Savoy Kitchen: Mild but savory
Savoy Kitchen is a localâ€™s favorite, and itâ€™s easy to see why with its crowds of customers, regulars and first-timers alike. Seats both outside and inside are often filled, and people wait patiently in the cold night air to be seated. Â
Within the confines of its small interior, a long bench is built into the sides of the room, providing almost half of the seating space. Though cramped, the space creates an intimate ambiance. Depictions of herbs and vegetables are drawn directly on the walls, and the exterior is adorned with a string of lights. Outside seating is included as well underneath an overhang with plastic sheets on the sides. The best seating is the far inside, where the breeze from the door opening canâ€™t reach.
The menu is somewhat limited, especially when it comes to dessert, but it boasts eight categories of food, including pizza with seafood and smoked beef toppings and the specialty dish, Hainan chicken rice. The waiters were especially warm and inviting, even recommending me a few dishes when I could not decide what to choose.
The Hainan chicken rice came with three sauces – chili, ginger and soy sauce. The soft and tender meat blended well with the spicy sauces while the soy sauce gave a distinctly sweet and tangy taste. Despite its unappetizing appearance, the beef curryâ€™s spicy and flavorful taste with minced potatoes won me over. Out of curiosity, I also tried the smoked duck pizza with red onion and enoki mushrooms, which had a 30 minute wait. It overall exceeded my expectations, both aesthetically and taste-wise and differed from other pizzas not only because of its peculiar toppings but also because it was not too oily. The texture of the crust was perfect – not too chewy but not too hard.
The flavors were not too rich or fatty, as you would expect from a popular restaurant, but rather tasted delicate and light, as stronger flavors were often balanced by the side dishes, such as rice. Savoyâ€™s modest flavor palette is similar to homemade cooking, making it an affordable alternativeÂ to preparing a meal.
Written by Haixin Guo, Copy lead
Photo by Haixin Guo