Baozi Inn

Restaurants, Chinese Chinatown
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(27user reviews)
131 Love It
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Baozi Inn
Leicester Square, London

Noodles, buns and dumplings come with a western-Chinese kick at this fringe-of-Chinatown venue

At Baozi Inn, kitsch Communist Revolution decor meets northern Chinese street food tidied up for London. True to Sichuanese form, red is present in most dishes – if not as a slick of potent chilli oil, then in lashings of sliced or whole chillies.

Beware of the generously portioned spicy beef noodles: the soup is topped with a layer of tongue-numbing chilli oil. Dan dan noodles, cucumber salad and crescent dumplings are all good choices, especially when accompanied by fresh, unsweetened hot soy milk.

The kitchen occasionally gets things wrong, but when it’s on song – which is often – the food is spicy, delicious and cheap.

 

Posted:

Venue name: Baozi Inn
Contact:
Address: 25 Newport Court
London
WC2H 7JS
Opening hours: Meals served noon-10pm daily
Transport: Tube: Leicester Square
Price: Main courses £4.50-£7.50
Do you own this business?
To improve this listing email: feedback@timeout.com

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Average User Rating

2.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:10
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:4
  • 1 star:7
LiveReviews|27
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Renee S
1 of 1 found helpful
tastemaker

The best thing about Northern Chinese cuisine is it’s homeyness - it’s comfort food for colder months with enough heat to give you sniffles and very contented rosy cheeks. 


What I had:

  • Dandan mien/noodles
  • Chilli oil and garlic dumplings
  • Steamed pork buns
  • Unsweetened hot soy milk

The Dandan mien definitely had the famous mouth-numbing Schezuan pepper and the mince was cooked well into a fine “crumble”; however the vegetables on top were cold and the noodle texture wasn’t springy enough. The dumplings were good; however I would recommend that you mix the raw minced garlic on top in with the chilli oil otherwise you may be at risk of getting a mouthful of raw garlic. The steamed pork buns had good filling; however the base of the bun itself was a little soggy. The unsweetened hot soy milk was lovely as it helps with the heat of the food and especially the cold weather. Though, I can't say this place will win any points on service.


Tip: You can also order the skewers which they sell in  the small shop next door - this is usually fishballs, offal and other ‘hotpot’. The seating here are just little stools so it’s not really a place to sit for a long meal.


Good For: quick meal, catch up with friends, casual dinner/ lunch

Max  L

This restaurant does excellent cheap quick schezuan street / comfort food. "Foodies" who come here and moan about the service and non schezuan dishes should go else where. Dan dan noodles, beef noodle soup, lamb skewers put a smile on my face time and time again. 

Stephanie C
tastemaker

This was a perfect place to grab something to eat before seeing a show in nearby theatre land. The service is quick and our waiter was cheeky but had our concerns at heart (he pointed at my white pal who had just ordered pig intestine on a skewer). 


We ordered one plate of dumplings, a big dumpling of the day, seaweed salad, skewers and the things I am telling you must try, century egg at a remarkable £5. Well worth it and with chilli it was divine. 


I felt everything else was just so so and it cost £1.50 for a fish ball skewer which annoyed me because when it came, the balls were cut in half! 1.5 balls for £1.50!!! 


Anyway nice enough place to frequest. Go early as people were queuing by the time we left :) 

Michelle L

The staff is not very friendly or accommodating. It took a long time for them to take our orders, even though they were just chatting at their desk. The food was dripping in fat and grease. All dumplings have pork. No veggie, chicken or beef option. Very disappointing.

Misha M.
tastemaker

Baozi Inn is a chain from the same owner of Bai Wei, Bar Shu and Bashan. I hated the service though, people who worked there was not attentive, over worked and didn't care at all. I had to walk up there to ask them for a glass of water second time around. If you serve spicy items, you should provide a glass of tap water for eaters. That being said, the food was not bad at all. The beef noodle soup, dumplings and dan dan noodles were good. 

Shona R
Tastemaker

Go here only for the dumplings.  Literally stay away from everything else on the menu

On the plus side it's cheap (but CASH ONLY!)

Irene C

Honestly I can't believe the review for this restaurant. Probably one of the worst restaurants in China town. We are Ok with the horrible service as we know we are in Chinatown but the food was absolutely disapointing. The main specialty which is Baozi was dry and had been reheated.

Aubergine was tasteless and almost raw. I have tried better wonton. Complete waste of money!

Laura G
Tastemaker

Baozi Inn is one of my safe spots in Chinatown. With dim light, and simple wooden tables and benches, the focus is not on comfort but in a nice, cheap quick meal. For those who like spice, I recommend the noodles with ground pork and chilli oil, one of the best dishes I had there. The several meat and vegetable options that come with rice are also a good choice, but be ware of the guioza: takes a little bit longer to make, and can be a bit oily.

Anaelle
Tastemaker

I know this restaurant is not to everyone’s taste but I do enjoy going there.

With its communist propaganda and Mao fetish, the décor is very unusual. Maybe you’ll find it inappropriate but I do like the stereotypical Chinese vibe.

Service can be brisk, but if you’re an impatient person like me, you’ll probably find it quite enjoyable.

Food is good, especially the dumplings. And all with a bill around £25 for a dinner for two, I think it’s pretty good. A Chinatown favourite of mine.

Note: cash only, so check your wallet beforehand!

