We had a period of falling in and out of love with Local Friends. There were periods when it was fantastic, then some downhill ones, it seemed to be recovering, and after a couple so-so dinners earlier this year I had pretty much given up. And so we found ourselves the other evening wanting a good Chinese dinners and agreeing, "let's not give Local Friends another chance." Sorry about this, we had thought of them as friends before.
So it was a bit surprising to walk by and find a new name and new sign (but the same decor) in the place. And a new menu, this one very strongly on the Szechuan side. The temptation could not be resisted, and in we went.
It was just the two of us, so we did not try much. A salad of tofu strips with coriander, and a seabass grilled with a nice chili-heavy chili sauce. But it was good. It was better than good. It was good-as-you-recall-places-that-used-to-be-better good. We resolved to go again in the future with a larger group and mine more of the menu.
The owners are the same but the chef is new. And our praise is high. And order is restored to the world.
132 Bethnal Green Road, E2 6DG.