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|Address:||17 Bruton Street, London W1J 6QB|
|Tel:||020 7907 1888|
|Price: £76.00||Wine: £28.00||Champagne: £70.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Fri 12N-3.15pm (Sun-Sat -4.15pm) Wed-Sun 6-11.15pm (Thurs-Sat -12.15am)|
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Regulars from the Hanway Place original will recognise the ice-cool aesthetic, the insouciant poise and the top-class food and drink offering, only on a grander, more-monied scale. Afterall, why change a winning formula? The new site spans two floors, bigger restaurant downstairs, with a smaller but not inconsequential ground floor which may become the place to have lunch. The same ‘sexy’ vibe has been maintained, fostered by an edgy soundtrack, wooden ‘cage’ latticework, back-lit electric blue glass and moody lighting from hanging halogen lights. It all works really well: lots of atmosphere but not so much to hinder conversation or suffocate intimacy. Well-briefed staff – notably waitresses dressed in fuschia pink – seem to have hit the ground running, conveying all manner of sweet, salty and savoury Szechuan dishes from classic signatures like roasted mango duck with lemon sauce and soft-shell crab deep fried in the lightest of batters to new concoctions like black-truffle roast duck and what seemed like endless blue abalone dishes. Some of the most successful are the simplest – take for example the crunchy fresh steamed vegetables, a triumph of texture, timing, simplicity and flavour. Plenty of opportunities to offload sackfuls of money, of course, but if you take care and don’t over order you won't need a second mortgage. Great for a furtive afternoon or playful night. Stellar wine list too. Destined to be the place to eat in 2011.