London’s Chinatown in Soho is spread out over several blocks and there are numerous restaurants lined up on the streets surrounding Shaftesbury Avenue. I checked the Zagat for a Chinese restaurant that served dimsum (traditionally served at lunchtime) in the evening and found Chinese Experience which had received a reasonable rating from the Zagat and a decent review from Time Out London.
We had just spent the day walking around Sloane Street, Bond Street and finally ended up at the large Waterstone’s bookstore on Piccadilly and decided to walk up Shaftesbury Avenue to the restaurant although we were an hour early for our reservation.
The restaurant was not busy at all as it was only 6:00, save for a few diners having an early meal. We were seated immediately and started to peruse the large menu. We decided on the prawn dim sum to start along with some wonton soup. The dim sum was very good and perfect with the soya-chili oil dip. The wonton soup was flavorful and the dumplings were filled with ginger-flavored ground pork.
Our main courses were shredded crispy beef, salt & pepper fried pork spareribs and Szechuan stir-fried string beans with a small order of vegetable fried rice. The crispy beef was good but the sauce was more sweet and sour than the sweet, spicy vinegary sauce that usually accompanied this dish. The spareribs were tasty but it was the stir-fried string beans that stole the show. They were perfectly crispy, not overcooked and spicy. The vegetable fried rice didn’t have much flavour since they used a lot of Chinese mushrooms mixed in and the mushroom flavour overpowered the rice. Overall, a very pleasant meal in a modern dining room. Perhaps, next time we should stick to the dim sum which always gets rave reviews.
118-120 Shaftesbury Avenue,
(Opposite the Curzon Cinema)
London W1D 5EP
Telephone: +44 207 437 0377