Just a stroll from Chinatown, Bar Shu sends out a siren call to lovers of fiery Szechuan flavours. Punchy dishes with chilli top notes and complex undertones are the name of the game: picture-led menus with codified heat levels and enticing titles (‘irresistible lamb ribs with lashings of chilli', ‘numbing and hot eel strips') show – and warn – novices exactly what to expect. Not everything is scorching – steamed sea bass with ginger and spring onion is as mild as they come, while crisp lettuce leaves stuffed with minced chicken and mustard greens are simply refreshing. Service has been rather lukewarm of late, but the authentic food and ornate dining room (all intricate wood carvings, red walls and traditional paraphernalia) take occidental chilli-heads and Chinese habitués to the heart of Szechuan province. Be warned: prices can burn.
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