SquareMeal Review of
Pitched as a mid-market sibling to Bar Shu
across the way, Ba Shan is less formal but more atmospheric, with stone floors, ornate lanterns, “hard stools” and a ‘shadow room’ decorated with puppets at the back. Chilli heat and punchy, up-front flavours pull the punters, although mellow, delicate options also abound on the huge illustrated menu. Key dishes include General Tso’s chicken, fish-fragrant aubergine¸ smashed cucumber salad and dry-fried green beans, but also look for ‘immortal’ crab in the shell, fragrant anise-braised pork or claypot oxtail with white radish and carrot. Generous portions are best shared, so come en masse. The wine list features several spice-friendly whites – otherwise drink Tsingtao beer or one of the fruity beverages preferred by young Chinese customers. Service receives the odd grumble, but moderate tabs add to the eye-watering thrill of it all.