Review: Teachi Restaurant in Camden
Published 26 August 2010
After a long day at the London Zoo last Sunday, we came across Teachi near Camden Tube Station, which is somewhat of a hybrid Chinese and South East Asian restaurant. Commonly in London, there’s usually two distinct types of oriental restaurants – those that cater to Western tastes, with lemon chicken and kung pao chicken, and the restaurants who stay true to their roots with authentic dishes.
Teachi was surprisingly a restaurant that straddled two categories, with what seemed like a very Westernised menu at first, but upon closer inspection, revealed a whole range of authentic Malaysian and Chinese dishes. They serve dim sum throughout the day (an oddity, as most Chinese restaurants stop serving around 4-5pm), but also have a good selection of main dishes to share, along with the obligatory one-plate noodle and rice dishes. We started having dinner at 6pm, when the restaurant was half empty; by 8pm when we left, the restaurant was completely full.
We started off our meal with a Japanese-style barbecue mixed platter, which their menu proudly informed us was cooked over aromatic charcoal, rather than normal charcoal, to produce the best taste. The platter came with a selection of different grilled meats, from chicken wings to a salmon fillet to shiitake mushrooms. They were cooked to perfection, just slightly charred on the outside but not burnt. Our other starter, Shanghainese xiao long bao (steamed pork dumplings), were average. But thats being unfair on Teachi, as I’m comparing it to the many London restaurants specialising in xiao long bao, and these dumplings here were still impressive nonetheless for a restaurant that serves a wide range of oriental cuisines.
In fact, we were equally pleased with the rest of the dishes, which came from a variety of places across Asia. We had stir fried morning glory with spicy sambal belachan, which is a traditional Malaysian dish with lots of chilli. There was honey roasted pork (char siu), which is a specialty from Hong Kong, and we also had braised pork belly and yam, which I believe is from Southern China. We topped it off with one of the spiciest ma po tofu that I’ve had in London, and you can truly say that our culinary journey, if one had to fly to the origins of the dishes, would have racked us up a lot of frequent flyer miles. Yet, the talented chefs at Teachi has executed them to a high level, that can really only be beaten by restaurants that specialise in specific cuisines.
The final bill was fairly reasonable too, coming up to slightly less than £15 per head for a table of four, not including drinks, and I left Teachi with some regret as I rarely ever go up to that part of London. Still, as I walked towards the Camden Town tube station, I resolved to visit the famous Camden Market soon; if only to find an excuse to go back to Teachi for a meal.
Cuisine: Mixture of Chinese, Cantonese, and Malaysian food
Price: £15 per person for dinner and tea
Address: 29-31 Parkway, Camden, London NW1 7PN
Booking/enquiry tel: +44 (0)20 7485 9933