Good dumplings and duck. Fairly priced and quick service, good spot in china town. Very often there is a queue but it is quick.
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Wed Mar 30 2011
Dumplings seem to be one of the food fads du jour. Connoisseurs now wax lyrical about the elasticity of har gau skins, or bemoan the lack of neat pleats in their XLB (which stands for xiao long bao, those delicous soup-filled steamed dumplings).
Taiwanese restaurant Leong’s Legends, was one place that brought the latter into London’s mainstream (that is, Chinatown). More recently, the restaurant group opened Dumplings’ Legend on Gerrard Street, an eatery that is styled after the dumpling megarestaurants of the east (such as Din Tai Fung) where a small army of nimble-fingered staff roll, fill and pinch numerous styles of dumplings to order, in full view of diners in a massive glass-fronted kitchen.
Beijing Dumpling is no oversized operation. It’s tucked on relatively quiet Lisle Street, the narrow facade taken up by – you guessed it – a large glass window behind which female chefs prepare the day’s dumplings. Despite the name, there are only a handful of dumplings and two preparations: steamed or boiled and served with broth, with fillings ranging from pork and crabmeat to spicy chicken or vegetables. There are no pan-fried delights here.
Xiao long bao, which originate in Shanghai, are lumped under ‘Beijing dumplings’ on the menu – and the ones we tried were unworthy of the name. The skins were dry and thick instead of moist and thin; the filling of pork was good, but the soup was scant. Much better were the vegetarian dumplings, stained light green from vegetable juice, filled with a flavoursome filling of carrots, wood ear mushrooms and vermicelli, served in a light-tasting broth.
The rest of the menu offers no real surprises if you’ve eaten in Chinatown, though here there’s the added bonus of all-you-can-eat hotpot for £20 a head. A dish of fish-fragrant aubergines was well executed, the aubergines silky and well-seasoned, if a bit on the oilier side (as this dish tends to be).
Service is adequate, with varying degrees of attentiveness – our teacups were regularly filled, but we had to ask for the bill twice as staff wound down for the night by chatting near the service station. Beijing Dumpling is not the worst place to dine in Chinatown, but it needs to do much better to be worthy of its name.
Beijing Dumpling 23 Lisle Street
- Venue phone:
020 7287 6888
Tube: Leicester Square tube
Meal for two with drinks and service: around £30
- 23 Lisle Street
- 020 7287 6888
- 23 Lisle Street
- Beijing Dumpling
Average User Rating
2.8 / 5
- 5 star:0
- 4 star:3
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:2
I love this restaurant. It's fast service, cheap and cheerful and delicious. I am surprised at the other reviews as I have visited this restaurant time and time again and never been disappointed.
I don't understand the negative reviews. Ok the service isn't tip-top but that is I'm afraid authentically Chinese (I can say this as a half Chinese person who's been to China). The dumplings were delish and being prepared fresh in the window. The atmosphere was nice. I would highly recommend it. Of course if you want more of a sitdown spot with perfect service (and non-authentic food) head to one of the tourist trap restaurants in the vicinity.
I went there this week with a friend. The display of the making process of dumplings and steamed baos had my attention so we decided to try. We came to sample the dumplings and baos (@£5-6.5 for 8 huge pieces), so we went for those. Both were good, the soup dumplings were better, as the skin on the shanghainese baos were a little dry. We also had a couple of "starter" dishes, the stirfried aubergine,potato&peppers was yum and authentically drowned in oil. Dan Dan noodles were thick and freshly made but came with too much sauce. We had a lot of food and the bill came to £28 with soft drinks. Next time I will try the All-you-can-eat hotpots the neighbouring tables were all enjoying. I felt that it is quite similar to the "home-style" cooking little restaurants and canteens that are ubiquitous on the streets of Beijing. Fine dining it certainly is not, I wouldn't recommend it for romantic dates or special occasions. But if you are in this parts of town and fancy a quick bowl of hot filling dumplings you can do a lot worse for £5.
I will let you judge for yourself if this is a good restaurant worth queuing for a table or not. My wife and I queued for half an hour, there were 4 tables worth of customer walked out in succession; one of the manager blatantly lied that those people were coming out from the toilets, there were no free tables. The other manager seated us instead. Placed the order but never arrived after another half an hour. I went to the toilet and saw the chef walking out without washing his hands, straight back to make dumplings with his bared hands. My wife saw the manager draped his dirty jacket sleeve right across the dishes of dumplings he is about to serve other customers. We were glad the food never arrived, and simply walked out of the restaurant - of course without asking for the bill.
Terrible, terrible restaurant. Poor food and even worse service. What looks like an attractive and rather inviting restaurant with it's large glass window, where one can observe chefs hard at work skillfully making dumplings, is actually a front to one of the worse meals we've had in China Town. The dumplings are average at best and the staff entertainingly bad.