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December 23, 2023

East meets West in elegant fashion at Canton Blue

Canton Blue, the flagship Cantonese restaurant at Peninsula London, is an upmarket celebration of Asian and European cultures

By Stephanie Bridger-Linning

Canton Blue, the flagship Cantonese restaurant at the Peninsula London, ‘celebrates the convergence of Asian and British cultures’ in surroundings that are as opulent as one could expect from this newly-opened billion-pound behemoth of a hotel. 

Location 

The Peninsula London, on Hyde Park Corner in London. Although the restaurant is on the ground floor of the hotel, it is best accessed via a dedicated entrance on Grosvenor Crescent. 

Interiors 

There are four dining rooms and a separate cocktail bar, Little Blue. The restaurant’s main dining room, from Hong Kong-based interior designer Henry Leung of CAP Atelier, draws inspiration from the Keying junk, a trade ship that sailed between Europe and Asia in the 19th-century. Poppy displays of Cantonese porcelain form eye-catching centrepieces behind the private booths of the space, whose ceiling is dominated by an extraordinary backlit ceiling panel depicting a celestial navigation map. At one end there is an imposing blue dual-aspect fireplace, which is shared with an adjacent tea lounge (where dinner is also served). 

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There are two private dining rooms – The Silk Room and The Music Room. Each, as their names suggest, showcase a specific element of Chinese culture. The Silk Room, with its bold, blue, silk-draped walls, is particularly impactful. 

Food & Drink 

Executive chef Dicky Ho is a veteran of The Peninsula Paris, The Peninsula Tokyo and The Peninsula Shanghai. To London, he brings Cantonese recipes peppered with British ingredients. The menu is a mixture of regional favourites and more adventurous dishes – seemingly everything delicious. 

To start, sample dishes from the separate dim sum menu, or the Barbecued Pork and Steamed Vegetable Dumplings from the main menu. For mains, highlights include the Black Truffle Tofu; Wok-Fried Dry-Aged Ribeye, served with Black Bean Sauce; and the Stir-Fried Rice Noodles, with Chicken, Green Chilli, and Black Bean Sauce. 

Signature cocktails at Little Blue are inspired by four stops on the Europe-Asia trade route – Hong Kong, St Helena, New York and London – and really pack a punch. You’ve been warned! 

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The Service 

The service at Canton Blue is impeccable. Staff have perfected the tricky balance of being attentive without verging into the overly present or familiar. 

Worth Knowing 

Little Blue doesn’t take reservations but pop in for a pre-dinner drink and admire the trompe-l’œili hidden in the display of white and blue vases that lines the staircase up to the main restaurant. 

The Verdict 

An upmarket Cantonese restaurant that proves it is possible to have style and substance

peninsula.com

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