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Top picks

Red ‘n’ Hot, 59 Charing Cross Road, London

This is the second (or third) time I write about Red ‘n’ Hot on this blog. It is one of the Sichuanese restaurants in London that I visit on a regular basis. They consistently serve good quality Sichuanese food and they keep it authentic, if it says spicy it is spicy and no bell peppers or other random vegetables here. It’s always packed with (young) Chinese people, not perhaps the most cosiest and romantic of restaurants – then again, who needs romance when you can have Sichuan pepper?

Here’s pictures of some of the food I have had there this autumn.

Hot and sour vermicelli soup. This is an interesting and very tasty dish, I love the dried soy beans (I think it’s soy beans) that they top this soup with.

Dan Dan Noodles. This is very different from the other Dan Dan Noodles you get in London,the noodles are thinner and it’s more mild.

Here we have the same noodles, this time cold served in a hot and sour cold broth (under the noodles). This is topped with cucumbers and sugar! Mix it together and enjoy. Love the vinegar on this one!

Pork Dumpling with Chili Oil, very nice and tender.

Wonton noodles in chicken broth, these are so soft and velvety, lovely!

Water cooked pork, a favourite of mine. This comes in a very spicy and flavourful broth (not a broth really). Generous amount of Sichuan peppers and chillies. I really love this!

Mapo Tofu. There is something with this dish that makes me go crazy. The tofu, the leek and the minced pork in the very spicy sauce. I LOVE MAPO TOFU! I’d have children with mapo tofu, I’m not sure it’s possible though.

I’d love to be in a Chinese kitchen to see how they prepare their fish because it is so different from what you would get in any fish restaurant. Extremely soft, delicate but yet firm. The fish is always expensive (£15+), you do get a decent amount though. This was a white fish served with some green leaves and tomato skins. Wonderful!

Red 'n' Hot on Urbanspoon


Chilli Cool, 15 Leigh St, London

I’m back, sorry for the wait! Last night we had a fabulous hot pot at Chilli Cool, the restaurant I reviewed earlier on this summer. They provided us with unlimited ingredients for the hot pot. Look at this picture, ridiculous amounts of food!

Under the pile of meat (beef, pork and lamb) we had fresh white fish, prawns, crab, Chinese sausage, bean curd sticks, frozen spongy tofu, crab sticks, straw mushrooms, cloud mushrooms, sea kelp, vermicelli noodles, Chinese leaves, cabbage, potatoes. The actual hot pot (forgot to take one as I got carried away with eating) was a half spicy / half white soup, great flavours and a seasoned to perfection with Sichuan spices.

When we had finished the stuff above we asked for some more meat and fish, the waitress brought us a new plate with everything! We were struggling to manage to eat everything, so much food! I must say that this was the best hot pot I’ve had so far – definitely coming back! I love Chilli Cool – now on my top pick list!

Chilli Cool on Urbanspoon

Bar Shu, 28 Frith Street, London

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!

Bar Shu on Urbanspoon

Ba Shan, 24 Romilly Street, London


This was the best food ever, God bless Ba Shan! Let all of his angels protect this place from all things bad that is known to happen to mankind.

Look at the insane amount of Sichuan chili on this first cold starter. Awesome! OMG, this was so good that I am turning into an American shouting awesome at stuff. Seriously, look at it. There’s about 203234 chillies in this dish. In addition, there was a generous amount of gorgeous Sichuan peppers in the mix.

Voila! Here you have the dish itself. Cold, thinly sliced pork kidney and cucumber. Outrageously tasty. This was my first time having cold kidney and I have to say that it was just great.

Pork dumplings, definitely made from scratch. The dough was supreme, the Sichuanese dip sauce was amazing.

Mapo tofu, what a joy. This had the perfect balance of flavours and is officially on my top 3 list (I’m making one as we speak).

Ba Shan, very good value for the money you pay. Not cheap, but not as expensive as Bar Shu across the street. I loved Ba Shan! I want to throw money at them and hope that they will be successful forever and ever. Please use the link below to get some more information about the restaurant, read reviews and see the menu in more detail. Urbanspoon rocks!
Ba Shan on Urbanspoon

Sohojapan, 52 Wells Street, London

When heading back home from town, we passed by this place and decided to give it a try. Little did we know that this restaurant is actually one of the better Japanese restaurants in these parts of London. We had some seriously gorgeous and tasty bento lunches at Sohojapan on Wells Street in London.

Apparently this place is quite popular since they asked if we had booked tables for lunch, which in my opinion is unusual. The restaurant itself is not your typical Japanese restaurant, the interior resembles that of a traditional pub.

Sohojapan offered a lunch menu with some basic alternatives, although quite expensive. We chose the two bento boxes with a selection of small, extremely well-prepared dishes.

I must say that this was THE best Japanese meal I have ever had. The fish was absolutely wonderful and the tempura perfect. The seasonings were on the spot and the composition sublime.

We ended the meal with a cold black sesame pudding with cream and strawberries. What a great meal!

However, the coffee was a pure disaster. I hope they seriously reconsider using the cheap machine that they used or that they stop serving coffee as such. Otherwise, a fantastic experience!

Soho Japan on Urbanspoon

Ramen Ki-Mama, Birger Jarlsgatan 93, Stockholm

Ramen Ki-Mama in Stockholm is the one and only place for ramen in Sweden. The food is great! They really make a nice broth, the noodles are perfect and the toppings are wonderful. I love this place, I have never been disappointed when eating here. The food is also very affordable…

Kimchi!!! I love kimchi, I am a real kimchi slut. I could eat kimchi until I explode. The kimchi at Ramen Ki-Mama was great, I ordered two bowls!

Ramen in a miso soup base. Delicious pork and bean sprouts, what a great mix!

Wonton ramen! As you can see, their soup also contained some sugar peas and some cloud mushrooms. This was wonderful, very very nice flavours.

Please go to Ramen Ki-Mama and throw your money up on them.

China! (Dragon House), Hornsbruksgatan 26, Stockholm

Ok guys, this is my second review of this restaurant located in Hornstull, Stockholm. This place used to be called Dragon House, however, today it goes by the name of China! The menu is exactly the same (they even have the old ones from Dragon House).

In my honest opinion this is one of the best, if not the best, Chinese restaurant in Stockholm. The place itself is not that welcoming, it looks like a regular Chinese joint without character. They have a buffet from which everyone eats, I guess it brings them a lot of cash and they are not able to close it down. However, they have a great “authentic” menu with pictures and descriptions of the food. We tried the following.

La Zi Ji (Sichuan Chili Chicken). Ridiculous amounts of red hot peppers with great chicken bits, not the regular cuts but a lot of delicious bone cuts. A dry dish with lots of hotness to it, perhaps a bit too salty but still great. Actually I tried to make this at home later on, please read my other post.

This dish was called General’s Beef. It was cold cuts of beef boiled in an aromatic broth, extremely nice flavours and textured meat. I loved it, a great cold starter.

Jiaozi, i.e. steamed pork dumplings. These were home made, filled with juicy pork meat and soft spices. They came with a nice dip sauce, very very nice! Actually they were quite large and could easily be shared by two people. Loved it! 

Finally we had some Soy-braised Lion’s Head. This is a soft pork meatball made from fatty meat and water chestnuts. The texture is very soft and the flavours are quite strong. I really liked the dish and would definitely try it once again.