One Of London's Best Dim Sum Joints Comes To Borough

BaoziInn London Bridge ★★★★☆

One Of London's Best Dim Sum Joints Comes To Borough BaoziInn London Bridge 4
Duck pancakes, but make it fashion: BaoziInn London Bridge's signature roast duck and honeydew melon.

If any London restaurant were going to start spawning identikit branches across the city, we could do worse than a few clones of BaoziInn Romilly Street. We've been *modestly underplaying it* quite regularly since our first visit (read about it here. ). These days a window seat, a bowl of prawn jiaozi and too much dandan is our go-to when we find ourselves planless in Soho.

But actually, despite the rise and rise — and spread and spread - of BaoziInn, now with three solo sites, two food court-luxe spots and some big plans for AW19/20, these new versions are less clones than fond family. Each solo spot has its own menu, albeit with some overlap. Each has its own look.

The new flagship branch in London Bridge is all grown-up. Calm downstairs, compared to the kitschy clutter of Romilly Street. Almost members' clubby upstairs, the mezzanine level comes with secluded corners and elegant semi-armchairs, low, tilted-back and bizarrely comfortable. So: personally we love the jostle and the occasional elbow-clashing, the crowded lunch break in a backstreet Beijing noodle joint energy of the Soho branch. There's no denying though that if you want an intimate tete-a-tete — specifically one where you're not just as intimate with the table next to you — then London Bridge is The One.  

Food's on-point as ever with BaoziInn group, this venue specialising in roasted meats and Hong Kong noodles. They do a memorable, brilliantly-simple take on duck pancakes, with the usual shredded meat swapped out for slices of tender, roasted meat, fatty and crispy-skinned in layers; comes with a tray of pickles and julienned honeydew melon to layer into the pancakes.

The dish you can expect to see clogging up your Instagram is the beef Big Soup Dumpling, bobbing in meaty broth — purple, grapefruit-sized, deeply photogenic and also quite effortful to get into your mouth for anybody but an absolute chopstick savant. Prawns in capital sauce are a beautiful heat-sweetness double punch of barbecue stickiness, but this is a luxe thing: the smallish heap's £17.

If we're honest, though, the most memorable, best-value, would-repeat-order-infinitely dishes aren't the London Bridge signatures. They're still the ones that span the other branches too: those prawn jiaozi in BaoziInn's homemade, startlingly punchy XO sauce; the bitter heat of the spinach in ginger juice, and the tensile, salty richness of the dan dan noodles.

An all-grown-up and boxfresh BaoziInn is good news. But for all its new look and its site-specific signature dishes, the thing we're most excited about is just having another access point for the dishes BaoziInn group was already knocking out of the park.

BaoziInn London Bridge, 34-36 Southwark Street, SE1 1TU.

Last Updated 22 October 2019