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Red Farm

Restaurants, Chinese Covent Garden
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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The London outpost of a popular NYC dim sum restaurant.

Across the pond, Red Farm is a Big Deal. A hit with celebs and Instagrammers, it’s an NYC dim sum spot dealing in cutesy, quirky-looking plates of food that look great on the ’Gram. But food-wise, at least in London, it’s a mixed bag. My tip is to skip the more traditional Chinese fare and go for the US-Chinese fusion numbers instead. Like the ace pastrami egg roll (popular in the US, egg rolls are super-sized spring rolls in plenty of pastry) – a stack of peppery pastrami wrapped in extra-thick pastry and deep-fried until golden. Cheeseburger spring rolls, likewise, were bizarre but brilliant, with a filling of soft diced beef and pickles. But of the trad dishes, only the custard bao – a soft bun with a runny, if slightly floury, custard centre – hit the spot. Other dishes looked the part but fell flat on flavour, from the signature ‘Pac Man’ shrimp dumplings (fine, but nothing special) to the pork and crab soup dumplings (too large, too fatty).

Still, staff do a fine line in ever-smiling US-style service, while the farmhouse decor (red-and-white gingham, lots of wood) and ’90s R&B give it a relaxed, café-like feel. If you’re into deep-fried meat parcels, or photographing your food, Red Farm might just float your boat.


Address: 9 Russell Street
Covent Garden
Transport: Tube: Covent Garden
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £120.
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