I spotted this place while walking back to mine from Brick Lane. The menu struck me as a near carbon copy of Gourmet Sen's down the road so I figured it'd be worth grabbing a menu from. Inside I found that they also had an untranslated menu of Hangzhou specialties and all of our ordering was done off of there. Limster joined us for what was a very good meal which exceeded any I've had down the road at Gourmet Sen. Also, the prices on their normal menu seem a bit lower than GS while the Hangzhou menu is about on par with GS price wise. The regular menu has a few interesting dishes like baizhou pickled lamb which we're meaning to try too.
We ordered Hangzhou stir fry which consisted of tangy pickled greens and bits of flavorful pork. Nice wok breath and good overall flavor, but basic. 5 quid?
The next dish to come was Hangzhou fish slices with pickled mustard greens, pickled chillies, mu'er and a variety of other vegetables. This was very flavorful with nice relatively fresh fish in a light yet flavorful sauce. Nice texture on the pieces of fish that held together though they tend to break down over time. Pretty good though. I think this dish was 12 quid.
Next to arrive and probably the best dish of the entire meal was a roll of tofu skin filled with pork. The outside seemed to have been battered and then walk fried with a delicious filling. Really good and the dish on the top of the right column of the Hangzhou menu. 8.50 if I remember right.
Finally there was the dragon whale (right?) prawns. These came cleverly presented with an overturned cup of... the wrong type of tea... on display in the center of the plate. The sauce had only the vaguest hint of tea flavor and I only noticed it on the prawns. It ended up being closer to the fish minus the pickled flavors and with a tiiiiny hint of tea on some pieces. Nonetheless the prawns were large, tasty and perfectly cooked.
Overall this place is a great addition to the area and it's pretty much Chinese takeaway level distance from my place so that's nice. In terms of travel, Liverpool St is probably closer than Bethnal Green tube but the latter provides a more direct walk. The appeal seems to thus far be the Hangzhou menu.
Red Bar & Restaurant
132 Bethnal Green Rd (South Side aka opposite side of Gourmet Sen)
London E2 6DG
They've got a 10% off takeaway over 10 quid policy that I might just have to test via their kebabs (really reasonably priced) and the fried tofu skin with pork rolls.