Thursday, 14 October 2010

Wuli Wuli, Camberwell


Camberwell is quickly becoming a hub of good restaurants. Silk Road stole my heart earlier this year with their Xinjiang cuisine; I quickly fell in love with wide flappy belt noodles. Angels & Gypsies provided a decent Mediterranean flavour, and their newest opening, Wuli Wuli, took us back to China. Originally alerted to this place by Chowhound, we found the place to be empty bar one other table. Tastefully decorated in dark wood and red leather banquettes, we were presented with a menu. Quickly flipping to the latter half, we found the recommended 'Chinese menu'.

Most of the menu is hilariously translated, with dishes like 'saliva chicken' and the above, 'smacked cucumbers' with chilli and garlic. At first taste it was weirdly sweet, but the more we ate it the more we loved its sweetness. Soothing yet with a back tingle of chilli, we picked at it enthusiastically throughout.

A Sichuan staple, green beans are fried with minced pork and chillis. They weren't as blistered as I'd have liked, but with a decent crunch.

A huge dish of glass vermicelli with minced pork arrived, labelled 'silkthread noodles' on the menu. It seemed to me much like Ants Crawling Up A Tree - the minced pork clinging to the noodles to emulate this. Only when it was mixed up proper with the sauce lurking beneath did we rate it above average.

We wanted a clapypot dish and so opted for lamb brisket with beancurd skin. Tender bony chunks of lamb were in a mild sauce, the thin beancurd sheets providing a little bite. Spooned over rice, this was comforting and rich.

Standout dish of the night was 'fried aubergines with pork'. These were in fact lightly battered and deep fried, then smothered in a savoury porky sauce and topped with sliced spring onions. Battered aubergines! Heavenly; soft, melt-in-the-mouth textures of the aubergine without it being greasy or mushy.

So, another great addition to Camberwell. Though not as chilli-laden as perhaps we'd have hoped, I think this was down to ordering. There were some right firebombs on the menu, such as 'beef slices in extremely spicy soup'. That's next on my list.

At a mere tenner a head without any booze, it was bargainous. It made me sad to see it was so empty - people of South East London (and beyond), do go.

Wuli Wuli

15 Camberwell Church Street
London SE5 8TR

Tel: 020 7708 5024

Wuli Wuli on Urbanspoon

10 comments:

tim_g said...

smacked cucumber + saliva chicken are pretty classic dishes!

Mr Noodles said...

This looks like hearty and rustic fare and it's always a shame when places like this aren't more busy.

BTW - I love the hand-written cover of the menu but it's a bit weird that the Chinese characters read 'Sichuan dishes' whilst the English reads 'Chinese style'.

Greedy Diva said...

Mmmm...saliva chicken...

kake said...

Hurrah, I'd been looking forward to hearing more about this place after I saw it on Chowhound. I have a group of South Londoners eager to go along as soon as we manage to settle on a mutually-acceptable date!

Pavel said...

Mmmmm Porky Deep fried Aubergine that sounds awesome. Now I just need to work out where the Hell Camberwell is...

Gin and Crumpets said...

If a cucumber hasn't been smacked, it's not worth eating.

TomEats said...

What is really interesting was that it was my dad who originally tipped me to this. He and some of his friends became locals and loved the place.

Apparently on their first visit the owner turned to them and said "your bum hurt next day".

I never made it : (

Grumbling Gourmet said...

Just read Helen's comments on (I guess) the same meal!
So happy with this.. the photos look fab and I'm now almost regretting a two week trip that means I'm not going to be able to get in here for a while...

Spicy porky aubergines following a couple of pints in the Hermit, I think that sounds like a plan for my return!

Rich

Hengki Budi Prasetyo said...

You tell us a noodle like glass is glass vermicelli. In my country this glass vermicelli is called 'bihun'[spell, bee-hoon]. I like very much this fried glass vermicelli mixed with pork, beef, or shrimp. Delicious!

Catherine said...

Wuli Wuli are now offering lunch specials for all of £4.50 until 5pm.
Check them out!