Super Nova, SE1 4TP
- 78-80 Tower Bridge Road
Super Nova was a Chinese restaurant/takeaway on Tower Bridge Road in Bermondsey. It closed some time in 2009 or 2010. The premises were advertised for rent for a while, until another Chinese restaurant called Crystal China opened there in autumn 2011.
The information below is retained for people who want to know what it used to be like as Super Nova.
- Grilled peking dumplings (£3.50 in May 2009) were fine, with thick, chewy wrappers and decently-seasoned filling. Kake would happily order them again.
- Paper-wrapped prawns (£5.20 in May 2009) were made from minced prawns rather than whole prawns. They were a bit overcooked and underseasoned for Kake's taste; they were also very slightly greasy.
- Spare ribs peking style (£4.50 in November 2008) were a bit rubbish; the meat was very dry and overcooked, and there seemed to be some attempt at a batter coating which had completely failed to stick to the ribs. Wouldn't order these again.
- Spiced salt and pepper chicken wings (£4.20 in May 2009) were batter-coated, and not bad. They were a little dry when ordered in March 2009, but better in May 2009.
- Fancy chicken (£4.20 in June 2009) turned out to be small battered-and-deep-fried pieces of chicken; Kake thought they were overcooked, dry, chewy, and not very flavourful. doop thought that the pieces of red chilli they came with helped a bit.
- Sesame prawn toast (£4.50 in June 2009) was soggy and greasy, and the thin layer of minced prawn didn't impart much flavour. Generous portion though (2 slices of bread's worth).
- Gluten mock "chicken" with mushrooms (£4.80 in November 2008) and mock "duck" with black bean and chilli (£4.80 in November 2008) were both fine - a definite improvement on the rather rubbish mock "pork" we had from the previous incarnation of this place a year and a half ago. Most of the mushrooms in the chicken dish were just plain old button mushrooms, but there were one or two more interesting ones as well. The chilli in the duck dish was not very apparent.
- Gluten mock "chicken" with green peppers and onions (£4.80 in May 2009) pleasingly turned out to contain generous helpings of dried red chillies and Sichuan peppercorns. Kake is now intrigued to see whether they have any other stealth Sichuan-inspired dishes on the menu.
- Choi sum with garlic sauce (£3.80 in March 2009) and fried aubergine in sea spice sauce (£3.30 in March 2009) were fine - although the choi sum erred on the side of saltiness and the aubergine on the side of oiliness, there was nothing really to complain about.
- Deep-fried aubergine (£3.10 in May 2009) turned out to be pieces of aubergine deep-fried in a thick, fluffy batter and served with a sweet-and-sour sauce. Kake thought it was bland and greasy, and the aubergine was effectively not noticeable. doop seemed to like it, though.
- Bean curd Szechuan style (£3.30) was not very Szechuan; it was just cubes of indifferent fried tofu in a sweet, gloopy, bright red sauce.
- Steamed rice in lotus leaf (£5 in November 2008) was OK but a little disappointing; they'd just used normal rice rather than glutinous sticky rice, but it was fine apart from that.
- Plain steamed rice (£1.50 in June 2009) was fine; in May 2009 we got an enormous portion but in June 2009 it was a more normal size.
Note that the above all relates to takeaway orders. secretlondon visited for an eat-in lunch with a colleague in March 2009. This cost £9/head for mixed starters and three main-course dishes, all of which we enjoyed. There was no-one else in the restaurant. Background music was playing. They are licenced.
Kake's verdict: I might order from here again if I fancy mock meat, but I don't think I'd bother if I wasn't in a mock meat mood. I'd like to go and eat in some time to further investigate the Chinese menu that I photographed in late 2008; it's possible that this is one of those places that can actually cook decent food but is also happy to churn out the gloopy sauce stuff for the masses.
Accessibility: No step to entrance, toilet not checked.