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Home » Review: Triple Award-Winning JM Oriental In Colindale

Review: Triple Award-Winning JM Oriental In Colindale

Having witnessed a London based oriental restaurant win three national awards there was only one thing to do and that was to go and try the food.

JM Oriental, in Colindale, was voted Best Restaurant in England, Best Restaurant Design and Best Dim Sum at the Golden Chopsticks Awards in April.

Hosted by celebrity stylist Gok Wan, the national awards showcase the best of Chinese and oriental cuisine.

MOST READ: Boy, 15, rushed to hospital after stabbing Also called Jun Ming Xuan, the restaurant in Heritage Avenue underwent a refurbishment three years ago and at the same time upgraded its menu to fine dining.

They serve contemporary Cantonese cuisine and traditional dim sum and I made a mental note to visit.

A spread of delicious food including signature main BBQ duck, vermicelli noodles, fried rice and Jasmine tea at JM Oriental (Image: Nathalie Raffray)

Was it really deserving of those three awards, clutched from competitors across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland?

At the end of May I found time and went a long with a friend, who arrived by bus.

I took the tube to Colindale, which will be closed from June 7 until December, so just in time.

I walked straight past the restaurant at first as the signage currently remains its former name.

But once inside I was captivated by it’s modern, stylish décor both luxurious and intimate.

Beautiful lights that appear to be handblown within JM Oriental’s stylish décor (Image: Nathalie Raffray)

Black and gold, I was struck by a row of beautiful lights that looked hand blown.

There were elegant furnishings and touches, such as framed pictures that you might find in someone’s home, which gave an added warmth.

Small discreet touches make for an intimate setting at JM Oriental, which won Best Design at the Golden Chopsticks Awards (Image: Nathalie Raffray)

A tick for design, it was time to look at the menu and where best to start but with drinks.

We ordered Jasmine tea which arrived in an exquisite porcelain tea pot.

Unable to resist the cocktails, my friend and I opted for the Oriental Whisper, a take on an expresso martini, but made with tea leaves instead, which balanced a bitterness and sweetness.

Oriental Whisper was created by barman Tony Choi at JM Oriental, a take on the Expresso Martini but made with tea leaves instead (Image: Nathalie Raffray)

I later tried the popular Strawberry Blossom which was a like sweet sherbet bomb

with a fresh strawberry encased within a round ice cube.

Strawberry Blossom, the most popular gin based cocktail that has a delightful tang (Image: Nathalie Raffray)

It was a challenge to stop at one.

After prawn crackers that melted on the tongue I opted for crispy king prawns with a Thai orange mayo and pomegranite which arrived with a tuile.

This was so divine – the taste of the prawn’s soft meat not overwhelmed by the mustard-like mayo and sweetness of the pomegranite bite – I was gleeful I didn’t have to share it with my vegetarian friend.

We had to try the award winning Dim Sum, and that didn’t disappoint either.

JM Oriental’s assorted Dim Sum which won the UK’s ‘Best Dim Sum’ at the Golden Chopstick Awards (Image: Nathalie Raffray)

We opted for the artisan assortment, which included two spicy vegetarian offerings which my friend enjoyed.

The scallop beetroot was heaven, the green enveloped prawn and chive a satisfying bite and the wasabi har-gau with its translucent skin was warm and tender and oh so good.

The signature main of truffle barbeque roasted duck arrived with a snap, crunchy skin and was also outstanding as was it’s presentation in a hanging basket.

RELATED: Golden Chopstick Awards: Central London restaurants win big The succulent meat, in a light broth with a hint taste of coriander, arrived with root vegetables.

I took the remainder home and had it with boiled rice as the waitress suggested and savoured each mouthful mindfully, so much finer than what I can create.

I also took home my portion of vermicelli noodles which were incredibly mild.

My friend, though vegetarian, did not like mushroom or tofu, or soy, the most foundational of Chinese cuisine, but the friendly staff effortlessly accommodated her.

Edamame beans in Sichuan sweet spices and sesame truffled sea salts was a winning dish (Image: Riddhi Kachhela)

She particularly liked the sweet spices and sesame truffled sea salts sauce that covered her edamame beans.

Her vegetable fried rice was well spiced and “delicious” but she felt the spring rolls weren’t seasoned enough. However coupled with the sweet chilli sauce they were a light bite.

We shared a Chocolate Box for dessert which contained vanilla ice-cream and a warm chocolate fondant with oozing green matcha.

Simply to die for warm chocolate fondant with green tea (Image: Nathalie Raffray)

No words, euphoric endorphins and dopamine flooded my body.

With its stellar staff, innovative menu and elegant ambiance JM Oriental is fully deserving of all its awards.

Make a romantic evening of it or visit in a big group and share plates because there is much on that menu to tease and tantalise and transport you straight into a satisfyingly present feel-good moment.