Monday, 15 October 2012

Restaurants - Yipin China - Angel

Yipin China
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.

Pumpkin Cakes

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!

Yipin China on Urbanspoon

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