly and helpful giving advice when needed. It was the type of service where they were interested to know if you liked a dish but they were not too obtrusive so we could enjoy our meal fairly uninterrupted.

      I really enjoyed dining at Dim T with its fresh tasty food and look forward to going back either to the Hampstread branch or trying one of the other branches.

      www.dimt.co.uk

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      • More +
        25.10.2009 17:07
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        A really nice value for money restaurant

        It is my birthday coming up and as I live in London I decided to invite some friends up and have a little day out and go to the theatre and out for a meal. When looking for places to go I wanted somewhere that has a nice view and that was also quite reasonable in price and Dim T came to mind. I had been to a different one before but not the one I am going to talk about today.

        Dim T is an asian themed restaurant with a variety of food and drinks including Thai and Chinese. The restaurants are mainly located in London although they are also also in Winchester and Milton Keynes. The one I am going to be talking about today is the one near London Bridge.

        From the outside Dim T looks really attractive. The outside is all glass so you can see all the seats inside and it also means you have a good view out when you are sat inside. We arrived slightly early but we were shown to our seats straight away which were upstairs. They had a seating area near where you come in so it looks like you could sit here if you were waiting for a table. The downstairs mainly had smaller tables and upstairs had larger tabled. We were a group of nine so we were upstairs. When we arrived there was only one other group up there so it was nice to almost have the floor to ourselves!

        Inside the restaurant is decorated really nicely. They obviously have used the Asian theme and have lots of things like incense sticks and statues. Some of the seats are cushioned as well which looked really nice. It was really well presented throughout and very clean looking. The view we had from our table was excellent. We were sat in the middle of the room but since there was no one else there we could see out to London Bridge which looks really nice at night. It had a really nice atmosphere due to this.

        The service we had was good. The waiting staff asked us what we wanted to drink soon after we sat down and then asked for our food. They were usually around if you needed them for something and they were happy to help. They asked us how we were enjoying the food as well , which I always find a nice touch. They weren't too over the top either so I think their service was a nice balance.

        There was quite a lot of choice in food but it was obviously based around Asian dishes. I think there was a good variety though to suit most people. They asked us if we wanted prawn crackers or edamame beans to begin so we got these to share between us all. They have a number of starters that are around four or five pounds which I think is quite reasonable. These are things like chicken satay and vegetable spring rolls. They all come nicely presented on a nice plate with a little dish of dipping sauce. You can also get Dim Sum, which for those of you who may not know is like little parcels with various fillings. They have these in a number of flavours that you can either choose one of or get a few and share them amongst your group. I just got the mixed vegetable ones which were really tasty. They also came in a little basket which was sweet.

        The main courses include noodle dishes, specialities (eg sweet and sour chicken), soup noodles and salads. If you get the speciality dishes it is recommended that you get a side of rice or noodles. I ordered Crispy Duck so I didn't think I would need a side as well. The crispy duck came on a large plate mainly broken up with everything you need to make it. The pancakes came in a little basket as well. I got 6 pancakes and lots of duck so it was more than enough. I only ate about half of it after eating so much before already. The other main courses that people got were also fairly large portions. If you get something like sweet and sour chicken or the crispy beef you would definitely want a side as these aren't as big portions. The main courses are very reasonable all being between 7 and 10 pounds.

        There were a few deserts including things like cheesecake and sorbet but I didn't have anything. Also offered are teas of various kinds and coffees.

        The drinks were the usual you would expect from this type of restaurant. They had wine, beers, soft drinks and some cocktails as well.

        The food overall was really nice and tasty. Everyone I was with seemed to enjoy theirs.

        Overall Dim T is a really nice value for money restaurant and if you are at the London Bridge one you also get a nice view thrown in.

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          24.08.2009 14:54
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          Cheap restaurant with great views and good food - well worth a visit

          My husband and I love eating out but since we object to paying inflated London prices, we're always on the lookout for reasonably priced restaurants with great food. We're not big drinkers but we are foodies so the food is of great importance to us! Plus, though we love cheap and cheerful joints, we've been looking for somewhere with a bit more atmosphere to take guests. Dim T's checks all the boxes of reasonable prices, good food and a nice atmosphere.

          Dim T is a chain of London restaurants - I think there are four of them - which serves vaguely Chinese-y food. Though we have tried the main courses and they are good and very filling, the speciality of Dim T's is the dim sum. In case you haven't tried these, dim sum are little parcels of steamed meat, fish or veg wrapped in a 'skin' of wheat or rice flour. They are generally served as starters at Chinese restaurants but at Dim T's the best way to have a meal is to order several baskets of dim sum and make a meal of them.

          There are several types of dim sum, our favourites being the spicy beef and the pork and prawn. But all the dim sum are tasty really and even my dad who doesn't really like dim sum enjoyed his meal when we took him. The dim sum are served three to a basket which can be problematic when it comes to sharing them out between two or four people. Still, we manage fine and it's only a minor thing. We've found it takes about 7 baskets to feed two hungry people!

          The restaurants are licensed and serve a variety of wine and spirits but since I don't know much about drinks, I can't really comment on their selection. The main courses come in quite large portions and there is often a two for one promotion on. Still, I would recommend you at least try the dim sum before deciding whether to have a main course. The desserts menu is small and not very appealing but that doesn't matter because you should just order the white chocolate cheesecake - it's heaven on earth!

          Apart from the food, Dim T attracts a young, fashionable crowd and is very popular - it's good to book in advance, especially for the London Bridge branch. The one time we didn't book we ended up waiting for half an hour! There's a nice buzz in the restaurant and the service staff are usually friendly and efficient despite being run off their feet.

          I've save the best for last - if you do decide to try Dim T's out, go to the London Bridge branch first and make sure you book a table by the window. The restaurant is right next to the Thames and has a glorious view of the Tower Bridge. A great place to take people visiting London and far cheaper than most other restaurants with a comparable view.

          As for prices - each dim sum basket costs £3.05. Last time we went there, four of us ate 15 baskets of dim sum, two starters and two desserts plus a bottle of wine and one cocktail. With a 10% tip, the bill came to £85. Bargain for central London!

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