Living within walking distance of Bayswater means we seldom stray far for Chinese, what with solid options such as Royal China, Goldmine and Mandarin Kitchen virtually at our doorstep, and Min Jiang and Pearl Liang also nearby. This may go towards explaining why over a year after opening in Chinatown, we had yet to walk though the doors of Baozi Inn.
While out doing last minute Christmas shopping around Oxford Circus earlier this week B and I finally got our chance, and with the awful weather conditions a large hot bowl of noodles seemed just the thing to warm us up. As we entered the somewhat cramped eatery we were immediately ushered to an ill-situated corner table, near the toilets and next to a drafty set of doors. We glanced through the menus and hurriedly ordered. Luckily the food was quick to arrive, within minutes we were presented with a steaming hot Pork Baozi (large Northern Chinese steamed bun). The baozi was soft and pillowy, with a tasty pork filling and a good meat to bun ratio.
The Chengdu Crescent Dumplings in Chilli Oil were also lovely, the dough elastic and the filling flavourful (I find boiled Chinese dumplings can often be bland in comparison to their pan-fried counterparts). The chilli oil had just enough heat not to overpower the delicate dumplings.
B had the Sichuanese Spicy Beef Noodles, one of the house specialities, and he enjoyed the fragrant broth, tender beef and noodles which he thought were soft but still had a bite to them. I also found the broth soothing and herbaceous, but the noodles were a little overdone for my taste.
I found the same to be true of the noodles in my Spicy Aubergine and Pork Noodles which were verging on mushy. The sauce was very intense and almost too tasty – I felt it needed something to counter the strong flavours, maybe some shredded cucumber or a small side of broth to spoon over it.
Overall not a bad lunch stop if you had a hankering for a warming bowl of noodles and happened to be in the vicinity. However it’s definitely not worth a trek and I won’t be rushing back anytime soon.
25 Newport Court
London, WC2H 7JS
t. 0871 961 7738