For lack of a better word, Madame D says it’s influenced by food that is prepared by Chinese-Tibetan immigrants living in India. Opened by the team behind Gunpowder across the road, the flavours here are more focused towards the Orient. It’s an odd experience for me as I almost feel like I’m eating at home but with Chinese dishes from other parts of China and modernised.
Upstairs, where most of the tables are, is cosy with few embellishments. There isn’t much here to suggest the Himalayan influenced cuisine besides the chopsticks on the table and lucky cat happily waving away.
Stuffed Aubergine with mushrooms
To me, this is practically Yu Shiang Aubergine from Sichuan. The flavours are familiar and hearty, you can’t go wrong with aubergine, though the sauce is a little too gloopy to pare with rice and I’ve had better Yu Shiang Aubergine before.
Himalayan fried chicken
There was a green hint of a paste other than chicken (I hope it wasn’t chicken!) under the batter but it had minimal influence. Like the other dishes, this to me had an oriental counterpart. It is exactly like Taiwanese fried chicken, lovely and crisp but it could be improved if they used thigh meat, which has more juices, or following exactly in the Taiwanese style in battering the chicken breast thinner.
Tiffin Masala Lamb Noodles with fried egg
Firstly, I have to say, I find this charged at £15 to be rather extortionate. The prices on their menu now seem to have changed but this was not a £15 noodle dish. I was hoping for thicker hand-pulled noodles similar to the Northern regions of China, like Xian Famous Foods popular all over New York. Sadly this was not the case. It’s a warming bowl of noodles with some spices tossed in but is rather non-descript.
Overall Madame D is an interesting little joint off Spitalfields, something to tick off your list but the food feels more like a rehash than a reinvention. Service is a little too laid back and the dishes are maybe a pound or two too pricey. However, it did recently garner a Bib Gourmand by the Michelin Guide. I expected the flavours to blow me away but instead, the spices could be picked up more and the flavours felt more homely and familiar.
Address: 76 Commercial Street, London E1 6LY
Telephone: 0207 247 1341
Mind The Gap:
Tues – Sat: 6pm – 12am
Mon – Sat: 4pm – 12am (Bar)
Panda ate, shot and left.