We get a little hot under the collar for noodles and dumplings of Chinese origin, so we were very excited to hear that Sichuanese/Cantonese operation BaoziInn was opening a second Chinatown location on Little Newport Street. Industry name Wei Shao has proven himself a dab hand at staying ahead of the pack and introducing the capital’s hungry denizens to regional delicacies, and we were keen to see how he fared with his fourth site to date.
The restaurant occupies the space that formerly housed Baiwei and is spread across three separate floors. Unlike the others, BaoziInn Chinatown II is all about Taiwanese streetfood. Like it's siblings, it has a similar design with the lipstick red that has become its calling card playing off paper lanterns and dark wood flooring, walls and tables. It’s a no frills type of place. We were propped up at a window seat which gave us a front row view of the Soho shenanigans. The tables around us were sinking beers and having a good time.
We kicked off the meal with multi-colour steamed buns, a dish made for Instagram that has garnered a cult following. We found they went very well with classic wontons with a prawn filling. Dan dan noodles were porky, spicy and silken, just as they should be, while Taiwanese popcorn chicken was crisp and piquant. Crispy duck spring rolls and dim sum were perfectly prepared, but our favourite dish of the meal was the hotpot, which was the perfect steamy antidote to the crisp weather outside.
BaoziInn Chinatown II continues Wei Shao’ march towards Chinatown supremacy.