Angeles – Spicy Sichuan in Kilburn
And I mean spicy. REALLY spicy. So spicy that, at one point in the meal when I accidentally inhaled a chilli that had been idling on my prawn, I got an intense coughing fit, followed by streaming tears (which I swear were spicy too – they burned!) and temporarily acquired a breaking voice not unlike your average pubescent boy. But it was good! And I went back for more, ate loads more chillis and peppers and cried a little bit but left Angeles proclaiming – that was good! I’ll go back there again!
Angeles is in Kilburn, London, on the Kilburn High Rd to be specific. I have walked past it almost daily for the last 3 years but I’d never been. It doesn’t look that enticing from the outside, there’s a buffet on display with lots of pre-cooked food sitting under seemingly endless rows of nightlights which is very popular but not my thing so I’ve avoided it. Recently, however, I have heard & read some good things about Angeles. The clientele is primarily Chinese also which, in itself, is a great recommendation. Sichuan is quite the thing in London recently with Bar Shu in Soho & now Snazz Sichuan opening in Euston. However, it’s said that Angeles and Sichuan Restaurant in Acton are the originals. Now, I haven’t been to Bar Shu or Snazz Sichuan (yet!) so I can’t compare, but I’ve read that Angeles represents more of the home-cooked style Sichuan Food.
So, we had a look at the menu in the window and it really did not look like a sichuan menu, it was more like the cantonese menus you see in Chinese restaurants all over London. We thought we’d go in anyway and have a look. We were promptly approached by a friendly waitress asking if were here for the buffet or the restaurant. We said restaurant and were directed to the restaurant, but what surprised me was that the restaurant is actually two restaurants divided by a wall, one for the buffet and the one we were now about to try. We were given two menus each, the cantonese one in the window and a bamboo one – the sichuan one. Now, this looked to be authentic sichuan food. I was very happy!
The restaurant itself is nice, the tablecloth and tableware all white & posters of chinese leaders on the walls. There was a range of items on the menu, lots of offal (beef stomach anyone?), lots of meat in general, seafood and vegetable dishes. There was lots of things that I had never eaten before so it was difficult to choose. We decided in the end on Dumpling Soup with Hot Chilli Oil, Stir Fried Double Cooked Belly Pork, Hot & Delicious Stir Fried King Prawns and steamed rice. The food and drinks arrived promptly. The prawns were delicious and numerous, very generous portions, cooked briefly and not overdone as you see in so many places. They were drowned in chillis and oil but the flavour was very good. It certainly had the renowned sichuan “hot” spicy and “numbing” spicy. The dumpling soup was minced pork dumplings in chilli oil which were tasty but not spectacular. The pork belly was quite greasy but flavoursome.
Throughout the meal I couldn’t help watch what everyone else was eating. The waitress indulged me by telling me what the various dishes were. Yeah, I can be very annoying. Steamed sichuan bread & bean tips really took my fancy and I will go back to try them.
The meal came to a total of £35 for the two of us with 3 drinks & service (which we added) included. The service was really efficient and friendly, they were super helpful even with all my annoying questions and promised to remind me to order the steamed bread next time I go back, which I will, as there’s lots more to try there and for the price it’s good value.
405 Kilburn High Rd
(020) 7625 2663
Tube: Kilburn (Jubilee Line)
Rail: Brondesbury Park