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“Full of Telegraph-reading types, older folk, luvvies and theatre-goers”, Yming feels more respectable than most of its neighbours in Chinatown, but don’t let the smart interiors, blue carpets and white tablecloths fool you – there is some “unintimidating” regional cooking on offer here. To start, try the strange, abalone-like ‘nymph mushroom’, tofu chips in spiced salt or prawn rolls with almond flakes, ahead of shredded duck with ginger, whole crab on soft noodles or wok-roasted beef with mandarin sauce. Otherwise, coq au vin ‘Chinese style’ and double-cooked pork hotpot are worth noting, along with specials honouring famous guests – Jonathan Miller’s hot and spicy sea bass, for example. To finish, dip into the kooky ‘sweet temptations’ – perhaps fried chocolate, steamed buns or rose-petal pancakes. Service hits the mark and prices are extremely reasonable – especially the lunch/pre-theatre menu (£12).
Chinatown is more of a draw for tourists than London foodies these days, hence the casual, frantic nature of many of the restaurants in the area. I’ve yet to find a restaurant that’s stood out amongst the others, until now. During a recent evening out with friends, one of my pal’s grandfather’s (who has lived in London for decades) chose the restaurant, declaring that Yming serves the best Chinese food in the West End.Located on Greek Street, just off Shaftesbury Avenue, it is admittedly just on the boundaries of Chinatown. With its aquamarine interior and pristine white tablecloths, it is evidently a more...
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