what the critics say
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This place was great about three years ago when it was full of Chinese students. Then word got out, it got Jay Raynerised and now it's flooded with the fixed wheel brigade and Guardianistas congratulating themselves on being authentic, so it's impossible to get a seat. Tiresome.
First off - the Xinjiang thing is exaggerated. There're only a few Xinjiang dishes and the owners are Han Chinese. The formula is straightforward - cover everything in garlic. Which is how it often is in China. There're some interesting menu options, the prices are good and it does make a nice change.
I rate the Xinjiang noodles and some of the veg dishes. There's a cold sliced beef starter that's also good. The big bowl chicken is novel. The lamb skewers are OK but also not that great and they are coated in a slick paste when they should be drier - there's way better elsewhere in London. Didn't really like the fish skewer. Dumplings (shui jiao) are good value. The dishes are quite crude but it's tasty stuff and difficult to go wrong.
Service on our last visit was a bit haphazard. Some dishes arriving long after the others, which is annoying. It's a simple place, which is part of the charm, but it's also about time they sorted the decor out by the toilets. God knows they must be bringing enough cash in.
Comment on this reader review
Food 7 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8
Wednesday, August 24, 2011