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|Address:||24 Romilly Street, London W1D 5AH|
|Tel:||020 7287 3266|
|Price: £38.00||Wine: £22.90||Champagne: £46.90|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-11pm|
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Maybe going to a Hunan restaurant, a cuisine renown for the liberal use of both red and green chillies, the night after an evening of sizzling lamb chops at Tayyabs was not the smartest of moves. That said, nothing was going to move me from a dish of Chilli Chicken: a big bowl of red chillies with nuggets of chicken hidden amongst them. A sort of extra-hot lucky dip.
Ba Shan seems to divide critics, who either say that it is not hot and spicy enough, not authentic enough or just not very good. Well I cannot judge the authenticity, but it is certainly as good a restaurant as I have ever been to in China. It also, very authentically for many a restaurant in Asia, has a menu with pictures of the dishes. For a China ignoramus like me, this helps. As did going with somebody who has travelled extensively in the region, although he did confess that we had chosen badly, with too many sweet dishes and not enough hot ones.
As well as the aforementioned chicken dish, we had a lovely cold starter of spinach with sesame sauce, some delicately spiced scallop with green chillies and fish flavoured aubergine. We went for this latter not only as I like the vegetable (yes, I know it is technically a fruit, but usage is everything), but also because the name of the dish reminded me of the Monty Python voiceover sketch, where the Bishop of Leicester declares that a certain beer that he is advertising is “the mighty lager, with the world's first great taste of fish!”. I confess, I wouldn't have picked the fish flavour out, but it was as nice a vegetable dish as I've had in a Chinese restaurant for a while. I also like things deep fried, so, whilst I would normally eschew any tofu dish, deep fry it and I’ll partake. As I did here, with a dish that was just too sweet for my taste.
The room is small, the service friendly and the quality far higher than the majority of the Chinese restaurants in Soho/Chinatown.