Dining Out 3 minutes 10 May 2024

A. Wong: The Inspectors' View On a Chinese Restaurant Like No Other

Join a Michelin Inspector as they visit Andrew Wong’s restaurant, a unique experience in the London dining scene

One hundred: a full century. That’s how many ingredients you will taste over the course of a meal at A. Wong. You’re told this information as part of the service team’s opening explanation of the dining experience you’re about to embark on. It is an experience unlike any other in the UK, bringing a version of Chinese food to London’s diners that they have never seen before.


When our Michelin Inspectors visited Andrew Wong's eponymous Two Michelin Star restaurant, they enjoyed the ‘Collections of China’ tasting menu, which is the only option available if you visit for dinner, as our Inspectors did. At lunch, you will be served the ‘Touch of the Heart’ dim sum selection, or you can choose from the dim sum à la carte. Here, one of our Inspectors explains how their meal began.

"On arriving, my fellow Michelin Inspector and I were greeted and shown to our table, before receiving an explanation of what we were about to experience. We were informed that not only would we taste 100 different ingredients, but that there would be around 30 different dishes and that all 14 of China’s international borders would have an influence on the cooking. The aroma of all those many ingredients wafted out from the open kitchen, but our surroundings were soon forgotten as my focus turned to the truly special cooking."

One of Andrew Wong's exquisite creations
One of Andrew Wong's exquisite creations

The Team

Andrew Wong is very much the leader of this wonderful restaurant, but for the experience as a whole to run as smoothly as it does, he needs a brilliant team around him. That’s exactly what our Inspector found during their visit.

“As lengthy tasting menu experiences go, this one flew by – which is a testament to both the kitchen and front of house teams. Our visit lasted a little under 3 hours, which might seem a while for your dinner, but with the amount of food served we were never waiting for long between courses. The chefs deserve praise for the careful pacing of the dishes, while the service team kept the experience engaging from beginning to end and executed the meal’s theatrical touches with aplomb.

“As each course was delivered, our waiter explained the order in which to eat each dish. This was key to the success of the selections, ensuring that the more subtle flavours were enjoyed first so that they weren’t competing with the more intense dishes.”

The dining room at A. Wong
The dining room at A. Wong

The Cooking

What was evident to the Inspectors in this meal was that among Andrew Wong’s greatest strengths – and he has many – is the sheer level of detail he puts into his dishes. Each one was not just cooked, but crafted – as one of our Inspectors explains.

“The chrysanthemum tofu was a prime example of Andrew’s eye for detail. The knife skills on display were tremendous, with the bean curd having been cut to fan out like a delicate flower, submerged in a broth. Coriander purée added an extra layer to this dish, exemplifying how Andrew’s cooking does not sacrifice depth, balance or intensity of flavour just to make things look pretty. The dishes at A. Wong were a lesson in how detail is not the same as fussiness, in how to create beautiful food that doesn’t lose sight of its central purpose.”

The 'chrystanthemum tofu' at A. Wong
The 'chrystanthemum tofu' at A. Wong

The Dishes Tasted

You may recall that our Inspectors were told they would sample around 30 different dishes during their visit to A. Wong. These came in the form of six multi-dish servings, each one with a unifying theme: ‘The Banquet’, ‘Dim Sum’, ‘Fish’, ‘Snacks’, ‘Five Flavours’ and ‘Fruits’ to finish. A consistent level of skill ran throughout these courses, but these are one of our Inspector’s favourites.

The Banquet
“The first food to arrive at our table was called ‘The Banquet’; that the first course alone has this name is a sure-fire sign that you will be trying a spectacular number of creations here. Eight dishes arrived in total, setting out stall for the evening with their impressive presentation and elaborate construction. They were an early indication, too, of Andrew’s skilled judgement of flavour. Whether it was the intensity provided by trout roe, garlic vinegar and chilli with the ‘smacked’ cucumber, or the refreshing kick of wasabi with the French beans, a great command of spice and balance was firmly on show.”

Dim Sum
“This was my favourite course of the meal, which bodes well for a lunchtime visit. For me, the xiao long bao and a modern interpretation of Peking duck were particularly impressive. The former was a superb rendition of a time-honoured dish; the thickness of the dough was just right, the cooking spot-on, the broth warming and the meat tender. A few mustard seeds and ginger-infused vinegar brought an extra dimension to the flavours.”

A selection of dishes served at A. Wong
A selection of dishes served at A. Wong


Beyond the delicious dishes and sheer scale of its impressive offering, what makes A. Wong stand out is that it brings something different to the diverse and fascinating London dining scene. As our Inspector explains, Chinese food in Britain has never really been given this kind of hyper-detailed attention before.

“As Michelin Inspectors, we have observed first-hand during our travels in China the many varieties and regional specificities that make Chinese cuisine so thrilling; in the UK, these have often been sidelined in favour of household-name dishes. A. Wong feels like the perfect antidote to this. We Inspectors have had the privilege of trying a broader range of cuisines and restaurant styles than most people will ever have the chance to. We’ve eaten thousands of meals in our lifetimes, so finding a restaurant that feels truly different is such an exciting prospect. A. Wong delivers that in spades.”

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