Toa Kitchen is a relative newcomer (it’s been open almost 2 years) to the Cantonese dining scene in Bayswater, having taken over the premises that was previously the Magic Wok. We’ve taken quite some time getting there to try it out with various other stalwarts, including Goldmine and Four Seasons, proving to be distractions along the way. The new owners have redone the decor with a slightly more updated look including dimmer pendant lights, rather than somewhat brighter fluorescent lighting popularized by Chinese eateries.
We went for dim sum and overall, the meal was satisfying. Some of the classics, like the siu mai and the har gao were much better than the average. Some were more average – the skin on the cheong fun was relatively thick. The liu sha bao (or Chinese molten salted egg custard bun) was particularly outstanding – the custard was actually liquid and flowing, something not often found in other places that offer up this dish.
There were also some interesting dishes – in particular, a vegetarian cheong fun filled with mushroom and having an additional wrapper of green leafy vegetables around the rice flour skin.
We came back on another occasion to try the main dishes (rather than dim sum). Of our three dishes, the Japanese tofu with mushrooms was good, we remained divided on whether the roast duck was the best in London but we unanimously agreed that the salt and pepper squid blew the competition out of the water.
This restaurant is a more than welcome addition to the standard Bayswater Cantonese offerings. It presents decent quality for most dishes with the occasional stand out item. Most importantly, it hasn’t been discovered yet, so you can actually walk in for a table. Unlike Goldmine and Four Seasons which are more of a mob affair.
A quiet eating 7/10 for dim sum and 8/10 for dishes.
Lunch (all of the above) was GBP13 a head for dim sum excluding tea and service. GBP15 a head for dishes excluding tea and service.