Restaurants & Bars 13

Bar Shu, SoHo, London

limster | Dec 2, 2007 05:53 AM

The cold spicy chicken appetizer (kou3 shui3 ji1 -- I'm hoping I remembered the name in English correctly, it's the one with a picture in the top part of the appetizer section) is barely spicy and completely lacks any trace of Sichuan peppercorns that are characteristic of the cuisine (look for a peppery numbing sensation). The vinaigrette that dresses the poached chicken did have an ok chicken flavour, but is otherwise devoid of the complexity required of such a dish.

Dry fried string beans (gan1 bian1 si4 ji4 dou4) show reasonable wok technique, the string beans are blistered properly. The pork could be more finely minced but that's a quibble. Sichuan pickles also make their presence felt, which was nice. A little too enthusiastic with ginger, which should usually work in the background to cut strong flavours rather than make a statement of their own.

While the cooking is not amateurish by any means (cooking and cutting technique are fine but not the most refined), there's still a lot lacking in terms of flavour depth and complexity.

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