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Square Meal Review of Zen China ?

Despite the veneer of tourism all around, Zen China remains remarkably true to its northern Chinese roots. Instead of the usual fare that weighs down Soho Chinatown menus, you’ll find the specialities of Beijing province and its neighbours well represented. Freshly made dumplings are prettily coloured with ‘natural juices’, ’local-style’ appetisers are authentically served at room temperature (five-spiced marinated beef slices, for example), and hand-pulled noodles appear with minced pork or pungent fermented yellow-bean sauce; also check out the Beijing duck tasting menu for a special treat. Decked out like an imperial dining hall, with calligraphy scrolls and opulent fabrics, the high-ceilinged room also boasts peek-a-boo views of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. The food is creditable stuff and helpings are plentiful, but reports suggest service needs a wake-up call.


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