Eight Over Eight (London)

I’ve walked past this place countless times as it’s located literally a minute away from Medlar, which we all know is my favourite place in the whole wide world (see post here). In fact, on this particular occasion I actually paid them a quick visit to say hi and grab a menu hahaha. Despite that, I first came here only last year and was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it, and always planned a revisit so I could share it properly with you guys. And seeing as they were offering a 40% discount off their food bill every Sunday throughout February, this was as good a time as any! (Although, seeing as we be approaching the end of Feb, I do apologise for you being unable to partake in this promotion hahaha.)

Now, I will be the first to admit that, being Asian, I’ve always been quite suspicious of Asian fusion or “pan-Asian” restaurants. What sense is there in modifying an authentic recipe that is, frankly, already quite perfect, given the many years of tradition that went into getting that combination of flavours and textures just right? And often my suspicions are proven correct. But what I’ve learnt is that one needs just to stop comparing fusion dishes with the original because they are wholly unique dishes in their own right, and then only can you appreciate them for what they truly are – different. And different can be good.

Eight Over Eight is part of the Ricker group, which comprises of the Mexican restaurants, La Bodega Negra and Casa Negra, and also more Asian fusion under the names of E&O and XO. I’ve only been to La Bodegra Negra and Casa Negra, and now this one, but it seems like a common theme for all Ricker restaurants is a pretty fantastic atmosphere. It’s chic, trendy, great for a date or dinner with the girls.

Speaking of dinner with the girls, if you’re into girly drinks (as I INSIST I am, because, although my man gut would appear to indicate otherwise, it’s not all about the beer and soju ok), you MUST get this.

Rose Petal Martini (£8.50) - bombay sapphire, lychee & rose shaken with fresh apple

Rose Petal Martini (£8.50) – bombay sapphire, lychee & rose shaken with fresh apple

Gin, lychee and rose. Such a good combination! It’s very feminine and delicate, and definitely the PERFECT drink for a girl. Probably because of the apple in it, It tastes quite fresh and is not too sweet at all, nor is it overly floral or perfumed. Maybe because I’ve been re-watching (the ENTIRE series of) Sex & The City, but I think, if ever they did a spin-off in London, this would be the drink. I mean, nevermind actual flowers, I would much rather have a pitcher of this. Pitcher, mind.

Ok, so it’s not lady-like to get a pitcher. But we got another round because it was just too good.

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They served our raw seafood dishes first.

Sea Bass Sashimi, Yuzu & Truffle Oil (£10.50)

Sea Bass Sashimi, Yuzu & Truffle Oil (£10.50)

We all know I love truffle anything so here it was a welcome addition to the sashimi. You can smell the truffle oil as soon as they set it down on the table. The yuzu makes the dish really fresh and clean-tasting, good considering that this was served carpaccio-style in delicate slivers, and I loved the big savoury spheres of ikura roe. Overall, this was quite delicious, but the next dish was undoubtedly my favourite.

Seared Tuna, Miso Aioli (£11)

Seared Tuna, Miso Aioli (£11)

In general, I love love loveee me some seared tuna/aburi toro. Here they serve it wrapped up in some sort of pastry or pancake thingy, which masks the flavour of the sear a little, but you still get all the wonderful freshness and fattiness of the raw flesh. The creamy, desirably goopy miso aioli was a really nice accompaniment. K decided that this was her favourite dish as well, and we actually contemplated ordering another serving. In the end we decided against it because we still had a lot more to come. But here, you can’t have too many pictures of seared tuna!!!!!!!

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After our sashimi, we proceeded swiftly on with some fried goodness.

Prawn & black cod gyoza (£7)

Prawn & black cod gyoza (£7)

K liked this but I thought it was just alright. I think, because the filling of gyoza/dumplings in general is minced so fine, and usually heavily seasoned, that you can’t really taste any difference between the types of meat or seafood used. But they are as good as gyozas go I suppose.

Crispy Pork Belly, Black vinegar (£8)

Crispy Pork Belly, Black vinegar (£8)

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This must be the most unattractive series of pictures of pork belly I’ve ever taken but it’ll have to do. The crackling was sufficiently crispy, while the meat was fatty and quite flavourful. Still, we both agreed that, while this was good, it wasn’t particularly unique. I wish they had used a much stronger black vinegar for this, though, but that may be because I am thinking of ter kah chore (pig trotters braised with black vinegar, also known as delicious), which essentially REEKS of vinegar. That would have made this dish so much better.

