George Wales visits The Good Earth Chinese Restaurant in Wandsworth Common.
Situated next to the picturesque expanse of Wandsworth Common, Bellevue Road is already well known to those of a foodie inclination, having been home to Michelin-starred French restaurant Chez Bruce for the best part of 20 years.
However, it would seem that Bruce Poole’s celebrated brasserie is not the only gastro-string to the area’s bow, with newcomer The Good Earth serving up excellent Chinese food just two minutes up the road.
A family-run establishment, it is the latest opening in a group of London-based eateries under the Good Earth banner, with another restaurant in Knightsbridge and a number of take-away outlets dotted around South West London. However, this is a significant cut above your average chain restaurant.
Having been seated in a sleek, modern dining room, all polished wood and crisp white tablecloths, we opted for two set dinners, assured by the helpful Maître D’ that the fixed price menu was made up of the restaurant’s finest dishes.
A selection of starters was dominated by a pair of eye-catching Dragon’s Whisker Prawns, succulent king prawns encased in a cocoon of fine shredded pastry. Another highlight was a portion of Honey-Glazed Ribs, a sticky treat, the meat falling pleasingly away from the bone.
Next up was that traditional takeaway staple, Aromatic Duck, served with the obligatory pancakes, hoisin sauce and spring onions. Done well, it’s a thing of beauty, and happily, The Good Earth does it very well indeed, the duck beautifully tender, its skin crisp and tacky. Delicious.
Finally, the mains. Chicken with Cashew nuts was another traditional dish done well, but Fillet of Beef in Claypot was the star performer, arriving still sizzling at the table, the flavour of the meat more than living up to the spectacle.
At just under £40 per person, without wine, this Chinese banquet comes in a shade more expensive than your typical neighbourhood restaurant, but given the quality (and quantity) of the food on offer, it’s well worth the extra outlay.
Address: 11 Bellevue Road, London SW17 7EG
Phone: 020 8682 9230
If you are looking for another reason to check out the area, visit The Ship pub in Wandsworth, which is ideal for summer drinks on the large terrace.
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