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May 3, 2011 03:28 PM

Chef change @ Golden Day, Chinatown, London

Soft but still very slightly firm lotus root, stuffed with tender glutinous rice, with a coat of a sweet and mildly savoury sauce, comes across as fairly enjoyable, even if it wasn't world changing.

Smoky spicy chilli, pungent garlic, savoury and salty black beans lend their flavours to excellent stir fried strips of pork stomach, brilliantly textured -- meaty but also the nuanced bouncy quality of the fatty layer, ripping rapidly rather than resilient.

Remarkable knifework in the fish, boned and slices into bite sized curls, great texture control, steamed just right. Fragrant with golden brown garlic and chilli. Superb, and superior to the version that was presumable under the previous chef.

The mixture of steamed smoked meats (chicken, fish, pork) was on the dry side, and nowhere as good as the version I had on our first trip there last year. It's possible that their smoked meats are no longer as good...htey don't seem to have the smoked meat with white pepper and leeks anymore.

Apparently the chef change occurred a while ago; the new chef is also from Hunan. menu is slightly different. Love to hear more experiences.

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  1. Interesting report. This must explain why the smoked meats were such a disappointment when I went a while back - apart from the chicken they went pretty much untouched by everyone at the table and put me off from going again. Nice to know that there are improvements in other areas.

    Rather embarrassingly one of the waiters recognised me on the street a few weeks ago and noticed I hadn't been for a while ("have you been on holiday?") so he coaxed me in to give me a lunch menu and I have to say it's a very good deal: £5.50 for soup + main, rice and veg. The choice is a bit limited but the cooking was as good as I remember (I had one of the intestine dishes which is probably the most interesting thing on the set menu) so it's now a good cheap option if you're in the area and want a quick lunch.

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      1. I went in Dec. 2010 and while the food was good, I thought Ba Shan's was much better, though pricier. It would be interesting to see if the chef change was after then; it's cheap enough to warrant a return.

        1 Reply
        1. re: hollow_legs

          That was another factor in me going there less. The new Hunan menu at Ba Shan is far better than what was previously there, and also as good as the best Hunan food available in the capital (the smoked pork and pickled radish was a good as Local Friends and they finally have a decent version of General Tso's chicken). It's a tad pricier but not that much I think - at least not much more than Golden Day.

        2. Interesting. Like hollow legs, I prefer Ba Shan, but it's good to know that there's a chef change at Golden Day.

          When I went to Ba Shan a few months ago, I got chatting to the manager, and it turns out that the chef at Golden Day had an interview at Ba Shan. I'm presuming he's the chef that's just been replaced at Golden Day!

          1 Reply
          1. re: mr_noodles

            Similarly, I haven't been to Golden Day for a while as Ba Shan is so good. Particularly in terms of their smoked meats, which I think are fabulous, and as good, if not better than Local Friends up in Golders Green.