Baozi Inn, Chinatown

Posted on August 31, 2010


Northern Chinese restaurant, Food 5*/5, Price about £12, Waiting time 5-15 mins, Atmosphere 5/5, Address 25 Newport Court, WC2H 7JS opposite Leicester Square car park

baozi (steamed buns filled with pork/vegetables)

Going through Baozi Inn’s doors, past the strings of red  lanterns feels a bit like the beginning of a magical journey. The flavours of their dishes are exotic and exquisite. The heat of the burnt, fried chillies and numbing tingle of the Sichuan peppers flavour the rich, melt in the mouth stewed pork on top of their homemade noodles. More dreamy scents grace the myriad of small dishes like the refreshing spinach with ginger juice and the spicy cucumber salad, spiked with star anise. Their baozi pastries (steamed bun filled with seasoned meat and/or vegetables), dumplings and noodles made from fresh, soft dough are all top notch.

Sichuan fragrant and hot pork noodles and ginger-juice spinach (in background)

The decor features dark wood and red colours. The red strips of paper on the wall with the menu written in Chinese characters along with portraits of Mao Zedong and various paraphanaelia featuring the red star gives an almost mystical feel.  The service is lively and quick. A couple of things that take getting used to are the starters being bought out at the same time as (or even after) the mains and the minimum fee of £10 but these are really minor details.

At £12 per head for drink, starter and main course, this is a truly satisfying, eye-opening experience and a genuine bargain. Remember to take cash!

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