bar shu, bar shan - both phenomenal [London]
i've eaten some outrageously well cooked meals at both these soho stalwarts recently - there is some seriously superb cooking going on here these days.
over the course of a few weeks and several dishes, i didn't hit one bum note. two dishes stood out for me in particular: at ba shan, there is a soup of finely cut beef in a red stock, similar to that of water boiled beef, over a bed of bean sprouts and noodles. the stock is just this side of unbearably hot and is completely addictive - the beef, noodles and bean sprouts are there for respite. heavenly.
at bar shu, bears paw tofu. sooooo much more interesting texturally than ma po dofu. this is a truly elegant dish in which everything has to come out just right - the pork pieces, tofu have to be exactly cooked to attain their texture, a little more oil and it might get gloopy ... just phenomenal.