Maximini Chinese Restaurant — London

On Friday I met up with my besties for a Chinese. No ordinary Chinese, Maximini is Jimmy Choo’s culinary offering in Bayswater. When we arrived, we realised it’s not exactly Novikov or fine dining as we were expecting. However we sat down and ordered our food as we were starving.

Best Dish: Spicy Sambal Prawns. Big juicy prawns with lots of flavour which could have done with more spice for a real kick but was satisfying nevertheless, and a very big portion too.

Recommended: Fragrant Crispy Duck. Halal duck is a novelty, so order it and enjoy. It was crispy and not too fatty, comes with 6 pancakes.

Disappointing: Bean Curd with Aubergine and Chicken Clay Pot. The description on the menu sounded so appealing but it was bland and the aubergine really slimy and resembled slugs (sorry but it’s true). The chicken in it was tender.

Ambiance: A quiet and dim-lit restaurant, not the best place for a girls night out. Better suited for a quiet dinner date. Simple and regal decor, I especially liked the layout of the washrooms!

Service: Appalling. Firstly the staff took over 15 minutes to bring our drinks, and only bought them when we reminded them. Secondly the waitress came to ask us for our order even though we’d already ordered starters with another waitress. The first waitress then returned and said ‘You ordered quarter duck and soup right?’ to which I said ‘No, the duck and chicken dumplings.’ Thirdly the waiter spilt a dish which had dressing in it splashing my friend, narrowly missing her white dress. It was a vinegar and soy sauce based dressing which had accompanied the dumplings. Fourthly, at 11pm the waiter bought us the bill informing us they are closing so we need to jog on. We hadn’t been asked for coffee or dessert menu prior to this. I have never been asked to leave a restaurant because they’re closing, usually the staff start clearing up, dimming lights, switching music off etc and we get the hint. We had finished our meal, they could have hinted and asked if they should bring the bill or cleared our table quicker. All in all we were so disappointed we didn’t pay for service. The waitress was clearly not happy about this and showed her disapproval in her attitude as we were leaving.

I commend Maximini for creating their halal menu and also printing it quite explicitly on the menu. This is rare and comforting in many ways, so I would encourage everyone to go and support this restaurant and perhaps try some other dishes. It could be that we didn’t order the best things, and hoping that the service may improve! Also the serving sizes are very generous which is a plus point.

“Like shoe designing, whipping up a great dish is an art”, says Jimmy Choo. Sadly an art that Jimmy has not yet mastered. It could be that his name conjures up high expectations, regardless he has a lot of work to do if he wants his food to be on par with his shoes.

Essential Info: Child friendly as high chairs are available. There are chairs in the washrooms therefore space for nursing the baby.
Halal Status: All meat halal as stated on the menu . Alcohol Yes, Pork No.
Address: 31-33 Sussex Place, London, W2 2TH
Parking: Single yellow line outside the restaurant, parking meters on surrounding roads – free after 6.30pm.
Cost: £££. The total came to £75 for three of us, not including service.

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