Ahhh, the food I grew up surrounded by, I’m not sure if Chinese food is my out and out favourite, but it’s definitely up there! The idea of feasting on dim sum all day long, grazing on steamed dumplings and fried stuff fills me with joy, literally!! But for my husband that would probably sound like one his worst nightmares, he enjoys the food but as Chinese restaurant menus go, let’s face it they’re usually laden with gluten which he has an intolerance too.
A couple of months ago we were scouting out the Kingston and Surbiton areas, basically trying to get our bearings as possible places to set up home. On our way round we drove passed Naturally Chinese, within seconds I got onto the web for a spot of research. Brilliant, a restaurant producing authentic dishes without a hint of MSG, with its own gluten free menu, and not the kind with just a few items to make it look like an afterthought.
The idea was mentioned and a table for lunch booked after my husband was pleasantly surprised at the variety on the GF menu! A gorgeous Saturday it was yesterday and we hopped onto the train from the flat into Surbiton, spending a little time to have a wander around the town. The restaurant is between 5-10 minutes from the train station, depending how speedy a walker you are and located on the corner of Brighton Road. Benefitting from large windows on two sides it’s a light and airy place, with a more intimate dining area to the side.
A pot of green tea was quickly ordered, something I’d never have drunk by choice as a child, in fact I would wait to the last minute to drink it at the end of yum cha with my family, just so it wouldn’t be refilled!!
The dim sum menu had all the usual classics on it, so I was in my element and picked four dishes, selecting them on a tick sheet. The other half had plenty of choice on the GF menu and even I was a bit jealous when he went for sliced belly pork!
I couldn’t fault the dim sum, I could’ve told myself off though as I wish I’d ordered more!! All made and cooked to perfection, especially the handmade dumplings which were on point! The cheung fun rolls were delicate and much thinner and less heavy than some I’ve had recently, I find that sometimes char siu pork can be overly sweet, but this had been made with a far more delicate touch.
The other half had ordered some cuttlefish and coriander cakes which looked awesome and I’ve been informed tasted equally as good. Golden and crisp on the outside, whilst being juicy and meaty on the inside making it a fantastic starter before the star of the show that was the pork belly!! Enough for two really, in our family it would normally be amongst a whole manor of sharing dishes, where you just help yourself; fill a bowl with rice and top it with the things you want. I managed to snaffle a couple of pieces and was impressed! The meat was juicy and its skin crisp, but not only that it wasn’t too salty, even my parents who know a thing or two about cooking belly pork would approve I reckon.
Service was quick, dishes came out in good time, in particular the dim sum. Lots of menu choice and more importantly for us no more worries when it comes to gluten intolerances. Naturally Chinese is a definite winner, I’m looking forward to my next visit!!
59-63 Brighton Road
Tel. 020 8399 5533