Why oh why had I waited so long to try Hiro?!?
I suppose, at first, I was put off by the relatively high prices here. However, a number of the local Chinese takeaways (including even the slightly dodgy grease filled purveyors of far Eastern MSG around the corner) have pushed their prices up recently, therefore making Hiro, a comparatively better bet.
I've been here at lunchtime and very much enjoyed some of their set meals that do offer fairly good value for money. I must say that the best dish by far is their crispy squid - it is a fairly standard dish for Chinese restaurants around London, but their mix of chilli, onion and lightly battered calamari makes a heavenly dish.
The dim sum here is particularly tasty to as our the slightly more standard staples of fried rice and noodles dishes.
The only slight gripe I have of Hiro is that the service here can be very average, at times, and at other times damn hard to get anyone's attention at all to place an order.
Just finished a delivery from Hiro, and wasn't really impressed that much. I had the following dishes:
Crispy Squid Julienne : This was the best dish I ordered, but it was also the first one that I ate, so that factor may have been a contribution. Thin 'french fries' shaped strips of deep fried squid, which are tossed about with bits of sliced white onion, red chili peppers, and have some shredded carrot on top. There may be some garlic in there too. It was evenly balanced and well spiced, with the chili heat making a prominent standing. Not too oily, and fairly crispy, despite the steaming effect created by the plastic containers lid. The garnishings were tasty enough and were moderately allocated enough, that I actually ate all of it, which is very unusual for Chinese take-aways; I normally just pick out the prized chunks of meat etc and ditch the garnishings. So this dish was a very pleasant and refreshing starter. Sort of like a Squid salad.
Mixed fried rice : Very ordinary looking in appearance, with an understated look about it, and very modest sized chunks of Char Sui and shrimp making up the main additives of this rice dish. The taste however was far more rewarding than the visuals were, and this resulted in a very decent adequately tasting rice dish; with the small chunks of Char Sui packing quite a bit of flavour.
Sweet 'n' Sour Pork : Larger than average chunks of Pork cuts which was very welcoming at a glance, but the colour of the glaze covering the Pork pieces was just a tad off-putting. It had that cruddy colour and look about it. Flavour-wise, there was something not quite right happening in the Pork bitsThere was a hint of I think 'cheesecake' or something similar? Which wasn't too bad, but didn't really tie in well with the rest of the flavours. Texture-wise, despite the cruddy dark brown appearance of the Pork bits, the batter was only fairly soft and only a touch chewy, but once through this austere exterior, the Pork cuts were very generous and extremely succulent. So it seems that they have the insides sorted, but not the outsides quite yet. Needs a bit of work this dish does.
Crispy shredded Chili Beef : Very thin and very crunchy strips of shredded Beef, which had all the correct dimensions, but were just a little off-key in the flavour department. The sauce for starters just seemed like a classic Sweet Chili sauce dolloped straight out from a supermarket brand bottle, and certainly wasn't unique in it's delivery. The strips were really crunchy and the texture overall was pretty good But just had this overpowering flavour which I'm not sure what it was but may have been simply something like black pepper or similar So this, coupled with the sweet chili, gave the dish a slightly commercial flavour, which wasn't too enticing. But overall, quite a pleasant dish. Not bad.
Spare ribs : These were pretty horrid, I'm very sorry to have to say. They were very short cut-offs of bones about the length of your pinky finger, but had absolutely masses of meat hanging off them. They were probably the meatiest microscopic spare ribs I have ever come across in my life. So as far as value-for-money is concerned in the meat department here, you're definitely getting it. But the flavour was pretty nasty to be honest. The colour wasn't that charming either; sort of looked like Freddy Kruger's skin, you know that sort of stretched raw-rubbed redness And they were quite dry but chewy at the same time, which was a bit weird. The flavour was not nice at all; tasted something like raw cabbage or something earthy like that. Not very good at all.
The delivery was quick and the driver was friendly, and all the dishes were thoroughly hot.
I love comparing the different end products that all the Chinese delivery restaurants have to offer, and for me, the highlight of this meal was just that; being able to see and taste yet another version of some of my favourite Chinese dishes. It's wonderful seeing and tasting how different the 'same' dishes from different restaurants can be, unbelievably so.
Also, may I just point out, that I sensed a certain class about this food, and along with that, a feeling that there is a lot of potential lurking about the Hiro kitchen. The quality and expertise was evident, but the final product was just not to my liking. To give an analogy, it's like an expert tailor carving me up a perfectly-cut suit, but just in a colour and material which I don't like. Sort of something like that. I reckon Hiro could quite easily make me a suit to my liking.
Worth a try, but don't get your hopes up too high.
Went for a quick lunch with a very good friend. The lunch sets were such great bargain, one appetiser, a main course+rice for only 7.00! And the food was good. Only problem was the service, it was cold and impatient, but I guess the waiter must had a bad day.
really yummy chinese food, properly authentic!
would definitely recommend the saltn pepper soft shell crab ots very tasty!
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