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Following on from big hitters Bar Shu, Ba Shan and the Baozi Inn, “scruffy, but cool-looking” Baiwei completes a gang of four Szechuan firecrackers in Soho Chinatown. The name means ‘a hundred flavours’, and the kitchen deals in authentic home-style dishes from the south-western province and neighbouring areas, with chilli warnings and plenty of anatomical curiosities on the pictorial menu. Choose from a lengthy assortment of ‘cold’ and ‘hot’ specialities ranging from aubergines with preserved egg or plates of pig’s ear, tongue and tripe dressed with astringent black vinegar to chilli-flecked lamb with roasted rice, bowls of dan-dan noodles or beef and coriander won tons in broth. It’s a tiny space with Spartan decor – save for some hand-painted Maoist propaganda posters proclaiming ‘the big leap forward’. Service can be “grouchy”, but it warms up slowly.
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