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Far East

Restaurants, Chinese Chinatown
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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A little Chinatown spot with a baked goods counter.

With its dark wooden beams, low lighting and white panelled walls, Far East looks a bit like a tiny barn. A Gerrard Street institution since 1962, this place has a rustic vibe topped off by a baked goods cabinet in the window stuffed full of fat, steamed buns. On my visit, customers were constantly popping in to get their bready and pastry fixes. Clearly this joint has regulars, which is usually a sign you can trust the chef’s specials.

And here, you really can. A dish of silky Japanese tofu stir-fried with minced pork was a highlight, and probably the most interesting thing I’ve eaten in Chinatown. A more typical salt ’n’ chilli soft-shell crab was also very good, if a bit overdressed with undercooked onions. The big disappointment was Far East’s speciality steamed pork char siu bun. The bun itself was lovely and sweet but seriously lacked porky filling. Another low point was a wonton noodle soup so bland it tasted like water.

Still, if you’re after a quick bite in Chinatown, Far East is a nice, cosy choice. Just be sure to stick to the specials. And don’t order soup.


Address: 13 Gerrard St
Transport: Tube: Leicester Square
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £55.
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