I have walked past Dong San on Poland Street many times, stopped and looked at the menu and then run away at the sight of all the plastic sushi, sashimi and kimchi on display in the window. However, having read some positive reviews about this place, I decided to give it a go. Actually, I have been here twice now as the food turned out to be very, very good!
Raw beef sashimi! This is so tasty, the beef, cucumber and pear all cut identically, blended together with egg yolk and sugar and sesame oil. I could eat 100 portions of this stuff, perfect!
Kimchi Pancakes, perfectly crispy on the outside and nice and moist on the inside. Love the taste of these pancakes.
I have a soft spot for mackerel. This was a grilled mackerel, seasoned with some lemon and salt. Very, very good. Once again, I could have easily had more of this.
Finally, spicy squid with cucumber and onions and some other vegetables. This was also a cold dish, the portion is huge. I really loved this, I also recommend trying the same dish with whelk.
I must say that Dong San has positively surprised me on both visits and I will be going back very soon. I have no idea what the sushi and sashimi tastes like, to be honest I don’t even know why they bother doing this. I think it might be for lunch guests to make some money, so I forgive them. Please pay them a visit and let me know what you think!
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!
When I arrived at Wing Yip Superstore in Croydon I almost started to cry. From having access to only limited Asian groceries back in Sweden (it was literally a shelf with the cheapest low-quality brands) I am now in London and I have full access to everything you can ever imagine!
The centre in Croydon is a very good one for stacking up on all the basic ingredients you might need. It is particularly good for cooking utensils and serving dishes. The range is really extensive, however, they tend to have a little of everything so if you are looking for variety and especially if you are only interested in Chinese food then I would suggest that you try one of the Chinese supermarkets in China Town. Having said that, I did manage to spend over £100 on all sort of wonderful stuff here!
This will give you an idea of what it looks like inside, it’s like an IKEA. This is the section for restaurants or people who eat like elephants, everything is in enormous bags and jars. There is also a regular supermarket section where you can spend hours browsing (if you’re a food junkie like me). Please pay Wing Yip a visit!
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!
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!
I am so happy to finally be in London with all the excellent food available here! We were visiting Sunday UpMarket on Brick Lane recently and just happened walked by this food stall selling La mian noodles, freshly made on the spot. Amazing! It is not actually located in Sunday UpMarket (where you also can get some nice food), it is away from the market, past Truman Breweries. The location perhaps changes according to the market, I need to confirm this on my next visit there.
I shot a video of the chef preparing the noodles. Yes, I know, the quality is awful and I need to get a new camera. The stills are below, he was so fast making the noodles – very impressive!
Here are the final products:
Chengdu Dan Dan Noodles with preserved vegetables. Grrreat!
La mian with pork wontons, amazing.
OMG OMG OMG!
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!