I’d been searching for a really good Japanese restaurant in London for some time. Last week, we visited Pan Chai which is situated in the Food Hall at Harrods. It’s a very glamourous spot, and with tables limited to just a small number of seats, you need to get there early. It is wonderful place to sit and people watch with a glass of champagne in hand.
All of the sushi at Pan Chai is prepared on the open counter around which customers are sat. We were fortunate enough to occupy a great spot right in front of Head Chef Seong Hee Won where we could watch him at work. It really was fascinating watching him prepare the sushi and sashimi so skillfully at a tremendous speed.
We started with a delicious Tom Yum Goong soup which was utterly delicious and very, very hot and fiery. It contained mushrooms, a clam and some king prawns and plenty of thick rice noodles. We added a little miso soup to ours to temper the heat as it was really very hot indeed. We also tried the Dim Sum which were utterly delicious, in particular the prawn and lobster and coriander dumplings.
For our main course, we shared the stunning Shogun Platter which serves two people generously. It contained plenty of sashimi and included delicious slices of Otoro (fatty tuna), Hamchi (yellow tail), Maguro (tuna) and Sake (salmon). We also had a selection of nigiri, again with the tuna, yellow tail, eel and salmon and some scrumptious salmon and avocado california rolls. Our platter was freshly prepared right in front of our eyes and was absolutely sensational. It was also served with freshly grated wasabi, which was grated onto a special board on which the abrasive service made from shark skin!
There are no desserts at Pan Chai, so we left as soon as we’d finished our sushi. It is very busy, so it’s not really a place to sit and linger once yuo’ve finished eating as there are only a very limited number of places.
We thought the food was excellent at Pan Chai. The quality and freshness of the ingredients is exquisite. Lunch with a glass of champagne each will set you back at least £60, but the food is superb and without question the most authentic Japanese food I’ve had in London, making Pan Chai well worth a visit.