Baozi Inn 1

25 Newport Court , London, WC2H 7JS

020 7287 6877

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6 reviews

20 Chinese Soho

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SquareMeal Review of Baozi Inn

‘Harsh’ service from ‘unpleasant staff’ can be a little off-putting, but Baozi Inn’s ‘blissful’ food and low prices means it’s always busy with punters clamouring for a quick, fiery bite. The best advice is to bypass the doughy ‘baozis’ (steamed savoury buns) in favour of more flavoursome treats – from appetite-whetting pork wontons or crescent-shaped cheng du dumplings doused in chilli oil to the house special of spicy beef noodles or one of the cold vegetable dishes such as a salad of spinach and beans or spicy cucumber. The restaurant’s two low-ceilinged dining rooms, garlanded with Mao-era bric-a-brac, evoke ‘Communist kitsch’, while brisk table-turning ensures the ever-present queues keep moving. It’s no longer the only Szechuan joint in Chinatown, but this noodle and dumpling specialist is still a welcome change from some of its tired Cantonese competitors.

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5.3

Food & Drink: 5.3

Service: 5.3

Atmosphere: 5.5

Value: 7.2

Food & Drink: 0.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 1.0

bill B. 22 January 2011

Awful food. Overcooked noodles, uninteresting sauce presented with no care and soup, that was both bland and faintly unpleasant. The staff were cheerful enough but the food was so poor I could barely bring myself to leave a tip.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Yang P. 29 May 2010

Chinese restaurants don't get much more ‘revolutionary’ than this. By revolutionary, I mean the decor which looks like a room in a Northern Chinese village pasted with red lanterns, propaganda music and newspaper cut-outs. In fact, not even in Beijing you will find a restaurant that transforms you 50 years back. The main review is only half right about the food. Most of the dishes, like the Baozi meal deal and porridge (小米粥) are Northern Chinese dishes. Because of the cold climate in the north, the staple food is rice, porridge and lots of Baozi (usually eaten for breakfast). The quality of the noodle dishes can vary, such as the Bamboo Beef noodles. On a good day, the beef is spiced just right and the broth should be hearty. Although, because it can get very busy, they probably don't have enough time to let the beef soak. Still, most of the dishes are easily better than Leong's legend (the food is getting consistently worse there).

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 3.0

HP gold reviewer 05 January 2010

I am cheating a little with this review as nothing actually passed our lips at Baozi Inn the other evening. However, our 5 minute experience compelled me to write a few words. The place was busy but there were a couple of free tables. A rather gruff waiter pointed to a table right by the serving area so we asked if we could have the free table in the corner. Apparently not; strange considering we'd just heard him tell a couple of other customers that they seated everyone on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. A couple of menus were plonked down on the table and as we struggled to find anywhere to put our coats etc. a rather surly waitress came over to take our drinks order. I requested a glass of water; “still or sparkling” was the immediate response, which rather amused and annoyed me considering the informal surroundings. In the meantime, my fellow diner had been bumped three of fours times by passing staff so we decided to leave. If you're in Chinatown and want a cheap meal with rather more pleasant service, then I'd highly recommend Leong's Legends Continues on Lisle St where we had an excellent meal instead.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

PK 20 October 2008

Went here for lunch on a Thursday. Restaurant was half-full when we arrived and almost full when we left. Decor is a little dark and the tables/chairs are a little low for my liking (I'm tall) but overall it is fine, and does achieve a sort of ‘chinese inn’ feel. I had the stir-fried pork with dried chillis and sauce on noodles. The pork was very tender, the noodles were nice (though a fraction too soft for my liking) and the overall taste was delicious. The spiciness was just about right – hot enough to be considered sichuan cuisine but not hot enough to put people off (I know a lot of purists would like it hotter though). The dish was a little oily, but that may be more to do with the cuisine than the cooking. We also shared some pork crescent dumplings in chilli oil, which were delicious. There are cheaper places in Chinatown, but it was very good value for the quality. I will be going back soon to try some of the other dishes (though the menu isn't huge).

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 3.0

M2 L. 19 October 2008

Awful Chinese restaurant — but successful with people (most are tourists and kids) that have no clue about authentic Chinese food. The noodles are mushy and the soup was bland — and super sodium enriched (plus cold tea was full of sugar). The service was also pushy — they asked us several times if we wanted another drink, and constantly annoyed us while eating. This place is taking us for a ride — but do Londoners really care about good Chinese food, or just to fill their stomach after a night out?

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 5.0

Daniel H. 25 September 2008

The restaurant offers a much more limited menu than Bar Shu but the quality of the cooking is very high. It's a great place to get a quick and inexpensive meal. The service was great and it has a very friendly atmosphere. This is also a great place to eat if you happen to be on your own.

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