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Originally pitched as a mid-market sibling to Bar Shu across the way, Ba Shan is, if anything, more atmospheric, with
stone floors, ornate lanterns and a ‘shadow room’ decorated with puppets at the back. Chilli heat and ‘bold, shouty flavours’ still pack an authentically fiery punch here, but more mellow, delicate
options also abound on the illustrated menu. Start with ‘outrageously rich and garlicky’ pounded aubergine or complex ‘smashed’ cucumber salad, before moving on to ‘unctuous and fragrant’
anise-braised pork or chilli-spiked gong bao chicken. Generous portions are best shared, so ‘come en masse – and bring your adventurous streak’ advises one convert. The wine list features several
spice-friendly whites – otherwise drink Tsingtao beer or one of the fruity beverages preferred by young Chinese customers. Good service and a moderate tab all add up to ‘a weird and wonderful
when it comes to dining out, chinese cuisine is rarely on the top of mY list. it’s only ever number one after a night out in the west end and i stumble into chinatown for some fried ho fun! so when jenny (mY brother’s boss) took us out for dinner last night at ba shan - a chinese restaurant, i wasn’t sure what to expect.tucked away in soho on the corner of romilly street and frith street lies a spicy hunanese restaurant. i love spicy food and for this particular reason, jenny recommended ba shan. decked out in traditional chinese decor, you find yourself escaping from the hustle and bustle of the west end. we were sat on the top floor with only two tables but the other party left not long after we had arrived and so it felt like private dining (sweet!). the waiter was always at hand to assist us with our needs.the menu was extensive but it wasn’t difficult deciding what we wanted. as requested, all starters and mains came out as and when they were ready – we were so hungry! they didn’t mess about either, dishes came out quick!...
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The province of Hunan is located in the south-central part of China; a little piece of it can also be found in Soho with the name of Ba Shan above the door. Owned by the people who run the Szechuan sister, Barshu, over the road, it boasts an all Hunanese menu developed with Chinese food expert Fuchsia Dunlop. If your idea of a great meal is having your chops whalloped with fire and flavour, there is little need to entertain the thought of dining anywhere else in town.Piquant preserved yard-long beans chopped into chewy segments provided an unusual but stellar texture for the vegetable. Stir-fried with stiff boards of salty Chinese bacon and slithers of preserved crisp garlic, it was a piled high plate of spicy and savoury splendour...
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Ba Shan is a Hunanese restaurant, serving genuine food that come from this region and that means only one thing to expect, Chilli and indeed, it did not skimped on that front. A red plague that proudly greeted the diners upon entering proclaimed, ' If you don't eat chilli, you won't be a revolutionary'. And rightly so!Situated only a stone throw away from the ever buzzing Chinatown, on a quiet corner street in Soho is this rather quaint little restaurant. With its Chinese teahouse facade and dark wood interior it exudes a certain elegance. The beautiful hanging lanterns and oriental-style furniture completes this vision. Dotted around are memorabilia of Chairman Mao, who originates from the Hunan province. On my various visits, the service were cold but not entirely unpleasant which is much more than I can say for the rather off-hand manager. On a recent visit, we were told that we have only one and an hour's dining time, in a rather abrupt tone before we were even shown to our table. But to be fair, we overstayed slightly and he did not chase us out with a broomstick. Although there were quite a few exchanges of scrutinising gaze from across the room...
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