Will J

As far as lower price range Chinese restaurants go, this place does not disappoint. The dumplings especially are excellent, although beware as some of the food is very spicy! The soup broth particularly comes under this category but is full of taste nonetheless. The dishes are cheap and cheerful – don’t expect top quality food or service as it isn’t that kind of place. Baozi Inn is much more of a quick lunch during work restaurant, but this was what I was after. They only take cash which was a bit frustrating so be sure to be prepared for that. I would not put it amongst the very best at Chinatown, from my limited experience, but for the price and considering how quickly the food came I was exceptionally contented.

 

Eddy F

This place fills my heart with joy, but my butt with dread. We're talking seriously spicy shit, here. Literally and the thing that isn't literally. The service may not be smily, and you maaay regret it the next morning, but knock me down with a giant comedy chopstick if there's a better restaurant in Chinatown. There isn't. Hashtag fact.

Raaaabert

Absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this place! No sane or reasonable person in their wildest dreams would give this place a one star rating, in fact as a very satisfied repeat customer - I'm deeply offended. 

Sebastien R

Not good. Unfriendly service and average food. Couldn't order water because of 'Health and Safety' - nonsense. There are better alternatives - maybe Leong's Legends by the Golden Gate.

emily

I had a terrible experience there. The service is as bad as you can imagine. Cold and blunt. At the end, they told us they only took cash and emphasised that they told us when we came in, which was just a pure lie. But I didn't mind too much and planned to get some cash from the ATM while leaving my friend there finishing her tea. Then I heard them saying in Chinese that they were going to ask my friend to stand up if there are more customers coming. I told them they couldn't do that and it's ridiculous. They just stared at me and ignored me. It was truly awful.

Rachel

Went last night for a quick, cheap meal. Wasn't disappointed. The baozi are huge and fluffy. The chengdu dumplings in chilli and garlic were delicious. And the ma po tofu was exactly how I remembered it when I used to eat it almost daily in Beijing. Haven't tasted food as authentic as this since I moved back to the UK three years ago - highly recommend if you want simple mainland Chinese food.

Whights

Steaming bowls of simple, spicy, sichuan cuisine in a great value, atmospheric restaurant. I've eaten here probably 8 or 10 times since I arrived in London 3 years ago, most recently with my partner yesterday for lunch. Every time I come here, i remind myself to make sure I come back sooner next time. Delicious food, with a difference from the usual chinatown fare. This is not a 5 star dining experience and its a simple menu... but what the kitchen does, it generally does very well. When I can slurp my way through a beautifully spiced bowl of chengdu dan dan noodles and some chinese tea for less than a tenner (including a tip for an altogether satisfyingly spicy experience) i think I can excuse the sometimes brisk (but usually smiling) service. For a quick and tasty Chinese meal Baozi Inn fits the bill nicely.

Clare

Go here very often. Service is basic however in China town this normally means the food will be more authentic. Dumplings are yum yum, the best dish is the Dandan noodle still the best in London in my opinion

HJ

Have the baozi, theyre amazing! as are the dumplings and wontons. eat what the waiter recommends and you can't go wrong; choose something yourself and it's pretty average. i'd go back just for the baozi!

Priscilla

I went in for a dry fried beef ho fun which was good but my take away Beijing dumpling (which was supposed to have prawn, didn't have it, was given pork instead) was awful, not steamed enough, ie pastry was not cooked through and no soup inside dumpling. I've since found other places doing good dry fried beef ho fun as I've last checked their menu on wall outside saying minimum charge is £10. When I want a quick meal and on my own, I cannot eat 2 - 3 dishes at one sitting to make sure the bill is at least over £10. They have lost one long term customer here who frequently recommend friends to good restaurants.

Abi

Such a good place to eat the food is delicious lots of flavor it's a bit pricey which is not great and the spicy beef noodles bees has a bit too much fat and not enough beef but overall its great food and you will be back !! I'm addicted now I come so often

Liz

Had an awful meal at this restaurant. When we first arrived I checked out what other diners were having and it all looked great. I decided on pork bun and spare rib noodle broth dish and my friend had the spicy beef noodles. However on closer inspection the meat was really fatty and the dishes were coated in a slick of oil. No flavour, I could barely eat my ribs as I couldn't stomach eating around the cartilage/joint/fatty bits all over them. The pork bun was the only decent thing about this place. This place assaulted our taste buds. I agree with the previous post, I would have rather gone to McDonalds for dinner.

Ali

Mmmm, spicy food, chilli dumplings, iced oolong tea- I was pretty happy.

jazz

i've dined here alone, with friends, during busy and quiet times and it's been a consistently pleasant experience. good food, good value, and good service. actually, compared to some restaurants in the area, GREAT service. especially as they tolerated our little boisterous slightly intoxicated party of four without batting an eyelid or telling us off. but then we did order quite a lot of food... nice spicy dishes, great salads, lovely dumplings. i'm sure the service can be bad. i've experienced table turning at their sister restaurants - you don't expect to be kicked out if you've ordered a lot and frankly need to digest what you've eaten. but overall i'd say give this place a chance. especially if you're a fan of spicy sichuan food.

Olly

The food is deliciously different to typical Chinese food, but the menu is simple, offering a fairly limited selection of dishes. This said each dish is done well, and very quickly, with the simplicity of the menu working well. The dishes are all quite cheap, and the Baozi rival those I have eaten in China. The menus are a bit tatty, but this is compensated to an extent by the interesting Mao-era propaganda decor (and music in the background). When I was there the staff were very friendly, and funny, particularly when my friend tried to chat up the Malaysian waitress. Service can be brisk, but so is the food, with an entire meal being over in as little as 20 mins.