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northern chinese bbq & other fun stuff @ top taste (?) 129 roman road E2 [London]

  • t

i wrote out a big thing about this place & then clicked post & it disappeared and now i really cant be bothered re-typing it. but i will later! in the mean time - has anyone else been here? we went for the first time tonight & i think its great. not sure how obscure it is - i saw it listed on some chinese website detailing good london chinese restaurants and it was the only one i hadnt heard of, but that might just be me...

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  1. ok so we had -

    - balloon flower: i hadnt had this before, it was a (cold) shredded root vegetable coated in a kind of chili oil. it almost seemed kind of korean? nice start. and only £2.50
    - bbq lamb skewers, bbq chinese bun, bbq 'parsley roll: these were all really good, the lamb skewers were quite small for £1/each but i think the price would be more reasonable if you ordered them by the plate (which was an option). the thing that was called 'parsley roll' was (not surprisingly) coriander that had been enclosed in some sort of wrap & then bbq'd. there were quite a few things on this section of the menu... would definitely like to investigate further.
    - pork in hot chili oil & di san xian: these were about £6 each & both were delicious. they didnt skimp on the sichuan peppercorns with the pork and the di san xiam was fried nicely.

    it was just my gf & i so we couldnt fit in much more, even tho there were a lot of other interesting things to order. there's one menu full of generic stuff & another with all the real things - its's pretty easy to navigate, they've highlighted all of their specialities. recommended.

    2 Replies
    1. re: t_g

      Surprisingly good experience at this unprepossessing place. Everything was delicious, the spicing very well judged.

      Caution: portions are gargantuan. With a couple of beers, two of us were exceptionally well fed for less than forty quid.

      1. re: loobcom

        cool that someone else went here! we were there on saturday night, the only new thing we had was 'mix cauliflower' (chinese characters are - 拌花菜) which was a salad with tofu skin, peanuts, cucumber, coriander & (i guess?) cauliflower. really nice! and went well with the other heaveir things.

        table next to us got ba si for dessert which i hadnt seen before but will definitely be getting next time.

    2. This all sounds good, will have to check it out.

      1. someone w/ pics & more info - meiweifood.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/liao-wei-feng/

        1. Has anyone else been here? I've had some good stuff, bbq'd skewers, the fish in chili, lamb with cumin...

          2 Replies
          1. re: t_g

            BBQ lamb skewers are just about my other favourite Northern Chinese food item besides Peking duck. It'll be great to find a good one in London. I'll have to check this place out the next time I'm in town.

            1. re: t_g

              Thanks for the tip; ate there a while ago -- great stuff, robust flavours with good oomph, homey but not careless cooking. Liked several of the skewers and the hot crunchy peanuts with a sticky sweet sauce. Worth checking out he 韭菜盒子/chive and egg turnovers which had flavoursome filling and a fresh and hot skin that was nicely burnished and crispy.

            2. Any idea where these folks are originally from?

              1 Reply
              1. re: scoopG

                I'm guessing 辽宁/Liaoning, judging by the name - 辽味丰, which loosely translates as Liao flavours abundance.

              2. Visited this place for the second time last night, friends in tow. Since eating there in the Summer, they seem to have decided on a name and the guy serving the food was able to confirm that they are indeed called 'Top Taste'.

                I had described TT as similar to the Bethnal Green Road's Gourmet San, which being slightly more central and closer to the middle of Shoreditch has gained some popularity and was once reviewed by Jay Rayner for the Guardian. I told friends that they would be eating in a no-frills place but to expect some authentic and tasty Chinese food.

                Restaurant was quiet and we were the third and only non-Chinese party there. Menu is vast - don't expect to see many of the high street 'chinese' staples, but this isn't to say that it's all exotica. We ordered a big portion of the famous bbq lamb skewers and around 5 mains and 4 portions of rice, which was an error of judgement on our part given that these portions are utterly HUGE! The waiter advised us that 4 portions of fried rice would be perfect - I'm not sure whether this was a ploy to get us to spend more money (I doubt it) or simply a misunderstanding, either way, it was total overkill.

                An on-the-bone lamb dish covered in chilis was fantastic, as was the korean style squid. The cold sliced beef was also really good. My friends didn't like the bbq skewers as much as those at Gourmet San; I thought they were just as tasty.

                The pork dumplings were fantastic, and as good as I've had anywhere. We finished with yet another (!) dish, a deep fried chicken in chili and vegetables which was pretty spicy. By this point we were all totally stuffed.

                The Tsing Tao beer was cold and reasonably priced. The meal for 5 for a huge amount of food and 10 bottles of beer worked out at £130 including a generous tip. Really incredible value. Highly recommended if you want to try some really good unpretentious Chinese in the East End.

                There's also a pretty nice boozer round the corner in Globe Road (The Florist Arms) for a couple of beers beforehand.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Loobs

                  we go here quite often now since i live close by, great place to go if you have a big group of ppl & want to eat a lot of food w/ beers