RestaurantsLondonSohoW1

survey result

Summary

£47
   ££
4
Very Good
2
Average
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Spice heaven!” – this “old favourite” is “worth a detour north of Shaftesbury Avenue” to “experience genuinely interesting and mouth-popping Sichuan specials” – so “be brave when you order”. The food-writer, China expert and consultant “Fuchsia Dunlop’s touch makes it a regional Chinese diamond in the Chinatown rough”.

Summary

£47
   ££
4
Very Good
2
Average
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Spice heaven!” – this “old favourite” is “worth a detour north of Shaftesbury Avenue” to “experience genuinely interesting and mouth-popping Sichuan specials” – so “be brave when you order”. The food-writer, China expert and consultant “Fuchsia Dunlop’s touch makes it a regional Chinese diamond in the Chinatown rough”.

Summary

£58
   ££
4
Very Good
2
Average
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“One of Soho’s best” – the Sichuan food in this well-known café is “first-rate”“really spicy and delicious”. Much of the menu is not for the faint-hearted, but “it’s always possible to avoid overly hot dishes with the aid of the helpful staff”.

Summary

£58
   ££
4
Very Good
2
Average
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Less a meal than a dare!” – the “seriously spicy cooking gives way to rich depths of flavour for the strong-hearted and willed” at this “excellent” Soho café. “If you want a Sichuan fix, go!” – there are “some real lip-smackers in there, including some wonderful unusual dishes (smacked cucumber, gung bao chicken, ants climbing trees…)”, but “you still suffer Chinatown-style woes – sometimes indifferent service, and poor ambience”.

For 30 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

Have you eaten at Barshu?

Restaurant details

Highchair
12, 12, 10
No dress code
100
2+

Prices

Starter Main Pudding
£2.90 £41.50 £0.00
Drinks  
Filter Coffee £0.00
Extras  
Service 12.50%

Harden's says...

Bar Shu W1

Are the media - heaven forbid - sometimes prone to exaggeration? Are merely interesting restaurant sometimes hailed as great? Is there sometimes an element of group-think among leading critics? These, and many more, thoughts were inspired by our visit to this new Soho Chinese - a restaurant which has provoked an almost unprecedented Halleluiah Chorus of positive reviews (abetted by much foodie froth about the cuisine of Sichuan, which is a relative London rarity)


The headline fact about Sichuan cooking is that it can be take-the-roof-off-your-mouth hot. So - for four blokes sitting around our critical table, beers at the ready - it came as something of a let-down to find that the spicing of some dishes specifically ordered for their three-chilli menu was just tame. A prominently featured chicken dish was particularly timid, verging on tasteless. Perhaps the chillis just hadn't arrived that day.


There's more to life, of course, than crying chilli-induced tears, and other dishes lived up more closely to our high expectations. Or so half the table thought anyway - Chinese cuisines seem able, perhaps to a unique extent - to take different people different ways. For example, a huge bowl of reasonably spicy mixed offal (ox heart, tripe, tongue' you know the sort of thing) was disgusting to half the table, sublime to the other. Greens in peanut sauce was off-putting to two of the party, but mesmerised the taste buds of other two. At least everyone could agree that thinly sliced duck with egg was unusually subtle.


If the spicing of more dishes had lived up to their billing, one could perhaps have written off the objections of the unconvinced as just the whinging of those not men enough for such a genuine oriental feast. From our visit, however, this seems just a very interesting - but erratic - contributor to the oriental dining scene.


See the Review
28 Frith St, London, W1D 5LF
Opening hours
Monday12 pm‑10 pm
Tuesday12 pm‑10 pm
Wednesday12 pm‑10 pm
Thursday12 pm‑10 pm
Friday12 pm‑10:30 pm
Saturday12 pm‑10:30 pm
Sunday12 pm‑10 pm

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