ULI bills itself as clean, honest Asian cooking and walking in the restaurant the clean lines, white tables and splashes of blue certainly echos this sentiment. Although informal, the space has an air of cool, and the garden and terrace screams Instagram worthy.
The restaurant’s roots lie in traditional Chinese, Malaysian, Thai and Singaporeans cooking disciplines, making this a true Asian – fusion restaurant. The food claims to be clean, fresh and healthy, a combination I definitely found to be true dining here.
Its a (very) short walk from Notting Hill Gate, when we arrived, we were greeted by a small team, who seated us outside, and immediately welcomed our dinning experience with a Rising Sun cocktail – with woki saki, vodka and prosecco. The raspberry and blackberry laced drink cuts a refreshing start on the warm summer evening. And accompanied by the Thai Lobster crackers, our taste buds were off to a good start – these were like prawn crackers elevated to a new level!
Everything on the menu was screaming at us to eat it, the biggest problem we had was not ordering too much. From the tradition crispy calamari, dim sum and spring rolls, to more adventurous Pho Vegan, soft shell crab and Moo shu pork, we were certainly not short of options for things to pick! Warning: you’ll most definitely have to come here more than once to experience the varied and yummy options this menu provides.
Starters were Sesame seed Prawns, Prawn and Chive Dumplings, all as expected, well executed and tasty. The biggest surprise was the Asparagus with Black Bean, ginger and chilli – not something I would normally go for in an Asian restaurant, this was just divine. The asparagus was cooked to perfection, tasty and with a bit of a kick, we even cleaned the plate of the little black beans that made up the flavour.
Onto mains, and accompanied by a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio we went fish crazy. With the Thai Seabass Fillet, the fish was soft, flakey and succulent – steamed with chilli and lemongrass, it definitely had a kick, so be warned to ask about spice when you chose. But for us it was enough.
We also had Szechuan chilli prawns, which were a flavour sensation, and accompanied by lots of veg, we were served an ample amount of large prawns, which we were happy about.
Arguably, there was little room for dessert, but I’m a sucker for ice cream Mochi. So we fought on and picked a selection, for me the stand out was the coconut. But really, it was all more than worth the over-eat!
The service was a little bit too laid back for me, I’d like my drinks delivered a little quicker but the food was more than worth the wait!
Address: 5 Ladbroke Road, London W11 3PA
Written by Polly Robin