Confucius Chinese restaurant: A wise choice (December 2016)

Named after the ancient Chinese philosopher renowned for his wisdom, diners in the Wimbeldon area would do well to visit the Confucius restaurant if after top-quality Chinese food. Established for many years and frequented both my Chinese customers and savvy locals, Confucius does not offer anything ground-breaking, but just very good and authentic Cantonese dishes. Our recent visit on a Saturday saw the place full, but service was obliging and efficient. Since we were a large group, we shared a range of dishes, thereby allowing us to sample the breadth of the kitchen’s expertise. The chicken and sweetcorn soup with which we started was rather bland, but this was more than offset with what followed. Both whole chicken and duck were brought to the table and ‘smashed’ in front of us – great dining theatre, but also wonderful dishes. The flavour of the chicken was really brought out by the dish of salt into which we were advised the meat should be dipped, while the ginger and carrot sauce that accompanied the duck left a lingering taste. The prawn and walnut main was also excellent, the two working together as a great – and quite novel – foil. Additionally, vegetable dishes at Confucius are far from an after-thought: the beans with chilli and an inventive celeriac salad were both stand-out options. At ~£25/head (admittedly just with tea drunk), there is also great value to be had here. Definitely worth a visit if in the area.