The latest restaurant in the Bar Shu family, Ba Shan, has just opened – with me as consultant, once again. I’ve been involved in drawing up the menu, and for the last few months in intensive tasting (what a hardship!). The new place looks beautiful – it’s an old building in London’s Soho, just across from Bar Shu, with an interior that has been designed to evoke the atmosphere of an old Chinese county town, complete with puppet theatre!
We have a team of chefs specially brought over from different provinces of China, including Sichuan, Henan and Shaanxi, and the menu offers snacks and light dishes from all these regions. My current favourites are the Sichuanese spiced cucumber salad, the Xi’an pot-sticker dumplings (which I reckon are the best in London), the steamed lotus leaf buns stuffed with stewed pork, and the blanched choy sam with fragrant ginger and spring onion. But everything’s pretty delicious.
It’s a more casual restaurant than Bar Shu, and guests are invited to make up their own meal from a selection of small dishes, rather in the manner of Spanish tapas or Cantonese dim sum.
I hope to be able to post some enticing photographs in the next couple of days.