The other day, a friend and I found ourselves in Chinatown, not our local hood by any means, looking for some lunch. I recalled the numerous reviews for Baozi Inn and vaguely remembered its location and so headed in that general direction. Luckily for us, it was easy to find as Newport Court is quite a short lane. From what I’ve heard, the restaurant is owned by the people who opened Bar Shu (a Sichuan restaurant in Soho that I haven’t tried only because I’m quite loyal to my local!).
First impressions are that it’s very dark and there’s lots of retro looking Chinese memorabilia. We were shown to a table where I could see outside to the baozi vendor (no relation to the restaurant) on the other side of the street and my friend could eat with the smiling portrait of Mao staring down at her. It didn’t matter as we soon became totally absorbed by the menu with all its glorious pictorial depictions of each and every dish.
I chose the pork spare ribs with mushrooms and bok choy in noodle soup. This was some braised red ribs on top of fresh thick noodles in a dark and rich broth. Needless to say, the meat was falling off the bone and was mighty tasty. They were quite generous with the shitake mushrooms too – I believe there were about three large ones in there.
My friend ordered the pork and aubergine sauce on noodles. This was a very rich mixture of soft aubergine and bits of pork belly on dry noodles and from the ensuing silence, I think she enjoyed it very much! Both dishes cost a little over £6 each.
I was playing it safe ordering a non-spicy dish as I wasn’t a hundred percent since my lovely bout with food poisoning. While all the spicy dishes on the menu looked very enticing, I will definitely be back to try their spicy flower tofu, a dish I first learned of on Frugal Cuisine, and while it’s a little steep at £4.50 for a small bowlful, I’ve never seen it at any other Chinese restaurant in London. It’s nice to see a change from the usual Cantonese places.
25 Newport Court
London WC2H 7JS