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|Address:||43-45 Baker Street, London W1U 8EW|
|Tel:||020 3589 2120|
|Price: £50.00||Wine: £25.00||Champagne: £60.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-12M|
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Bright Courtyard stands on the sight of the not at all lamented West 55, a hotchpotch of a restaurant that mixed too many styles with absolutely zero substance. Bright Courtyard advertises itself as a Club, maybe to keep up with the Royal China Club directly opposite, but there is nothing clubby about the operation, which is housed in a glass fronted modern reincarnation of the horrendous sixties M&S head quarters on Baker Street. Like West 55 before it, it is a bit of a hotchpotch – lots of Cantonese, mixed in with sashimi. Why sashimi? And, if there is a valid answer to this, why no sushi? The Japanese were last seriously in China in 1945, and then only in Guangdong in the immediate vicinity of Hong Kong, so can hardly have left a legacy of sashimi.
We only went here is the Royal China couldn’t seat us for an hour, and maybe this will be BCC’s saving grace: given its situation, it will get the cast-off crowd from across the road.
The food is perfectly ok, but no better than the Royal China or a dozen or more places in China Town, and certainly nowhere near as good as Ba Shan. It says something when the standout dish was pea sprouts and garlic, but that really was a lovely dish. But thirteen quid? For a side dish? That is just rude.
Service was perfectly ok, although, whether by accident or design, the wine that I had asked for was replaced by another bottle. Ok, a nice bottle, and my fault for not questioning, but when the bill came, it seems that the cheap bottle that I had thought I was getting had morphed into a stupidly expensive one. In fact, when the bill came, I thought that there had been some mistake: a couple of starters and mains, the aforementioned pea sprout side dish and a bottle of wine in a Chinese anywhere in the world should not come to this much. Or, if it does, it had better be at one of the fancy Michelin three star places in Hong Kong.
I really had wanted to like this place, not least as its forerunner was so poor, and any competition to Royal China should only make them up their game, which has slipped a bit on complacency recently. Alas, it was not to be: for the sort of money they are charging, I’ll go to Defune and have real sashimi, in a great atmosphere. Or have three meals at the Royal China. And keep the change.