All reader reviews by IH


I come here again and again and think this is one of the best Chinese restuarants in London. I've been happy everytime and do not understand some of the poor reviews below.

First some reasons not to go to Bar Shu:

1) Do not go if a low price is important to you. There are many restaurants in Chinatown either cheaper or much cheaper than Bar Shu. This is at the premium end for quality, and you pay accordingly. (Cheaper main courses around £9, going up to £28 for things like whole sea bass).

2) Do not go if you don't like spicy food. Not everything in the menu has chilli, and the menu marks each item out of 0-3 on heat ,so you can order gentle dishes and needn't be suprised. However, if you don't like chilli, garlic and sichuan pepper, then there is probably little point in going: Sichuan food will not be for you.

3) Do not go if you "have what I always have in a Chinese restuarant". If you have a mental ticklist of favourites -- chicken & sweetcorn soup, crispy duck with pancakes, sweet & sour chicken, beef with black bean sauce -- and order them everytime, then look elsewhere. Bar Shu does not have the standard Chinese restaurant menu because it only does dishes from Sichuan province.

Do go if you like trying new dishes, like robustly flavoured food and are prepared to pay a premium (over average Chinatown) for a different experience.

The service is similar to service everywhere in Chinatown (which I think is fine, if not outstanding). Like at many other restaurants, the staff are all chinese, and sometimes can come across abruptly. People used to western nuance and attentiveness may (and clearly do in the reviews below) find this off-putting.

Atmosphere better than average for Chinatown.

Saturday, March 22, 2008
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 10 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 6

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