what the critics say
Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - A good-value pioneer of London's trend for branching out into regional Chinese cuisines, Silk Road quietly churns out favourites from the north-west frontier province of Xinjiang...Dumplings - filled with meat or vegetables - are typical northern China staples, although here lamb dominates instead of pork. Priced at about 3 for 10, it would be a shame not to try a few. But what makes Silk Road a destination worth travelling to is the noodle and stew menu. Our favourite was the 'medium chicken', a wonderfully rich star anise-and-chilli-flavoured broth bobbing with pieces of bird on the bone, plus potatoes.
Sunday, September 06, 2009 - Silk Road advertises itself as serving the food of Xinjiang. It is a simple, brightly lit room with communal tables and benches, and a reassuringly short menu. The most familiar plate of food was a pork fillet stir-fry with curly black fungus, in a sauce spiked with chilli. Less familiar was the big-plate chicken - a sizable bowl of a light, savoury chilli broth bobbing with pieces of chicken on the bone. Alongside the chicken were large pieces of potato braising nicely in the liquor...
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
Yet another fabulous little Camberwell restaurant !
What the menu lacks in description and organisation is more than made up for by the delicious and interesting food delivered to your table. The dumplings and lamb skewers made fantastic appetisers, while I can also heartily recommend the chicken with chilli and their excellent hand-made noodles. The stir-fried cabbage, unappetising as it sounds, was an utter joy.
£52 for 4 including a couple of beers
Comment on this reader review
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 9
Thursday, June 10, 2010
what the bloggers say
Cheese and Biscuits - 9/10
Tuesday, March 01, 2011 - Silk Road are rightly celebrated for their fried pork dumplings, made fresh all day and every day and often in full view of the customers at a table towards the back of the restaurant. They are brilliant - crispy on the outside, moist and piggy within - and, for the amount of backbreaking work that goes into them, ludicrously cheap, about 3 quid for 10. Another street-food starter is the cumin-spiced lamb skewers, charcoal grilled and moreish with the chunks of meat alternating with glistening cubes of lamb fat...Our bill came to around 20 quid a head, about half of which went on far more beers than is probably healthy, and I'm pretty certain that you could eat a feast here for just over a tenner.
Will Eat For Money
Wednesday, February 03, 2010 - Big Plate Chicken. What I came here to try, after hearing so much about it. A bowl big enough to bathe a one year old in was brought out, filled with spicy broth, potatoes (slightly underdone, once more), pickled Sichuan chillies, chunks of chicken on the bone and peppers. The pieces of chicken were beautiful, though slightly awkward to eat off the bone; pan fried first and then simmered with the rest of the broth, the chunks of chicken were tender and packed with flavour...The secret about this place has come out, and I urge you to give it a go.
A Rather Unusual Chinaman
Friday, October 16, 2009 - Skewers of tender spiced lamb interspersed with nuggets of lamb fat. Make sure you eat these when still hot...Beef and Onion fried dumplings - 10 of these for 3 quid? Seriously? Steamed and then fried on one side, nice dumplings, but insane value. Special Lamb Noodles - the homemade noodles were thick and immersed in a tomato based sauce, packed with greens and steeped in chilli. Small slices of tender lamb turned a good dish into a great dish. A good hearty meal with a slurp!
You may also like these restaurants: