Barshu Restaurant

Chinese, Szechuan

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About Barshu Restaurant

SquareMeal Review

Silver Award
Strictly a domain for chilli-heads, this smart, light-filled Chinese delivers a riotous flavour ride, Szechuan-style. Complaints of “lucky dip” portion sizes have been addressed with the introduction of illustrated menus, which also help to identify the hottest propositions. Dry-wok options (stir-fried frog’s legs, pig’s offal and duck tongues) all arrive emblazoned with dried chilli, as do fleshy strips of boiled sea bass and appetisers such as sliced pork belly, nestled in a blood-red sauce. Moments of relief come in the shape of soothing soups, and stews, and you’ll probably be glad to see mango sorbet and coconut ice cream offered for dessert. The restaurant makes no bones about the fact that it uses MSG and aims to turn your table within two hours – two drawbacks that will be familiar to anyone who frequents neighbouring Chinatown. High prices are out of sync with the neighbourhood, but you’re paying for an “authentic”, thoroughly thrilling taste of central China.

Good to know about Barshu Restaurant

Cuisines
Chinese, Szechuan
Ambience
Traditional
People
Group dining [8+], Special occasions

Location for Barshu Restaurant

28 Frith Street, London, W1D 5LF

Opening Times of Barshu Restaurant

Mon-Sun 12N-11pm (Fri-Sat -11.30pm)

Reviews of Barshu Restaurant

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17 Reviews
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16 July 2017

BARSHU is a gem!! The quality of the food and the wonderful friendly service - make this an absolute "go to" restaurant if you like Spicy Sichuan cuisine.

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14 April 2016

The food here is a real lucky dip, not just the taste but the portion sizes. Both the starters and mains can range from small enough to feed a gnat to large enough to end famine in Africa. Everything you order also runs the chili gauntlet. If you order anything marked "hot" from the dry wok section expect to have a gross of dried, mainly whole, red chilies delivered to your table, with a smattering of the other ingredients. But all said and done the food was really tasty, it was one of the more authentic Chinese places I've eaten in and we had a window seat on a Saturday night. I'd go back.

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07 November 2013

Authentic good food, however the service is appalling. The waitresses could not be any grumpier. Restaurant was buzzy but cramped. Ladies, do not be fooled by the prices and think that this is a dressy place.

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02 June 2013

Sichuan (proper Mandarin Chinese term for Szechuan) food is supposed to be hot and spicy. In London, spicy food tends to be milder than what it originally is in home country. But in this restaurant food is delivered to your table with full real taste (not only spicy but with all those actual flavours which make it all the while to go through the pain in your mouth!). Most of employees are experienced and trained well so you wouldn't be in a trouble usually. Only one thing would be the price, but for the quality and authenticity, I would accept it.

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02 April 2013

Londoners often face a challenge when it comes to finding good Chinese restaurants: on the one hand, there is the MSG-heavy Cantonese food that predominates much of Chinatown, and on the other, there is the likes of Hakkasan and its ilk, as much fashion destination as food experience, with only the briefest of nods to China as opposed to ‘pan-Asia.’ At least at Bar Shu, tucked at the edge of Soho, where Frith Street meets Romilly Street, the experience is somewhat more authentic. The style of food here is Sezchuan, namely from the eponymous region of southern China, where there is a strong emphasis on chilli and pepper. The menu is wonderfully varied and makes no bones about what is on offer. A “mouth-numbing” beef appetiser (their words, printed in the menu), leaves little to the imagination, while for the mains, adventurous diners can choose from dishes including tripe (edible offal), chicken gizzards (the animal’s digestive organs) and pig’s intestines. Actually, I went for the latter as my main, prepared in a dry wok with extensive chillies and other spices. It tasted notably porcine and indeed elegantly spiced (I was not reaching for my drink every other second, despite a ‘two-chilli’ rating on the menu). All our dishes were a success and Bar Shu also excelled with its vegetable sides, of which we enjoyed the fungus ear mushroom (again, not as bad as it sounds) and the lotus root. Two things, however, let Bar Shu down. First, the service, while not actually bad, was distinctly lacking in warmth, despite (or maybe because) the restaurant was only half full. Second, the food while good, does not come cheap. If not Hakkasan, then one can probably get better value than the c£90 the two of us spent on our outing, comprising just two beers each, two starters, two mains and two sides (along with rice and service; but still…)

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