Selfridges Garden Cafe

It was only recently in the blogosphere that I read about food places in Selfridges other than the Food Hall. Seeing as Saturday was a lovely day and I did need lunch at some stage, I thought it would be good to head down there to try out the Garden Cafe. Set out like a much more upmarket brasserie, there are plenty of options to try for, including crepes, soups, baked potatoes, indian, Chinese, British and American cuisines.

Char Kway Tweo

Not wanting to miss out on apparently the “best” Char Kway Teow’s in London I just had to try it out. I will admit that the Chinese stall can be particularly confusing since they don’t really have that many instructions. On the other hand, talking with another English lady there it also seemed the most interesting since there were so many combinations and they cook it really fresh in front of you.

On the wall, you pick your noodle dish and type of meat, or pick a rice and type of meat. What they don’t tell you on the wall is that when you order your noodle, you also choose what sort of style you would like including Pad Thai, Char Kway Teow and a couple of others and you wait while they cook it fresh for you. Interested in the other dishes they had there, I also got one of the sticky spare ribs and thought would try out a couple of the dumplings sitting in the steaming baskets.

The noodle dish ended up costing £8.95, a comparable price to many of the Chinese restaurants in Chinatown and while the spare rib at £1.50 was great value, each dumpling at £1.25 was far too excessive. The Char Kway Tweo was pretty good as the Culinary Hags wrote about, though I can’t say how authentic it was because I’ve only had the dish in Australia and London. The King Prawns that mine came with were perfectly cooked, nice and juicy and had plenty of flavour from the sauce. I would definitely repeat having the spare ribs, and I could guess one might even be able to make a meal out of them if you had enough of them with some salad or something. I would stay far away from any of the dumplings, many of them not being very standard and really nothing special for the price you pay for each.

I’d probably go again sometime and try a couple of the other dishes as it’s nice to sit and look outside at the hustle and bustle on Oxford Street from the tables upstairs.

Details: Selfridges Garden Cafe
Found on: 4th Floor Selfridges, 400 Oxford St, London, W1A 2LR (follow the cutlery signs as the cafe is not explicitly listed)
Highlights: Good variety of food and freshly cooked Char Kway Tweo. Great room seating area overlooking Oxford street.
Room for improvement: Dumplings far too overpriced
The Kua Rating: 7.5 out of 10