Having heard great things about Seventeen in Notting Hill, I broke with tradition and decided to Go West and try it out.
First impressions were incredible, this certainly is a very cool Chinese restaurant, very modern but in keeping with a Chinese aesthetic. I’m not entirely convinced it belongs in Notting Hill which is more understated cool, but anyway, I was looking forward to a fab meal having been very impressed immediately with the restaurant interior. The menu, in true Chinese style, is pages long and covers Cantonese, Shanghai and Sichuan cuisines and, if you are feeling a little like Hannibal Lector, you can feast on things like pork lung slices and pig’s tripe.
We started with clams which were overdone and bland. My friend ordered a ‘Sea and land’ pot, and I dipped in and had a taste and it was similarly bland – prawns and scallops floating in vinegary dish water. I had the Japanese tofu, which was surprisingly fab, but as I am a fatty, my tummy was growling with hunger within hours of leaving the restaurant. The red wine we ordered was gross and we went against all our usual sensibilities and we left half a bottle of the stuff behind.
Now, I know when you head down Chinatown in Soho, part of the “delightful charm” are the rude staff and the service is usually SO bad it verges on the comical but when I am there, I am usually drunk and happy and the meal costs a fiver. BUT when you are paying around £60 for a tasteless night, then you do expect a bit more care and attention. The biggest let-down of Seventeen were the staff, who are disgracefully rude.
As I sat on the tube home, slightly annoyed at the light wallet and bland evening, I sighed at my sheer stupidity. The friend who had recommended it thinks Cheese and Onions pastys are “a bit spicy” – how did I ever let her con me into recommending a restaurant?