Friday, August 7, 2009

Sichuan tasters at Ba Shan

I'm going to keep this one short. I witter too much. I twitter too much. I do too much of lots of things. Usually I like to build a story, but there isn't really a story with this one.

I was going to head up to Hampstead to sample the unlimited Dim Sum buffet at Goldfish. I kid you not, its amazing what you learn through twitter but I definitely think this is one of the most valuable pieces of information that this social communication medium has provided me.

However, as usual, "the best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry" and after a brief message from the Big German, I was off to meet him instead. I still needed to eat and as I was going to be in the Chinatown area, I decided to tick another place off my wish list and headed for Ba Shan,

Inside @ Ba Shan

Sister of the Baozi Inn and Bar Shu (none of which I had visited), Ba Shan specialises in Sichuan food. I know nada about Sichuan food other than its spicy, likes it's dried chillies and pepper and quite distinctive in taste. I was in a hurry, so perused the menu very quickly (it is pretty extensive) and ordered a few things that sounded nice.

Jiamo with Tender Stewed Pork

Jiamo with tender stewed pork @ Ba Shan

I never knew the Chinese did Pita! Well, these are tiny flat breads filled with a spiced stewed pork, rich in those earthy Sichuan flavours, and very nice they were too. Shame that there was so little meat.

Pork ChaoShou in Broth

Pork ChaoShou in broth @ Ba Shan

Posh wanton soup. The broth was very nice, deep in umami and the chaoshou themselves had a comforting porky flavour. The only problem I had was that the skins of the dumplings weren't very well sealed and were falling apart in the broth.

Pork and Chinese Chive Guotie

Pork and Chinese Chive Guotie @ Ba Shan

Really enjoyed these. Steamed and then fried on one side, these had the same strong flavour as the chaoshou and disappeared rather quickly.

Dan Dan Noodles

Dan Dan Mian @ Ba Shan

I was on the verge of being very stuffed at this stage. I had one bite and was immediately disappointed, first impressions was that this dish was bland. Hang on, I hadn't mixed it all up. Schoolboy error. Once the noodles had been adequately mingled with the sauce beneath, there was a taste explosion. The sauce had a deep earthy and slightly aniseed flavour, mingling with some minced pork (would benefit from more) and topped off with fiery chillies. I tried stopping but couldn't, it was soon all gone.

Foodwise, I thoroughly enjoyed Ba Shan. The quality is high and the staff were friendly and efficient. It is , however, very much on the pricy side. I ordered a fair bit but eating on my own, my bill came to more than £25. Way too pricy for the area. I love the food here but I love the food down at Wong Kei's just as much. Crispy pork and rice, anyone?

Ba Shan, 24 Romilly Street, Soho, W1D 5AH

Ba Shan on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Hollow Legs said...

I agree, those pita breads are stupidly small. I was really disappointed with Ba Shan; I've heard so many people rave about it but I thought it was a big, rather bland rip off. Not to mention the staff treating me a LOT better once I spoke in Cantonese to them.