Sanxia Renjia - Chinese on Goodge St. [London]
I went to Sanxia Renjia today for lunch - my first visit. The English menu was all the typical British-Chinese stuff, but I noticed a Chinese menu as well, and did my best to ask for help translating.
I ended up ordering a plate of rice with ma-po tofu - big serving, nice flavor overall. Not the best ma-po tofu I've ever had, but a pretty nice rendition.
The chef is from Hubei and from what I understood, many of the Chinese menu items are specialties of the region.
I'd like to go back soon with some people who read/speak Chinese, to help investigate the menu further.....has anyone been yet?
This place just opened a few months ago, it's on Goodge St, just half a block from Tottenham Court Rd.
Went a while ago, and the staff, surprisingly, suggested a bunch of sichuan dishes from their Chinese menu. I was under the impression that they were from somewhere in Dongbei (NE China) not Hubei, but of course could be wrong The pork belly slices with garlic sauce (suan4 ni2 bai2 rou4) was not bad, fairly good seasoning and texture control. Pretty good stir fried spinach as well.
re: Dave MP
I popped into here last week for some lunch as it is near my office. I specifically asked for the Hunanese dishes, and after a bit of back and forthing, the waiter told me they talk about the SIchuan dishes as they think most English people understand that more than food from Hunan. The head chef is from Hunan, and I think (can't remember exactly) one of the other chefs are from Hubei.
I had the wind dried meat with dried turnip (though I think this is actually radish?). This is one of my favourite Hunanese dishes, so I wanted to see how it stood up. Have to say, it wasn't a patch on the renditions at Golden Day and Local Friends. The meat didn't have the depth of flavour, or the delicate smokiness of other versions I've tried. I remember having a long conversation with the waitress at Local Friends who said they prided themselves on the quality of their bacon and smoked meats - this didn't have that quality. The balance with the dried vegetable was a bit out of wack, and overall, the dish was quite greasy.
Hope some of the other dishes are better, but think I will stick to Golden Day for central Hunan dishes.
Made it here today on the tip of a student, who came with me. Just two of us, so we weren't able to try a lot. But we had the tea tree mushroom hot pot, which I thought was excellent, judiciously spiced and nicely presented. The bitter melon with pork skin was all right, but a bit pasty. So all in all a 1:2 ratio of good dishes. Given the not too plentiful supply of good places to lunch in this area, I say the menu is worth further exploration.
Nowhere to lunch? Depending on budget, how about Salt Yard, Barrica, Ragam (close to free), Nizuni, Koba? To be honest it's not far from Koya and then Chinatown too. I've never had a problem finding a decent lunch or dinner around Goodge Street. That said, this place does sound interesting.