Review: Good Earth’s newest branch in Wandsworth
Published 8 May 2013
There’s somewhat of a lack of a good Chinese restaurant in Southwest London – unless you go as far as Wimbledon. But finally, just down the road from the Michelin-starred Chez Bruce in Wandsworth Common, is the new outpost of the classy Good Earth.
With existing restaurants already in Knightsbridge, Mill Hill, and Esher, Good Earth clearly tries to attract a higher end clientele – and the décor in the restaurant reflects that. Very classy, slightly modern, and some of the best service you’ll get – better than at the Royal China Club and probably rivalling that of Yauatcha and Hakkasan.
The menu is rather short – at least for a Chinese restaurant anyways. Its mostly the standard list of classical Chinese dishes, more South China than North China, and with a smattering of other dishes from around Asia, like the trio of tempura:
Lightly fried, it was as good as any from a good Japanese restaurant. Good Earth tried to be a bit fusion and paired the tempura with a sweet chilli sauce dip – which didn’t work at all. And when I asked for some soy sauce for the tempura, they provided the typical Chinese darker soy sauce rather than the lighter tempura one that you will normally get – a bit of a fail there.
However, the rest of the menu, more Chinese in nature, is consistently excellent and never disappoints. Two of my favourite dishes on the menu are:
Claypot beef fillet. This arrives at your table uncooked, with a hot claypot bowl in which the fresh ingredients are mixed and let to cook right before you. The sauce is really addictive (I think it’s a wasabi soy marinade), and the beef fillet extremely tender. At £16, it sounds expensive at first glance, but you do get some really good quality beef and an excellent dish.
Ma po tofu. This is a Chinese classic – and Good Earth have executed it well. The tofu is a bit firm (some might prefer it silkier) but I think it adds a bit of texture to what is otherwise a stew-type dish. The sauce is slightly spicy, and the minced pork has been nicely browned.
Don’t go for their soups however – we had one the last time, and it slightly underwhelmed. It is also slightly expensive, at around £6 per individual bowl, if I remember correctly.
Overall, the Good Earth is a great Chinese restaurant if you’re looking for a more refined dining experience than the hustle and bustle of the “food factories” in Chinatown. It doesn’t come cheap – but you’ll still manage to have decent meal for £25 per head (excluding drinks) which is about average nowadays in London. I’m glad that Good Earth have opened an outpost in Wandsworth – its going to be one of my regular places to dine at locally!
Good Earth Restaurant
Address: 11 Bellevue Road, London SW17 7EG
Reservation Tel (for delivery as well): 020 8682 9230