It was near Christmas and at that time of year there were many group dinners. We wanted to go somewhere were it was fun to eat as a group but not too expensive. Enter the hot pot. £20 per person for all you can eat! This was too good to be true, there had to be a catch. We all meet up at the restaurant and were lead downstairs. Space was a bit small but not too bad for 6 people. We ordered the hot pot and a few minutes later this giant spread of food arrived. For those who are not familiar with hot pot, it is also known as steamboat or Chinese fondue. You basically cook the food in boiling broths in the middle of the table. Each person gets their own strainer to place the food in or later to be used to scoop the food out. So it is part BBQ where you place meats on a hot element and part fishing. After the initial spread, we ordered another 4 plates of meat and vegetables. We were sooo full after that meal that you could have mistaken all of us as Santa Clauses.
It was a cool February evening in London town and we were craving something warm. We were craving Chinese food. Walking nearby in Leicester Square we decided to walk by Chinatown and we were delighted to see people making dumplings by the window.
We have been to this restaurant before and it was good, so we went again to try the dumplings. The dumplings we were after here for was Shanghai steamed soup dumplings (aka siu long bao/Xiaolongbao). These are dumplings that have soup in the middle in addition to a meat filling. It is a pretty great food invention. It was a busy night and we had to queue in line for 20 minutes. The staff there were pleasant and not so rude, they wanted to turn their tables as much as we wanted to eat their food, we were all on the same page here. We ordered the dumplings again.
The verdict: Out of a score of 10, I would give them a 6 or 7. They were yummy and the filling was nice with enough soup inside however the “skin” or wrapping of the dumpling was slightly on the thicker side. All in all, it was a good experience and would continue to go back here in the future for a quick snack after shopping in the West End of London.