Pacific Oriental has been my go-to corporate lunch restaurant here in the City of London for a while now. I’ve probably been there around 8 times over the past few years so have a pretty good idea of what it’s like. Do I keep going there because of it’s outstanding food and service? Not really, allthough the food is good. It’s chosen because I know I can get a table the morning of my lunch, the food and service are reliable, it’s got a fairly upscale décor despite being reasonably priced, and it’s close to the office. All those in itself are reason enough for me to return time after time as so many of those qualities are lacking in other restaurants here in the City.
The food is what I would describe as Pan-Asian. The portions are not too large which is key when you need to be alert in the afternoon. I often start with one of their tempura options – usually the Tiger Prawn Tempura or the Vegetable Tempura (which I’ve switched to more recently after I had the fearful thought that tiger prawns might be overfished and I might somehow by leading to their demise.) For a main I’ve had a variety of the dishes (as you can imagine) with my favourites being the Pad Thai, Mee Goreng, and Japanese Beef Curry. The starters come in between £5 – £10, with the mains at £8 – £22 and the noodle dishes are at the lower end of the scale. The wine list is fairly large with a wide variety of prices. The menu really offers something for everyone with noodle dishes, proper grilled mains and even sushi (which I’ve never tried).
The restaurant is massive and located in an old bank. It’s amazing to compare what banks looked like years ago (Banana Republic in Montreal is another prime example) with your local NatWest or CIBC today. The main floor is spacious and elegant, with more tables located in the mezzanine upstairs. I prefer downstairs just for the grand décor, but wouldn’t refuse to sit upstairs. If you’re stuck for choice, you can’t really go wrong.
Décor: Amazing considering the price. Something different from the usual
Food: Well cooked Pan-Asian classics
Price: Very reasonable
Good For: As it’s located in the City of London I would say it’s a great corporate lunch restaurant. If you are a tourist who is visiting some of the beautiful architecture and are sick of fish and chips you could do a lot worse. Especially if you just went for a main (which aren’t massive mind you) the £8.75 price tag is very reasonable considering you’ve got takeaway Japanese Canteen down the road charging you £5.95 for Chicken Katsu Curry.
Originally from the prairies and now in Montreal, I love exploring new places, eating great food and modern design. I'm mom of two wild things and paper and cake make me happy.
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