address: 69-73 Atlantic Road, SW9 8PU
telephone: 0208 127 8677
Wednesday & Thursday noon–11pm
Friday to Sunday noon–midnight
We have reviewed this Chinese restaurant a few times before (see here, here and here). The fact that it hasn’t moved on, as so many others have, suggests it is definitely meeting a market. We thought we would try it at lunchtime, rather than our usual evening meal ventures. It was empty, so no need to book and plenty of time and quiet for a good natter. There is a dining room downstairs but we sat upstairs, all alone in a window seat.
The menu is full of Dim Sum (a sort of Chinese tapas). But as well as steamed, fried, baked or grilled buns there are also lotus leaf parcels and Courtesan has tried to fit into the Brixton vibe with jerk chicken sticky rice in a lotus leaf or the jerk ribs.
We were hungry so we ordered a portion of Baked Mushroom Puffs (crispy pastry around stewed Chinese mushrooms), Steamed Bon Bun Bao (actually three buns, char sui, vegetable and chicken, steamed Curious Pumpkin buns (gujarati spiced pumpkin filling in a turmeric flavoured fluffy bun). The typos are interesting as this bun is for the adventurous mathematician, as it is called a numeric bun on the web. Then we went on to the spiced rice with jerk chicken and last a side dish of Picca-lilly (pickled lotus flowers with carrots of various hues).
We were hungry and had eyes almost bigger than our stomachs. The food was good . We especially want to call out for the Curious Pumpkin buns which were a delight. The Picca-Lilly was slightly sweet and crunchy and a good foil for the jerk chicken which left a warm, not hot, feeling in the mouth. The mushrooms in the puffs were well seasoned but because there were no airholes, water filled up the inside and so the pastry was undercooked. (We pointed this out and, commendably, they didn’t charge us for them.)
We had had to prevent ourselves from being tempted by the “Forbidden Duck” or “A Bittersweet Affair” which was a chicken, lemon and pepper concoction. Next time we will visit with friends so we can move further round the menu and potentially reach the dessert section. We drank two pots of tea which they replenished on request with more hot water. The bill came to £37.69, including service, for the two of us.