Located on the south of the River Thames, adjacent to the London Heliport and within easy reach of Chelsea and Sloane Square; Hotel Verta by Rhombus provides the perfect destination when visiting the capital. Hotel Verta is not only the home of panoramic views of the River Thames but also the location of Red Pocket Chinese Restaurant, an exotic and sophisticated addition to Battersea’s growing restaurant scene.
As I arrived through the main entrance of the hotel, I was guided to the right to be greeted by an exotic and impressive oriental décor with high ceilings and large-scale Chinese paintings suspended on the walls above. In addition there were chinoiserie screens and authentic artefacts such as Buddha sculptures and Tibetan cabinets. The restaurant is large and as we had an early reservation it was almost empty however I can imagine quite the atmosphere if packed. The interior was fabulous!
The Red Pocket boasts a large open plan kitchen, oozing stomach rumbling smells and an element of performance as guests can watch the traditional cooking techniques from the majority of the tables. I did just this while also gazing over their terrace, which faces the Thames River probably best, appreciated on clear summer days. The large tables were placed with a generously sized luxurious leather bound menu tempting guests with creative cocktails mixing sorbets and egg white with Asian ingredients, one of their signature cocktails is called the Mango Spice Martini, a zingy blend of Grey Goose Vodka, Fresh Mango, Mango Liqueur, Agave Syrup and Jalapeno Peppers while I eagerly dived into their menu. I opted for a their house red, a bottle of Montepeluciano, the perfect compliment for this cuisine.
Restaurant Operations Manager and talented chef, Weng Kong Wong, has spent the last 20 years acquiring and honing his knowledge and expertise of Chinese cuisine. Weng has teamed up with the award-winning Chef KK and together they will skilfully blend the finest European ingredients with Eastern cooking techniques.
To my surprise their food menus were unbound and small in size missing the luxurious feel of their drinks menu however the selection of dishes was far from lacking. Red Pocket are known for their impressive Dim Sum selection served steamed or Fried. We scoffed their recommendation of steamed Sui Main, scallops and prawns wrapped in an apricot colored layer. Highly recommended! I washed this down with a delicious Supreme Dried Seafood Soup, hearty and satisfying, great choices.
Other starters are offered either hot or cold, If your into Caviar then they serve Iranian Royal Beluga but we opted for one of their classics the Peking Duck, not to be mistaken with Crispy Peking Duck. This traditional dish is served as a starter and a main. The first course is handmade small rectangular pancakes, which you make with one large slices of duck breast with caramelised skin attached. You then add hoisin sauce, cucumber and spring onions and roll into a small wrap, about a quarter of the size of the circular pancakes we are more attuned to! After a few goes we managed to produce some pretty canapés size mini wraps, it was a playful and juicy experience. The second course was a crunchy minced duck with mango, bamboo shoot mixed with fresh ingredients and served in mini romaine lettuce leaves. This was tasty but not quite to my liking and perhaps duck-overload. Stick to this is you’re a real duck fanatic!
We were pretty full after conquering both our duck dishes, squeezing in our final order of Grilled Chilean Seabass with Spicy Shrimp Sauce, not only served beautifully but the fillet of fish flaked off easily and was layered with delicious crispy mushrooms and a bright purple flower on the side. This was my favourite course of the evening. We added Bok Choi on the side as well as their divine Aubergine with Hot Toban Sauce.
If you’re a vegetarian then fear not, there is an entire section for you to indulge from Dim Sum, soups, rice and noodle dishes, tofu and vegetables and then a lost of ‘New Vegetarian Dishes’ such as Aromatic Duck substitutes, Three Treasure Hot Pot and Organic Wok- Fired Veggie.
Finally we glanced at the dessert selection, which was surprisingly limited to four options. I was craving some sorbets, something really light but there was no such option. Definitely not good for gluten-free guests. It was either Pastry Three Treasures, Kiwi Cheesecake with Strawberry sauce, chocolate mouse or an Exotic Fruit Plate. We decided to share the Kiwi Cheesecake, which was a far too sweet, and rich for me, it wasn’t light and zoomed me on a major sugar high. Perhaps go straight to tea or coffee unless you have a major sweet tooth!!
After a rest we reflected on the colourful and heavenly food we had relished both visually in appearance and taste. The Red Pocket is a definite must for local Battersea residents and hotel guests offering a unique atmosphere as well as a strong and delicious dish selection ready to be conquered- over a series of visits . It’s expensive but the quality and service is worth it!
Signature dishes includes:
Braised Imperial Chicken
Roast Peking Duck served with Caviar
Lobster with Foie Gras Sauce
Lo Hei Salad
Grilled Beef Fillet in Genghis Khan Style
Contemporary Dim Sum selections
Steamed Mixed Xiao Long Bao in 7 Flavors
Not to forget the creative cocktails and carefully selected wines that go well with food.
For Reservations : +44 (0) 20 7801 3535