Glass dines at Uli, the Pan-Asian restaurant adding a twist to the classics
PACKING the Pan-Asian punch into their small but boastful menu of quality driven dishes, Uli the restaurant in Notting Hill Gate, serves house favourites from regional China, Japan and across South East Asia. With a quaint alfresco terrace cocooned in a ceiling of fairy lights and greenery, the restaurant’s design alone exudes magical appeal. This, paired with their new robata menu, inspired by traditional Japanese cuisine, makes for a truly indulgent experience, one that you will return to again and again.
Enticing you in with Madagascan jumbo tiger prawns with yuzu drizzle and caramelised rib eye skewers with ginger wasabi, head chef Joe Jangkedtong and senior sous chef Jasper Wong have used an ancient Japanese cooking method to bring outdated dishes to life for their robata menu. When I arrived I was guided through the new menu with suggestions catered towards my taste preference. I was also shown through their new cocktail range that is designed to harmonise with the robata menu, consisting of drinks such as Rising Sun, a blend of woki sake vodka, prosecco, raspberries and blackberries, and the Japanese Bellini, a sparkling combo of jasmine tea and prosecco.
As I spoke to Graham, the manager of the restaurant, it was clear that his enthusiasm for the menu would be reflected in the dishes themselves, with each dish featuring an energetic set of ingredients. Think classic calamari with a salty and spicy glaze, dumplings with a sweet edge, and Thai curries with a kick. Uli is a restaurant designed for anyone who enjoys eating Asian food, it isn’t overly complicated and it doesn’t scare you with dishes you’ve never heard of. Instead, it is inspired by the classics and adds its own twist to them. Whether this twist is in the presentation or the array spices used, you will leave knowing you won’t ever be able to eat dumplings from anywhere ever again. It is this commercially savvy attitude to their menu that makes Uli so successful.
Originally established in 1997 on the All Saints Road, Uli quickly built a mass following and its recent move to the busy area between Portobello Road and Notting Hill Gate Station has welcomed a new swarm of fans. Staying fresh and modern, but with traditional cooking methods in mind makes Uli the perfect location to indulge in familiar favourites in a way you’ve never tried them before.
I left with a new perspective of my favourite Asian flavours, and a new array of dishes I could insist my friends have to try before they die. I still dream of the daikon cakes, a white raddish Chinese dim sum dish, the mochi ice cream, ice cream encased in a chewy shell, and finally the most incredible cocktail that was made with Japanese tea.