I did it, I gave up control-chef’s choice dinner at Ancestral.

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Bar snacks

I did it, I relinquished control.

I couldn’t read the menu 50 times, get to know it off by heart and then choose the obvious . I may have read the menu and speculated what might arrive, but his time it was up to the kitchen and the chef.

This all came about because as a branch we won prize money for being so fantastic. As there are 7 of us and many set menus started at 10 people, this was an issue. I searched Zomato and didn’t have to go far, Ancestral solved our problems.


minimum 4 persons – available until 8.30pm

Chef’s Selection of dishes from our a la carte menu.

Between the 7 of us we can polish off decent amount food and this approach would take the pain out of the ordering fiasco. To make it more interesting, Dan and I, who are not fans of fish or seafood,  made a pact to try everything.

Eating like this is a really interesting concept. To have food just arrive is novel. I would recommend going to do this in Ancestral  if you are looking to feed a group. The portions were large ( 3 plates of each shared dish) , the service was great and the food was excellent. Despite my issues with control , I really enjoyed the meal and experience. Dan and I did try new things and ate things we haven’t previously enjoyed. Squid (fine) , salmon roe, lobster foam and monk fish were on this hit list.

I took some photographs of our food, I didn’t take my camera along so I am afraid they are phone pictures. Remember, if you do go and give up control, your food may be different as the chef is the boss. If you just can’t do the chef’s choice,go any way. The food, service and ambience were great.

~ as an aside the 7 of us are multinational – I’m English, 3 are from various parts on China, 1 Kiwi, 1 Southern Indian and a Korean with Japanese roots.

Our food

Pork Belly and Cucumber ‘Salad’ (gf)

Thinly sliced steamed pork belly, cucumber and spiced soy sauce

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The pork was in a long thin strip and worked really well with the cucumber and tangy sauce.

Rare Seared Beef

With sweet and sour onion, crispy garlic and ginger mousse

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 Another winner, very good quality beef with delicious garnish. The ginger mousse was a very lovely touch.

Typhoon Shelter Squid

Tossed with garlic, red chilli and Ancestral spiced salt

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The 3 plates of this vanished, that says it all. I tried it and wasn’t offended. Squid is just not my thing. I did like the batter and the garnish.

Steamed Dim Sum

Pork & prawn dumpling with pea coulis and
truffle lobster emulsion

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Out of 7 of us, 3 hail from China, these were declared good Dim Sum. There were salmon roe as part of the dish too but the chop sticks went in and they were eaten before I could get a photo. I tried the roe and to me it was strange. The lobster foam was rather good. The emulsion was absolutely amazing and full of flavour.


Steamed with Tianjin pickles & chilli garlic topping

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By the time this arrived we were reaching food coma stage. The monkfish was cooked well and the topping was a very good addition. It was great to have some greens. This was my first taste of monk fish, I would try it again.

Emperor Pork Loin

Fried and tossed in our empire sauce

Photo 13-02-15 8 34 23 pm By the time this dish arrived, we were super stuffed. It was mentioned that we would have liked to have had this earlier as it was so flavoursome. The pork was cooked to perfection, the sauce was a medley of sweet and sour, barbecue and had a hint of spice. What was left was boxed up to take home.

Sago & Mango Pudding

With ruby grapefruit, orange curaçao and coconut cream

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My hopes were not high for a Chinese style pudding that I would like, I very nearly left before this arrived. I would have been sad if I heard afterwards what it was. This was one wobbly delight, we all enjoyed it and were very pleased with the choice. A great way to end a very interesting experience.

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