Big hitters Bar Shu, Ba Shan and the Baozi Inn are already championing the Szechuan cause in Soho, and the arrival of Baiwei (literally ‘a hundred flavours’) completes a gang of four firecrackers in the neighbourhood. Authentic home-style dishes from the south-western province and neighbouring areas are the order of the day, with chilli warnings and plenty of anatomical curiosities on the pictorial menu. Choose from a lengthy assortment of ‘cold’ and ‘hot’ specialities ranging from aubergines with preserved egg or plates of pig’s ear, tongue and tripe dressed with astringent black vinegar to chilli-flecked lamb with roasted rice, bowls of dan-dan noodles or beef and coriander won tons in broth. Spread over two floors, Baiwei looks rather Spartan – save for some Maoist propaganda posters proclaiming ‘the big leap forward’ (originally chosen as the restaurant’s controversial name).
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