God bless Bar Shu! I have always wanted to go to this restaurant, the original (and most expensive) of the trio of restaurants that Fuchsia Dunlop consults for. Once again, God bless this place! I’m getting religious…
So, the place itself is very nice. Spacious, nice decoration and attentive staff. The menu is extensive and has anything a Sichuan food junkie like me could wish for. One of the dishes, in addition to Mapo Tofu, that I always order to compare restaurants is Shui Zhu Niu Rou (boiled beef slices in extremely hot sauce). This is also one of my favourite Sichuan dishes as it really demonstrates the great flavours of Sichuan food.
Here is Bar Shu’s take on Shui Zhu Niu Rou.
The camera and the light does not really do the dish justice because this was the best thing I have had for a very long time. Perfectly seasoned, great tender meat and very spicy. I loved it!
We also ordered a steamed sea bass with ginger and spring onions. The waitress removed the head and bones before I took the picture but here you have it.
This fish was amazing. So tender, perfectly cooked and the seasoning was light and delicate. I really enjoyed it, probably the best fish I have had in a very long time.
Bar Shu is officially my favourite restaurant in London and I will be going back very soon!
Look at this wonderful food!
I was really hoping that the stuff they serve at Chilli Cool would be hot, spicy and flavourful and it was! I visited between lunch and dinner, so the place was actually empty. This is always risky, the head chef might take a break and leave a junior chef in charge. I do not know who was in the kitchen, but the food was just great.
I had Shui Zhu Niu Rou, or water-cooked beef. This is something I really like, a great mix of beef and vegetables (usually bean sprouts and leeks) in a very hot and fragrant broth. The portion was huge, probable enough for two people. I ate it all by myself in less than 15 minutes, it was just perfect. I am most definitely going back very soon. They had an impressive menu and I really liked the place! Might end up on my top pick list very soon.
Once again I must recommend all of you to buy one of Mrs Fuchsia Dunlop’s books, this particular recipe is from her book Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook – Recipes from Hunan Province. I think her books are great, the recipes turn out great and I love her passion for Chinese food.
This is a beef dish, use some sort of trimmed beef steak such as sirloin steak. Cut the beef across into thin slices.
Make a marinade using Chinese cooking wine, salt, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, corn starch and water. Add the marinade ingredients to the meat and mix well.
Heat a generous amount of cooking oil in a pan until it turns very hot, add the beef and stir gently until the pieces separate. Remove from the oil and drain well; set aside.
For the next step you need the following ingredients:
Ginger, garlic, dried chili flakes and ground cumin.
Spring onions and chili.
Heat some oil in a pan, add the garlic, ginger, chiles and cumin to the oil and let fry until very fragrant.
Return the beef to the pan and stir well.
Finally, add the spring onions and you are ready to serve! This was really a great dish, wonderful flavours!
Before we get to the story, let us all join hands in prayer and ask God that he sees to it that this Chinese restaurant never goes out of business because this place offers incredible food. I have had some great Chinese meals in New York, London and Paris but this was just marvellous.
First of all, the location is a bit strange. The restaurant is in the middle of a high-rise residential block in the outer parts of Barcelona. It looks like a normal Chinese restaurant from the outside and you will not find notice anything out of the ordinary when you step inside.
When we sat down at our table we were greeted by a waiter who introduced their menu. What a disaster it was. Old faded pictures of really not that appealing food, a lot of stuff with chips and spaghetti – oh my God… I asked if there was a separate Szechuan menu and the waiter just did not understand the English and a second waitress turned up. She understood the question but not really the request… Why would we want to eat from another menu?
She did however return with a menu in Chinese, which I do not understand in writing at all. So then a third waiter (perhaps the owner) turned up. He spoke perfect English and asked us what we wanted to eat and from that point on I was truly in heaven.
We ordered three main courses. First we have steamed fish, it came with Chinese mushrooms and fresh ginger and a light sauce. It was a true masterpiece, velvety and very gentle. This was by far the best fish I have had in a Chinese restaurant anywhere, I am not kidding.
For our second course we had Mapo Tofu, I have found that this is a dish that really sets the standard for a Chinese restaurant. This was such a masterpiece, very soft and nice tofu, a good amount of Szechuan spice and a lot of different layers of flavours. I was in heaven eating this.
The third dish was Szechuan Spicy Beef. I had asked for something ridiculously spicy and this was not a disappointment. Very tender beef in red bean paste with loads of chilli, it was just beyond amazing! Sweet and hot at the same time, great!
We ended our meal with Eight-treasures Rice Pudding. It was sticky rice with different preserved fruits, sweet bean paste, sesame seeds and some sort of sweet sauce. This was so great and not at all as heavy as one would think.
When leaving the restaurant we were offered some Chinese rice wine with cinnamon, it tasted a bit like sherry – great! I also chatted a bit with the staff and talked about Chinese food and eating out.
There were so many nice options to choose from the menu, I wish I would have had more time to spend in Barcelona so I could have eaten it all. I will most definitely come back when I am in Spain, please visit the restaurant while I am gone. Enjoy!
I have had Chinese food in many, many, many restaurants around the world and in my honest opinion Dragon House in Stockholm is one of the better restaurants north of London. They actually offer and cook food that is more authentic. The restaurant itself is not that sexy and they have a crappy buffet with Chinese/Thai/Japanese and whatever food which is a total disaster.
Stay away from that shit and focus on the Chinese menu. They have a lot of good stuff on offer, Szechuan water boiled meat, deep-fried fish, pork belly, intestines and feet. Oh, glorious food! I have eaten at this restaurant several times and I have noticed that the quality differs a bit depending on if you go there for lunch or dinner. I guess they have many different chefs at well. However, I can recommend the stuff that we had on our last visit.
Tofu with sesame oil, great!
Water-boiled beef, wonderful!
Pig’s feet with sea cucumber, delicious!
The waiter laughed at us when we ordered the pig’s feet! He grinned and shook his head several times! What a funny guy… I think it was cooked with sweet black vinegar and ginger, it was soft and fragrant. Great! The sea cucumber was a bit chewy, it is some sort of weird animal/plant thing that really is as disgusting as pig’s feet if you google it.
Happy dining bitches!
My second attempt to find a proper Chinese restaurant in Gothenburg. This time around I opted for a place that markets itself as authentic. For starters I had a sour soup with tofu and chicken. It was tasty but a bit too thick which made question if it is a soup or a sauce. This was followed by some sort of Szechuan beef. It was sweet, a lot of onions and bell peppers, not hot at all. Overall ok, a bit different but lacked a lot of spice and flavour.
Let’s just put it like this, there is no need to go to Gothenburg for Chinese food (or for any other reason, quite a boring town).
Piquant soup with chicken, vanjii mushrooms and tofu.
Chilli woked beef with szechuan vegetables, green pepper and onion.
Yes, the pictures are crap! Please send me a new digital camera!