Review on Straw Hat Oriental
Innovative Asian cuisine in a 500-year-old thatched cottage some 30 miles from London is the unusual deal at this Hertfordshire newcomer. Old beams sit comfortably with contemporary décor and oriental artefacts in the dining room, and there's an immaculate landscaped garden outside.
Chef and co-proprietor Ken Ho worked at the Ritz Carlton in Singapore and more recently at London's hot Chinese cookie Hakkasan before taking over the Straw Hat's kitchen. The menu is a world away from the chop suey/crispy duck syndrome of most provincial Chinese restaurants; instead, it promises tea-smoked spare ribs, soft-shell crab with red chillies and curry leaves, fried lobster balls with garlic shoots, chicken claypot with sweet basil, chilli and spring onions, or stir-fried asparagus with fresh lily bulbs and lotus roots.
Ken Ho also strikes out across many Far Eastern borders, plundering Thailand for tom yum soup, Japan for deep-fried sea bass and fried udon noodles, and Malaysia for curries; you can even excite your taste buds with sushi and sashimi, courtesy of an expert Japanese chef.
Restaurant Opening Times
Lunch: 12.00 - 3.00pm (all day Sun)
Dinner: 6.00 - 11.00pm (10.00pm Sun)
Accepted credit cards
Visa, Master Card, American Express