70-72 Liverpool Road, N1 0QD
Always keen to try a recommended Chinese restaurant, J. and I headed to Angel to taste the Hunanese and Sichuanese offerings of Yipin China for the first time. We were both starving and went with high expectations - and I am glad to say we were not disappointed! We were quickly seated in the spacious, modernly appointed restaurant and provided with a menu worthy of a place in an art gallery. It was filled with copious pages full of stunning photos, showcasing almost every dish they served. I am usually against photos of food in menus, but this proved to be a more than surprising exception. Well, as I said, we were both so hungry we didn't know where to start picking, but eventually (with some helpful recommendations from the staff) managed not to order everything from the menu.
|Chairman Mao's Red-Braised Pork|
So, while greedily tucking into the complementary pickled radish, our first dish arrived - the classic Hunanese dish 'Chairman Mao's Red-Braised Pork' (£10.80). A stunning, sweet dish of slow-cooked, melt-in-the-mouth belly pork. It made a perfect, chilli-free start to the evening's dining.
|Sliced Sea Bass in a Soup of Pickled Mustard|
Next to arrive at our table was 'Sliced Sea Bass in a Soup of Pickled Mustard' (£12.90) a mildly spicy, well-balanced dish abundant with fresh, tender sea bass, preserved vegetables and transparent vermicelli noodles. The fish was perfectly cooked and tasted strongly, although not too much, of the pickled vegetables - so if you're not a fan, this might not be the perfect dish for you - but I recommend it highly nevertheless. This dish was a good lead up to our next, and spiciest, dish.
|Fragrant and Spicy Pig's Intestines|
The final dish of our main course was 'Fragrant and Spicy Pig's Intestines' (£8.90). This dish was perfect, we were recommended to try this instead of the 'Dry-Wok Pig's Intestines' by the restaurant's staff, as we wanted a dish that wasn't overpowered by the flavour of the intestines. The intestines in this dish were perfectly cooked and so tasty, and even when served in a classic bed of chillies there was enough to satisfy both of us. If intestines aren't for you (and admittedly they weren't something I had entertained consuming until a year ago when J. opened my eyes to their tastiness in Singapore) then there is a similar chicken dish on the menu too.
Three dishes and rice were enough to satisfy us, but we wanted to try the 'Pumpkin Cakes' (£5.80), a dish we had heard was not to be missed. Again, they did not disappoint. A hot, deep-fried pocket of fragrant steam and a slightly sweet layer of a jam-like pumpkin at the base. They were the perfect light note on which to finish the meal.
I cannot recommend this place enough: the service was excellent, efficient and the staff happy to recommend the perfect dishes to suit your desire. The prices were reasonable and it's only a short (5 min) walk from Angel tube station. Although we sampled but a few of the dishes on offer, I can definitely say that we'll be back again really soon - so watch this space for further installments from Yipin China!