"Overpriced"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
Ever since I was a child this curious floating venue has fascinated me. I didn’t know what it was, but its red exterior and colourful lanterns made for a vivid image which ingrained itself in my memory whilst I lived abroad for ten years. On my return I discovered it was a Chinese restaurant, and years later both the foodie and the child in me wished to dine here.
We were ushered downstairs to a table by a window but being a rainy, dark evening, any hopes of being able to have dinner whilst observing the pretty boats on the water outside were dashed. The combination of the flooring, the bar along one side of the room, and the beige colour scheme with ornate Oriental features thrown in for good measure reminded me of a hotel lobby. Perhaps they’re trying to move away from their tourist customer base and towards a more corporate one.
The menu had a considerable variety of dishes, but nothing spectacular. It comprised all the Chinese take away favourites: spring rolls, pork or chicken sweet & sour and noodle dishes; nothing seemed to jump out of the page.
As a starter we opted for the Feng Shang Platter for two, which at £18 was bound to have good sized portions of everything. When it arrived I was a little disheartened to see a plate with two mini spring rolls, two sesame prawn toasts, a small portion of shredded chilli chicken, and some pieces of cucumber. Expensive, however I have to admit it was all rather tasty, in particular the sesame prawn toasts which were practically jumbo prawns coated in sesame seeds and breadcrumbs.
For the main we chose the venison, which was fried and served in a sweet and sour sauce. This was passable, however the method of cooking and the heavy sauce meant that we may as well have been eating pork. Unremarkable.
We washed down our meal with a pot of sake which at £6 was the best value out of everything we consumed. After glancing at the dessert menu which consisted only of ice cream we decided we better get out of there before spending any more money.
I am pleased I fulfilled my childhood dream of visiting Regents Park’s floating restaurant, but I won’t be going back. The food is overpriced – you’re basically paying for the experience rather than for gourmet food. Our £35 could have gotten us a far better meal just a few minutes round the corner.
Leila reviewed Feng Shang on Wed 22 Jul 2009