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Bar Shu


liuzhou
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Reading those reviews, I want to go back to London - despite being in China!

Sure. But bear in mind you will be probably paying 10 times the prices as what you would pay in the best restaurants in Sichuan.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Bar Shu, a recently opened Sichuan restaurant in London, is getting ecstatic reviews.

Seems Fuschia Dunlop is a consultant. Anyone been?

Observer Review

Telegraph Review

Time Out Review

I haven't been yet-but I suspect they have the wisdom to present simple dishes in their classic form . This would of course be a revelation to many, and I've seen many reviews suggesting that the most common dishes of Sichuan are in fact brilliant inventions by the restaurant! most of our critics are pretty ignorant.

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But bear in mind you will be probably paying 10 times the prices as what you would pay in the best restaurants in Sichuan.

A lot more than 10 times!

According to the Observer review

Meal for two, including wine and service, £70-£120

That's about one month's average salary round these parts!

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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The chef at this place, according to Fuchsia, was hired from one of the South Beauty restaurants in China, a hugely popular chain of Sichuan places that used to be among my favorite restaus in Beijing when I lived there. They tend to do inventive takes on traditional Sichuan dishes, and even in China it is quite a pricy restaurant. But 120 quid for dinner for four in a Chinese place does seem a bit steep to me....

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Fuschia Dunlop's own story of how the restaurant evolved and her involvement is here.

I read the story. I came across the following passage:

Shao Wei is an antiques dealer and keen amateur musician from Shandong Province who has lived in the UK for 11 years, but still travels regularly to China. He too felt that London was ready for a seriously good restaurant that would give people a taste of modern, cosmopolitan Chinese dining

.....

Recent years have seen a growing number of Chinese mainlanders coming to the UK to live, work and study, and they have been longing for the kind of restaurants they are used to visiting at home.

Setting up a restaurant with the thought of benefiting the Chinese mainlanders who came to UK to live, work and STUDY. How noble a goal!

But at a pricing like £70-£120 (meals for two), who are we kidding? I don't know what demographics they are after, but sure ain't those who came to work and (especially) STUDY in the UK.

I was a poor foreign student here once. I needed to work 7 nights a week to support myself. My college roommate ate nothing but chicken wings for dinner at home for 2 years so he could afford to study here.

Maybe in the last decade every Chinese family has become millionaires because of the economic growth and I just didn't know about it.

Edited by hzrt8w (log)
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Setting up a restaurant with the thought of benefiting the Chinese mainlanders who came to UK to live, work and STUDY. How noble a goal!

But at a pricing like £70-£120 (meals for two), who are we kidding? I don't know what demographics they are after, but sure ain't those who came to work and (especially) STUDY in the UK.

I was a poor foreign student here once. I needed to work 7 nights a week to support myself. My college roommate ate nothing but chicken wings for dinner at home for 2 years so he could afford to study here.

Maybe in the last decade every Chinese family has become millionaires because of the economic growth and I just didn't know about it.

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Thanks for that, Fuschia. I agree.

Although not everyone can afford it, I know of a few quite wealthy Chinese students in London. Your article never claimed that Bar Shu was to be a student canteen! Also, the Observer review does say that the majority of customers (at the time of Jay Rayner's) visit appeared to be Chinese, so there are clearly a number of Chinese people willing and able to pay.

This is clearly not a typical high street Chinese restaurant, so one would expect higher prices (anywhere in the world, including Sichuan). I haven't lived in London for a while, but know that the prices mentioned are not that high for Central London higher class dining and the set menus Fuschia mentions would represent a great bargain!

Edited by liuzhou (log)

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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  • 5 weeks later...

I visited Bar Shu again today. Photos of the food here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chopstixmedia/tags/barshu/

It's only really expensive if you compare it to Chinatown which, frankly, is far too cheap for its own good. More of an issue was that a couple of the dishes didn't quite live up to the hype - gong bao chicken was far too sweet, twice-cooked pork was too salty, and the braised beef with bamboo shoots might as well have been boiled without any spices at all... the dish was very bland. On the other hand, the Dan Dan noodle is worth eating at every available opportunity. The dry-fried green beans, man-and-wife offal slices, numbing-and-hot dried beef, and duck rolls with salted duck egg yolk were also excellent.

I'll post more details on Chopstix later.

All the best,

--

Ian Fenn

http://www.chopstix.com/

Edited by Ian (log)
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yeah i liked it too.

yep definitely not cheap when compared to chinatown,

but then again they are probably the only proper Sichuan place in London at the moment.

And that's the only problem I see with bar shu, I don't think it be long before other restaurants in Chinatown start nicking dishes from Bar Shu and slashing the prices.

"so tell me how do you bone a chicken?"

"tastes so good makes you want to slap your mamma!!"

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There are two other Sichuan places in London - Angeles in Kilburn and Sichuan Restaurant in Acton - but the ingredients aren't as good and the cooking not as skilled.

New China in Gerrard Street has already launched a menu of Sichuan dishes, which a dining room full of young mainlanders were tucking into when I was last there. I tried the twice-cooked pork - let's just say I don't think Bar Shu have much to worry about just yet.

All the best,

--

Ian Fenn

http://www.chopstix.com/

Edited by Ian (log)
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There are two other Sichuan places in London - Angeles in Kilburn and Sichuan Restaurant in Acton - but the ingredients aren't as good and the cooking not as skilled.

Is Blue Thames still going in Wandsworth?

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  • 1 year later...

Is it still any good? Customer reviews on restaurant websites say it's awful. Now you may sneer at the people who post on such websites, but they can't all be wrong can they? Not just about the food, but the service and the seating policy too, all of which get a big slagging.

I like szechuan peppers, a friend brought me a bag direct from source, but I don't want to be disappointed at this place. Has anyone been recently?

S

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Anyone able to make a comparison (quality wise) to Snazz Sichuan? I was impressed by Snazz Sichuan but not blown over, but seeing as I've enjoyed cooking from Fuschia Dunlop's books and after having seen the reviews I am sorely tempted, even if my wallet won't be too happy!

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