Ba Shan Chinese Restaurant @ SOHO

チャイナタウンからShaftesbury Avenueを北に渡ってすぐ、SOHO(ソーホー)のRomilly Streetにあるチャイニーズ・レストランBa Shan(バー・シャン)。斜め向かいにある四川料理レストランBar Shu(バー・シュー)やカジュアル・チャイニーズのBaozi Inn(バオジ・イン)の姉妹店だ。伝統的な中国スタイルととモダンさがミックスした、落ち着いたインテリアはBar Shuと同じ。一番最初にオープンしたBar Shuは、オーナーのShao Wei(シャオ・ウェイ)氏曰く、「ヨーロッパで最大の四川料理店」で(イギリスは、香港が植民地だっただけあって、広東料理店が多い)、本格的四川料理と批評家の評判も高い。チャイナタウンにあるBaozi Innはもっとカジュアルで、店内は共産党のプロパガンダや毛主席のポスターで飾られ、古き良き革命時代の食堂をお洒落にした感じ。メニューには、麺類や肉まん、餃子等、北京や四川の屋台で食べられるようなストリート・フードが並び、お値段も他の2店に比べて安い。

Ba Shanの料理は、四川河南陕西省の小皿料理や麺類、餃子類がメイン。でも、野菜や肉類のメインディッシュもある。量・値段とも、高くもなく安くもなく、多くもなく少なくもなくという感じで、何だか中途半端。味も同じで、可もなく不可もなく。ちなみに水餃子はまあまあだったけれど、ちょっと冷めていて残念。

Bar ShuもBaozi Innもそうだけれど、小さなスペースに置けるかぎりテーブルを置いてるので、狭苦しいし、テーブルも小さく、何皿か注文したら置く場所がなくなってしまう。サービスは、まあどこのチャイニーズもそうかもしれないけれど、良くも悪くも早い。特にお皿を下げるの等は、あんまり早すぎて、急かされている気がした。この3店は雰囲気がいいのが取り柄のお店かな。Bar Shuはまあまあ美味しいけれどね。

Chinese restaurant Ba Shan is located on the Romilly Street in SOHO, just across Shaftesbury Avenue from China Town. It is a sister restaurant of Sichuan Chinese restaurant Bar Shu, across the street, and Baozi Inn in China Town. The interior of Ba Shan is a mixture of traditional Chinese and contemporary style, similar to Bar Shu. Bar Shu, the first restaurant opened by the owner Mr. Shao Wei, is “the biggest Sichuanese restaurant in Europe” according to the owner, and has a good reputation among food critiques as authentic Sichuanese food. Baozi Inn is a casual restaurant decorated with chairman Mao and Communist propaganda posters and is like a people’s diner during the good old revolutionary time in the countryside of China. It offers Beijing-style snacks and the Sichuanese street food such as baozi, dumplings and noodles, and the price is cheaper than other two restaurants.

Ba Shan specialize in small plates, called xiao chi or “small eats”, roadside snacks like noodles and dumplings sold by street vendors, from the Sichuan, Henan and Shaanxi provinces. The price was not expensive but not cheap, and amount of the food was not a lot but not too little, and the food is the same – not great, but not too bad. Their pork dumplings were OK, but it was not hot enough – one another thing to mention.

Like other two restaurants, the space was so small but crammed with as many table as possible, and I felt a bit claustrophobic. The table was tiny as well, and there was no space for several dishes. Their service was quick, good and bad, like any other Chinese restaurants, and I felt rushed. Ba Shan, Bar Shu, and Baozi Inn have nice decor in compare to most Chinese restaurants in London, but that’s it for me, though the food at Bar Shu is quite decent. The place is too small!!

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