Having already tried Ba Shan across the street, Rachel and I wanted to try the Sichuan Bar Shu the last time we met up for dinner. Their humongous photo-illustrated menu reminds me of those I encountered in China and as usual, stressed me out! Everything always looks so good and it’s hard to decide though decide we must.
Mouthwatering Sichuan chicken was one of our choices, and this was possibly the first version I’ve had that was boneless and that boneless chicken was piled on top of bamboo shoots and something else. It was very flavourful but didn’t pack the heat you’d expect of its glistening red oil bath.
Numbing and hot dried beef was also from the starter section of the menu and was a great, hot, chewy beef jerky. I did feel, however, that the heat levels in this (and the rest of the dishes) had been toned down and I wasn’t detecting much use of Sichuan peppercorns (which I assumed they should use to get the numbing effect in the name).
Fish fragrant aubergines were all slippery and spicy and desperately needing lots of white rice to soak up all the sauce. However, I did feel it was a bit one dimensional in flavour and have had better versions elsewhere.
We also ordered off the street snacks section in the back of the menu. One order of Boiled crescent dumplings in chilli-oil sauce were excellent, with a great porky filling.
A one person order of Dan Dan noodles was just enough for a taster for two. These were incredibly moreish with its spare spicy meat topping and perhaps next time I could just put away two orders of this.
Portions were quite big and it was a bit cheeky for them to charge for each takeaway container we used to pack up our food – we did manage to pack it all into two boxes, enough for next day’s lunches for the both of us though. I think it was also that protein at the beginning of the meal that filled us up! In total, the food (2 starters, 1 “main”, 2 snacks) and one order of rice, a beer, a tea and those takeaway containers came to about £55 in total – this does seem like quite a lot of money for it all – and service was sometimes absent. The food is generally good but it certainly isn’t the cheapest Sichuan restaurant in London (there are cheaper and they’re just as good if not better).
28 Frith Street
London W1D 5LF