A Chinese joint specialising in roast bird.
Haozhan has a reputation for doing smart, modern Chinese cooking that’s a cut above the rest of the grub available on Gerrard Street. And while the place itself is looking a little shabby these days – gone are the sharp mirrored walls and jade green exteriors of old, replaced by blown-up pictures of Chinese street scenes and a mousey brown-and-white frontage – the menu still boasts intriguing dishes. Chilli quail and Thai-style chicken claws aside, Haozhan’s speciality is traditional: roast duck. And, to be fair, the duck I tried was pretty special: succulent and rich with a wonderful sweet-salty crispiness. Also great were chive and prawn dumplings, piping hot and packed with juicy fish and fresh spring onions.
But there were low points. Firstly, the beef noodles, with meat so chewy I had to eat around it. Secondly, the service, which was stand-offish to the point of aggressiveness. Not cool. But overall, Haozhan offers typical Chinatown fare in typical Chinatown surroundings – just make sure you plump for the duck.
8 Gerrard Street
|Opening hours:||Meals served noon-11.30pm Mon-Thur; noon-midnight Fri, Sat; noon-10.30pm Sun|
|Transport:||Tube: Leicester Square|
|Price:||Main courses £6-£38. Set lunch (Mon-Fri) £8 2 courses, £10 3 courses|
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