Hunan

Restaurants, Chinese Belgravia
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)

Hunan is a rare beast: a restaurant held in high esteem, yet resolutely under the radar. Perhaps it’s because the setting is fairly run-of-the-mill, with its awkward layout (‘front’ and ‘rear’ sections divided by the service bar) and sparse decor (oriental prints, the odd Buddha). The cooking, however, is anything but ordinary. You’ll be asked if there’s anything you can’t (or won’t) eat, what level of spice you like and how hungry you are – and the kitchen will do the rest. Arriving in waves, the plates start small (a delectable nibble here, a mouthful there) and get progressively larger. The cooking is not exclusively Hunanese (a style like Sichuan, yet more ‘fiery hot’ than ‘numbing hot’), but borrows from across China. We enjoyed the sour, peppery notes of a Sichuanese cucumber salad; the fragrant broth of our Shanghainese ‘soup dumpling’ (xiao long bau), and the chilli-laden unctuous sauce of a Hunanese dish of tender beef. After a dozen or so grazing dishes, out came the big guns: classic showpieces of crispy peking duck ahead of silky steamed sea bass with ginger and spring onions; then chewy hand-pulled noodles. Only if you exceed 18 dishes (nigh-on impossible) is there a surcharge. It’s not cheap, and neither is the serious old world wine list, but you’ll feast like an emperor.

 

Posted:

Venue name: Hunan
Contact:
Address: 51 Pimlico Road
London
SW1W 8NE
Opening hours: Lunch served 12.30-2pm, dinner served 6.30-11pm Mon-Sat
Transport: Tube: Sloane Square tube
Price: Set lunch £30.80 per person (minimum 2). Set dinner £46.80 per person (minimum 2)
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Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|2
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tastemaker

My Manager knows I am a massive foodie and so since starting at my company 4 years ago, he has been on and on at me to try out Hunan in Belgravia. This weekend I finally took the plunge!


Now from the offset it is important to mention a few things: firstly, there is no a la carte menu. Hunan prides itself in offering a more traditional Chinese tapas taster menu of over 15 small dishes and whilst at the beginning they do ask you if there is anything you do not eat, I would highly suggest not coming here if you are in any way fussy. Secondly, though this is made abundantly clear when you book and is ample time, you do only get your reservation for strictly 2 hours so make sure you are not late as this place is booked solidly! Third and finally, Hunan is relatively expensive at £65 per person for food and drinks of course on top of that. But given the amount, quality and variation of the meal, it is definitely worth it!


Despite being stuck beside an incredibly loud and obnoxious couple, my partner and I reveled in the food that included everything from bamboo broth to crispy lamb, fried squid to veggie dumplings and shrimp spring rolls to braised ox tongue. Tongue aside, there was nothing the average Western palette couldn't hack or stomach and whilst each portion was only small (maybe only a bite or two each) we left full and licking our lips. The wine list is not the cheapest I have seen either, but given the calibre of restaurant, this isn't surprising and we still really enjoyed the second to cheapest white wine which was crisp and fruity at about £22 a bottle. 


To top it all off, the staff were very good at clearly describing the ingredients and style of each and every dish we were presented with and the owner himself was on hand to do the rounds and made sure to stop and speak to every single one of his patrons; a rare sight in London.


Given the price, Hunan is definitely a place to save for a special occasion but rest-assured, it is worth every penny of the price tag!




Visited the restaurant about 1-2 weeks ago as the fiance was giving a treat. Being of chinese heritage, I am quite fussy about chinese food in UK. Fantastic idea to have the dishes served in tapas portions and we were so full 3/4 through the fixed menu. Generally quite well cooked and presented though the braised pork bun was quite a let down. I had a bite and gave up as the pork was tough and dry, which was completely the oppposite of what it should be. The house red wine was very good given the price and it goes well with the food. It is not cheap but will go back again. Oh, and do make a reservation as the restaurant gets very busy even on weekday nights.