And, to follow our daily dose of brown food, we of course had to have our daily dose of veggies too, because we be healthy peeps.

Or we try, because fried is always better.

Sweet potato & courgette tempura, lemon ponzu (£7)

Sweet potato & courgette tempura, lemon ponzu (£7)

Sweet potato is my FAVORITE when it comes to tempura and happily, K agrees! This was nice. Crisp, light batter, tender vegetables still with a bit of bite, and thankfully, not in the least bit greasy. The lemon ponzu was a bit too salty for my tastes though.

Chilli tofu, pochoi (£11)

Chilli tofu, po choi (£11)

Tofu-lover K chose this. If you’re afraid of spice, don’t worry because they use sweet Thai chilli sauce here, which thankfully wasn’t too sweet either. The tofu itself was coated in a thin layer of cornflour and wok-fried, so it was essentially like salt and pepper tofu. Even though this was tasty, I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily worth the £11.

This next dish though, is one of their signature dishes, and to me anyway, is worth every penny, so I hope you get it and enjoy it as much as I do.

Duck, Watermelon & Cashew Salad (£13)

Duck, Watermelon & Cashew Salad (£13)

This is my type of salad. The kind that actually fills you up and is not meant to be good for you in any way other than to please your tastebuds.

K is allergic to (most) nuts, so we asked for it to be served sans cashews. It’s a ridiculously good combination. Duck can be (almost) too substantial for a salad, particularly because they are really quite generous with it here, but the crisp, cool chunks of watermelon make this feel and taste a lot more light and refreshing than it would otherwise be, and I can imagine that the cashew would provide the much needed crunch. The dressing tasted like a mixture of plum sauce and hoisin but it wasn’t too overwhelmingly salty or cloyingly sweet, and I liked that the coriander, mint and spring onion was the salad instead of simply being the garnish. I wouldn’t say the duck is necessarily fantastic, not being as fatty and tender as I normally like my duck to be, but as a component in a cold dish like this salad, I think it’s done sufficiently well.

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Imbued with an incredible sense of virtuousness after my salad, I felt like I finally understood what it meant for my body to feel like a temple… And my deity was telling me it was dessert time! So I listen because divine intervention.

Cookies and cream mochi (£6.50)

Cookies and cream mochi (£6.50)

I like that they served this in slices because you get to see the pretty insides, and it also made sharing a lot easier. This was good overall but I do wish the mochi layer was thicker and chewier since it’s very much the whole point of the exercise.

The next dessert, however, was indeed the most divine form of intervention I have ever borne witness to.

Chocolate Fondant, Green Tea Ice Cream (£6.50)

Chocolate Fondant, Green Tea Ice Cream (£6.50)

Ok guys. I think nobody believes me anymore when I say I dislike chocolate fondants, especially since the last post was practically an ode to a chocolate fondant… so I will not say it. (But I stand by my decision.) Chocolate fondant is one of K’s favourite desserts though, and this one’s a good one. I think the combination of hot, ooey-gooey dark chocolate and cold, creamy, matcha ice-cream, with its slight bitter undertones, is SUPERB. I wish the matcha flavour in the ice-cream was a lot stronger though, but then I’m just a matcha fiend.

Anyway. The last time I came here, l’d decided that I would definitely come back again for the rose petal martini, the seared tuna, the duck and watermelon salad, and the chocolate fondant with green tea ice-cream. I got to try all of these dishes again on this particular visit, and I’m pleased to say they certainly didn’t disappoint.  I mean, I can’t speak for the rest of the menu but can rather safely say you won’t be disappointed if you order the 4 items that I have given special mention hahaha.

The service is excellent as well. Our waiter was incredibly friendly and charming, which made our visit especially enjoyable. I’ll definitely recommend this place if you want slightly different Asian food in a snazzier setting. For a similar experience, you can also try out A. Wong (see post here).

 

EIGHT OVER EIGHT

392 Kings Road, London SW3 5UZ

Mon to Fri: 12-3PM, 6-11PM

Sat: 12-4PM, 6-11PM

Sun: 1230-4PM, 6-1030PM

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