Monday, 24 July 2017

Bang Bang Oriental Foodhall Review


For the last month Bubs has stopped attending nursery on a Friday, instead we have our new family Friday fundays. This week we spent the morning climbing Northala Fields which was built up using all the leftover rubble from Wembley Stadium, and although I believe school holidays had started it was still fairly quiet on Friday morning.


There are four man made mounds in total with 3 being just grass, one has a pathway all around with a viewing area at the top, two children's playgrounds, a cafe and a fishing lake.

We actually did our wedding photo shoot here around 8 years ago so it was great going back with Bubs and he thoroughly enjoyed running around and climbing all the 'mountains'.

It was also a perfect activity to build up an appetite before we visited Bang Bang Oriental for lunch later in the day.

Bang Bang Oriental Foodhall 


Parking and Location


Bang Bang Oriental is located in Colindale in North West London.
The address is 399 Edgware Road, Colindale, NW9 0FH.
It shares its car park with the Morrisons supermarket so if driving best to follow directions directly to the car park, also handy when you need to do a quick shop which seems to always be the case in our house.

First Impressions


An artistic modern doorway welcomes you into the ground floor foyer which also has the Golden Dragon restaurant located in it, the actual food court is on the 2nd floor, signage for this is not great but its fairly obvious where the stairs and lift lead too when you know you are looking for a food court rather than an actual restaurant.



Once you enter the food court, the decor is very contemporary having been designed by Stiff and Trevillion. A lot more modern and stylish than the traditional hawker centres we have visited across various South East Asian countries. The high ceilings, industrial lightening and current furniture arranged in the centre of the room creating a welcoming appeal with all the food vendors located around the edges.


The mezzanine level is also available for private hire and I have heard several non food vendors are planning to open up too in this part of the complex.



The site previously housed Oriental City which I remember visiting as a child and purchasing one of those amazing Japanese Pencil cases with numerous buttons and compartments. I think any shops selling similar items would be a great addition to the food court and also encourage people to spend a lot longer there as being a food court it is generally fast food so your visit is normally fairly quick.



Golden Dragon


This is the flagship restaurant serving both lunch and dinner, we did not dine in here but it looked like it offered a much more formal setting to enjoy Chinese food and dim sum. Nice to see it is catering to everyone tastes and preferences for dining, but for me all the fun was upstairs with the vendors.


Wonderful Patisserie


On Friday they were still setting up the shop but it looked very close to opening, having visited one of their main shops in Edgware for both main meals and also for their large in house bakery I know this smaller shop on the second floor just outside the main food hall will be a great addition.

Alongside traditional savoury dishes they also sell elaborate fresh cream cakes, deserts and traditional Asian pastries including the current craze of green tea ice-cream in fish shaped cones. Looking forward to our return visit and tasting these desert delights.

Food Court


The food court has seating for around 450 people, on Friday lunchtime we arrived around 12.30 and it was busy but we had no issues finding a seat, I can see it being very popular though especially in the evenings and weekends.

Most vendors operate using a buzzer system, so once you place your order they give you a labelled buzzer which will go off once your dish is ready, saves you time standing in queues and allows you to try lots more dishes in a shorter amount of time. I think this system worked really well rather than having all the vendors shouting out order numbers.

A lot of staff were on hand to clean up dishes, remove trays and wipe down tables ensuring the food court looked immaculate even when busy.

Dishes


The main dishes we tried for lunch were the Original Chicken Ramen from Ramen Samurai - Ryu.

Intensely flavoured with a perfectly cooked egg and poached chicken, I managed to finish the whole bowl.

Chicken breast yakitori from Yaki Ya Grill Japan

More Mr S type of food, they were tasty but just good grilled chicken nothing amazing, I think the other flavour skewers may offer more excitement.

Crispy chicken balls, crispy chicken wings and a portion of chips from Taiwanese Street Food. The crispy chicken balls were one of the best things we had, topped with lemon salt and served with traditional mayonnaise and ketchup.  This was all so good I forgot to take a picture before it was all gone, destroyed by all three of us.

The spring rolls and grilled chicken salad on vermicelli noodles from Cafe La Viet.


Delicious, crispy spring rolls and a fresh zesty salad you dress yourself with the tangy sweet chili sauce.

For desert we had a chocolate chai bubble tea with traditional tapioca pearls from Chaitime.





Pricing 

When we visited all the stalls had an introductory 20% off offer in place however at full price you are looking at around £3 - £5 for the smaller snack like plates and desserts. Larger bowls and mains are around the £7-£10 mark. Its not the cheapest option for lunch or dinner, in total we probably spent around £35 with the offer. Pricing is slightly more than you would pay for similar dishes in a street market however you are paying for the food court seating too.

All the food we tasted was very delicious, flavoursome and authentic so we would not mind paying a little more for the quality you get.

Vendors


There are currently 33 vendors open including the below:

Vietnamese


- Cafe La Viet - Vietnamese starters and large communal bowls.

- Banh & Che - Vietnamese Bahn Mi baguette, spring rolls and iced coffees.

Taiwanese

- Taiwanese Street Food - Traditional Taiwanese night market food including crispy chicken, onion pancakes and also chips - for any fussy eaters (i.e toddlers).
- Chaitime - Taiwanese Bubble Tea including milk teas, fruit teas and various flavours of bubbles.

Malaysian

- Sukaria - street food based on Cantonese, Hakka and Malaysian dishes.
- Coconut Tree - Malaysian traditional Halal dishes.

Sichuan

- Uncle Chilli - Sichuan dishes centred around the numbing taste of Sichuan pepper.

Japanese

- Ichiban - Japanese Katsu, Yakitori and Terayaki
- Raman Samurai Ryu - a Hong Kong chain from Yamagishi Kazoo a pioneer of Tsukemen in Japan.
- Yaki Ya Grill Japan - Japanese Yakitori Grilled meat, fish and veg skewers.
- Umi - Japanese Sushi, Sashimi, Tempura and deserts by Jonathan Deddis.

Hong Kong

- Royal China One 68 Dim Sum - Hong Kong dim sum, dumplings and buns
- Four Seasons - Hong Kong Style Roast Duck - named as the best roast duck in the world by the FT.
- Longji Hong Kong Restaurant - Asian food with a western twist, often served in diners in Hong Kong, Singapore etc, first time in the UK.
- Wonder Bake - Hong Kong Portuguese egg tarts and deserts.

Chinese

- Bamboo Hut - Chinese and Beijing street food, buns and burgers.
- Xi Home - Chinese Dumplings

Indian

- Tibb's Frankie - Indian street food wraps filled with chicken, vegetables and lots of spice.

Thai

- Little Thai Silk - Thai restaurant with traditional cuisine including papaya salads.

Korean

- Janchi Korean Kitchen - Korean family cooking including Bibimbap, Deopbap and Korean Fried Chicken.

Drinks and Deserts

- Citropia Cafe - Juices, Smoothies and Desserts
- The Pearl Lounge - bar area in the food hall serving both alcoholic and non - alcoholic beverages.


Final Thoughts 




We loved our first visit to Bang Bang Oriental and will definitely be returning to sample all the vendors we did not get to try out. I feel a pregnancy craving coming on in the next few weeks that only Asian street food will be able to solve. I can see this being a great success with nothing similar available in London showcasing such a variety of cuisines in one space and I am glad we do not live too far away from it.