25 Newport Court
London WC2H 7JS
0207 287 6877
In most of the restaurants in Chinatown you get the very generic décor. In Baozi Inn however, they’ve made an effort in recreating the feel of communist China, and you kind of feel like you’re transported to a different place.
The feel of the whole restaurant is very, pro-communist party, if you get what I mean. The poster of Chairman Mao on the wall, with the couplets saying ‘The noble leader Chairman Mao, savior of the people’ with a very conspicuous CCTV above the noble leader’s portrait was very Orwellian, to say the least. Even the menus weren’t spared. Each had the words ‘People’s country’ (excuse my bad translation) printed over it, and a picture of a moustached man, perhaps the equivalent of a Stakhanovite, at the bottom.
But the décor wasn’t what we were there for. Baozi Inn doesn’t take any reservations (equality for all citizens, no favoritism allowed…I’m sorry I’ll stop the bad communist jokes) so since we didn’t fancy having to queue to go there, and were in the vicinity at about 5pm, we decided to have an early dinner and try the food there. We weren’t sure whether the food would be good, so we ordered just a few dishes to start with, and told ourselves that we would order more if the food was good.
First up was the steamed meat bun. This was very reminiscent of the ‘da bao’ (big bun) we are used to having in Singapore, so we were very happy with the way this tasted.
The next dish was the noodles with black sauce. This was pretty average. The only tasty element in the whole dish was the sauce, and I guess we were lucky that there was a rather generous amount of sauce all over the noodles. Without the sauce the dish would be virtually inedible.
The final dish we ordered was the dumplings in spicy garlic sauce. This was just baffling. The dish looked appetizing, with a good amount of chilli oil to give (theoretically,) a nice fragrance and flavor to the dumplings. Unfortunately, this dish was completely tasteless. The dumplings by themselves were tasteless, and we couldn’t even taste any seasoning in the filling as well. The sauce was also strangely tasteless, and we were both left scratching our heads in disbelief. This was just impossible! How could something that looks so yummy taste of nothing at all?
Unfortunately, we had enough, so we paid and left. What a shame.