Goldfish City is a pretty strange name for a restaurant. The name comes from the original Goldfish restaurant in Hampstead, the city version which is right near bank station has carried on the naming tradition. There are some goldfish in a tank near the entrance, but thankfully the menu itself is goldfish free. While it may not feature everyones favourite pet fish, the menu is otherwise pretty broad covering Chinese food from many different regions of China, food from other areas of Asia such as Malaysia and quite a few Anglicised, fusion takes on Chinese food.
Mocha ribs (£13) were a case in point. It was the dish of the night, and the restauarant’s speciality, but you can’t really call ribs covered in a thick, glossy sauce which tasted of chocolate and coffee typical fare in a Chinese restaurant. What you can say is that like the old fast food advertising slogan, they were “finger lickin’ good” to the extent that MTV boyfriend and I were literally licking the dark, toffee sauce from our fingers. Some of the other fusion style dishes were not quite so successful, the prawns with mango sauce were coated with a great thin and crisp tempura batter but were doused with a thick, flourescent orange mango sauce that was too sickly sweet and overwhelming. Similarly, pan fried duck breast with mango was actually a great flavour combination but the duck was unfortunately overcooked and the duck meat was a rubbery light brown which defied pleasure.
Broccoli and wild mushrooms
Much better was our starter of soft shell crab salad (£8.50). Tender pieces of crab were coated with a light batter, served with salad leaves and a sweet chilli dressing. Calamari was coated in the same batter and topped with finely diced chillis which added the perfect amount of kick to the dish. The steamed fillet of Chilean sea bass was thick and meaty with pearly, translucent flesh. I really enjoyed the texture and clean taste which was so different to the typical sea bass that is served in London’s restaurants. Vegetables of wild mushroom and broccoli with a gentle oyster sauce were vibrant and supple.
Chilean sea bass
It is early days still at Goldfish City and so the dining room complete with stained glass windows adorned with goldfish was rather empty and lacking in atmosphere on my Friday night visit. The lack of buzz was compensated for in part by the service which was excellent, in particular our waiter Denzel who looked after all the tables in his area with care and skill. Despite a few dishes that were more whacky than inspired, the general quality of the food is bound to attract more and more city diners.
Details: 46 Gresham Street, City, EC2V 7AY (Ph 020 7726 030) Tube: Bank
Gourmet Chick was a guest of Goldfish City