Peter Morrell enjoys an evening at this smart new Pan-Asian dining venue
The area around Camden Town tube station has always had a good reputation amongst Londoners as a place to visit for a good evening out. That reputation has recently been greatly enhanced by the opening of Miusan, a new venue dedicated to Pan-Asian dining.
Miusan is spread over three levels, a lower dance area, ground floor bar and an upper mezzanine dining space. My wife and I recently spent a relaxed and comfortable evening on the upper level. Having been modelled on the opulent 1940’s opium dens of New York and Paris the décor is stylishly sophisticated. Sumptuous white upholstered chairs and banquettes are complemented with muted colours and flickering candles which made an intimate atmosphere ideal for romantic dinners,
We nibbled on deliciously flavoured prawn crackers with a sweet chilli dipping sauce as we perused the menu. There is an extensive range of pre-dinner drinks and cocktails, a combination of classics and Asian inspired. My wife had an exoticTropical Bellini, a mix of mango juice and prosecco while I had a Tiger beer.
The starters were a good range of interesting dishes including soft shell crab, crispy aromatic duck and salt and chilli baked squid. All would have been good choices but our eventual picks were a seafood tempura for my wife and I chose the pork ribs.
The tempura was a mix of king prawns and squid, the fish was coated with a very crisp feather-light batter and served with a chilli and spring onion salad and a tamarind guava dressing. This was the perfect balance of delicate tastes.
My starter was the Jasmine tea smoked barbecued pork ribs with toasted sesame seeds and honey. The rib were very meaty and meltingly tender with a good depth of flavour and they were garnished with shredded vegetables.
This was a good start to the meal and as well as the execution of the cooking we were both impressed with the quality of the presentation.
There was a wide selection of main courses featuring chicken, duck, pork, beef, fish, seafood and vegetables. In addition there were a number of dishes specifically from South East Asia like Thai green curry and an Indonesian beef rendang. Some intriguing dishes were on offer, we liked the look of the Malaysian salmon sambal with aubergines and Weeping tiger – sirloin steak strips in red wine and black pepper sauce.
Our final choices were the Bourbon chicken for my wife and my selection was the Canton Pork. My wife’s chicken was served with bamboo shoots and the meat was in a batter. This combination of crispy and crunchy, the multi-dimensional textures giving it a unique quality.
My pork had been cooked with dried shrimps, curry leaves and oyster sauce. This was a good combination, dried shrimp will always add the intense character of the umami taste, the oyster sauce provided freshness and the curry leaves made the background subtly spicy. A lovely fusion of oriental flavours.
We had a couple of sides, the mixed special fried rice with shrimps and chicken, which was both colourful and generous and an Asian cucumber, tomato and onion salad dressed with mayo, rather like an oriental slaw.
There was a short but well curated wine list with the prices that were very reasonable, starting at under £20 for a bottle. Our wine match for the evening was the the Saint Marc grenache blanc from the Languedoc and made by the well respected producer Vignobles Foncalieu. This was a bright, uplifting wine with good grapefruit and floral aromas in the bouquet. On the palate the wine had lively acidity and showed fresh lemon and lime flavours, the finish was fruity and persistent. It was an excellent companion to Asian food.
The portions were very large so we really couldn’t manage a pudding but if you are tempted then the sweet potato and chocolate cake with warm chocolate sauce and lychee agar agar looked attractive as did the Toddy steamed cakes made with white rice flour and served with a distinctly coconut twist.
Throughout the meal the staff were charming, add to this the décor and the quality of the food made it was a very enjoyable dining experience. A worthy addition to the culinary scene in Camden Town.
Expect to pay about £40pp including drinks. If you want to give Miusan a try then there is a ‘Happy Hour’ from 5:00pm to 7:00pm with a selection of cocktails priced at two for £10 and if you feel hungry then the starter menu offers two dishes for £10.
16 Inverness Street
London, NW1 7HJ
020 7424 9527