Newest Review: ... 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... more
Don't be Dim, Dine at Dim T
Dim T (London)
Member Name: duskmaiden
Dim T (London)
Advantages: good value for money, plenty of choice
Disadvantages: wish i had got voucher for special offer beforehand
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.
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.
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.
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.
Summary: tasty oriental food