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Champor, champor

by Ross Bruniges on October 12th, 2010

At a glance

Champor, champor

Chef: Adu Amran

Reservations: 020 7403 4600

Rating: 8 out of 10

Cost : £25-£50

Location

62-64 Weston Street

London

SE1 3QJ

Map

Location map

Don't just take my word for it

Champor-Champor on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

After years at the helm (as I mention in this post) the original owners and chef Adu have since moved on, though I think still provide consultancy to the new owners.

In photos

The wall cow/goat

The wall cow/goat - been on the wall for 10 years now!

More pictures

It’s not very often that I have trouble finding something to order from a restaurant menu, and it has always been against one of my ‘rules’ not to go to the same place twice in a year. It was therefore a no massive surprise that I was faced with this dilemma at a place that I have already been this year and I was very happy to break my rule in order to help celebrate Champor-Champors’ 10th anniversary weekend.

I’ve been here a few times now, but I’m as sure of how to get there now as I was when I first attended as I’ve managed to get there a different way each time. If you get to London Bridge you’re almost there, but not being near Borough Market means that whilst being open for 10 years now this restaurant still is a bit of a hidden gem and a place that I will happily recommend for not just fans of Asian cuisine but also those looking for a taste of something different. The prices are also very good with three courses (with chefs canapes) being served for £31.50!

For their 10th anniversary – and until the 14th October –  if you fancy trying to grab a table, the restaurant team have delved into their past favourites.We decided to go for starters of wood pigeon soup with a lamb begedil and frogs leg pakoras, satay marinated lamb fillet and crocodile tail fillet with Szechuan pepper sauce for mains, with puddings of smoked banana parfait and black rice pudding with durian ice-cream.  I wouldn’t like to come across the frogs that the legs were taken from as they were a very good size and cooked deliciously (with a very fresh sweet chilli sauce) and the soup was full of deep pigeon flavour, matching well with the slightly spiced lamb. The lamb was tender and alongside the medium spiced satay sauce and lotus root (an ingredient I’ve never before had but would be happy to do so again) was a great main course. The addition of durian (or vomit fruit) ice-cream caught my interest but probably isn’t something I’d go for again as while the taste was fine the smell was, as is the case with this fruit very much like it’s less marketed name; ‘good for a change’ as my granddad would say.

Black rice pudding and durian ice-cream (tasted much better than it smelled)

As mentioned though there was much temptation on the menu and on another day we could have gone for numerous other dishes such as salmon roe wontons in Penang laska bisque, palm sugar glazed beef, botok-botok catfish, ostrich fillet with sweet-spicey soy and star anise jus or banana flower, duck egg and watercress curry. Whilst the dishes mentioned here may not be on the menu forever, I think if you’re a fan of Malay-asian (I’m unsure if that is different from Malayasian) food or ingredients that you may not normally find on a menu it’s a place very much worth making a trip to London Bridge for. Fans of the restaurant may also be interested in knowing that they do special cookery courses – if you ask nicely.

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