28 Frith Street
W1D 5LF London
Tel. 020 7287 8822
Food type: Chinese (Sichuanese)
Food rating: 2/10
Nearest tube: Leicester Square
Website: Bar shu
A meal at Bar Shu was always going to be an interesting experience. After all, there is nothing mundane about Sichuanese cuisine. From the fiery piles of chillies to the tongue-numbing Sichuan pepper, the Sichuanese do put emphasis on spice. Although famed for its hot, fragrant, spicy cuisine, there are certain dishes from this region which have little or no spice – their tea smoked duck being a prime example.
It was a rainy Saturday night when I made a visit to Bar Shu, flanked by my trusty Chinese food experts B, D and J. Getting to the restaurant was a tricky business in itself as I was not familiar with the ins and outs of Chinatown. I somehow managed to get lost and found myself stumbling around the porn district instead. Nevertheless, I managed to make my way to the restaurant eventually – drenched wet of course thanks to the horrid weather.
The restaurant is divided into the ground floor dining room decorated with red lanterns and Chinese opera masks and the basement which is much quieter and has individually named dining rooms. Upon arriving, we were quickly whisked to our table downstairs. The dining rooms certainly have a feel of ancient China about them with wooden archways, old fashioned ‘antique’ style tables and chairs.