I first heard about Yipin China here, and then I kept noticing it as I walked from Angel Station up Liverpool Road to my fave Pizza Pub, which is where we were going to when a last second change of plan saw us opening the door to this wonderful Chinese restaurant.
This used to be an Italian restaurant, although I never ate there or rarely noticed it, but you can feel it left something behind in the two large dining rooms.
I have to say that Yipin China has the best menu in London, they are really good, nice photos and paper, feels nice to the touch. I do like it when people make an effort to produce really quality menus. This is probably why the prices are so high here, as we are paying for these bloody good menus.
Yipin China not only serves good Hunanese cuisine, but also has some Sichuan and Cantonese dishes gracing its pages as well. Makes sense really, as the latter two are on there as people are very well conversed in Cantonese and have heard of Sichuan food and therefore will to grace its doors. It would probably scare the shit out of some people if it were only Hunanese.
We were in Hunan last September and tried a few of its wonderful and spicy dishes. Sadly we never got to goto Shaoshan, where Chairman Mao was born and eat in the chain restaurant that bares his name and serves the most famous dish named after him. You know you’ve made it when a plate of food is named after you.
The menu describes Hunanese cuisine as thus “it’s an exciting and delicious cuisine, originating from Hunan province in the south of China. It enjoys a reputation of being a rich and unique combination of intensely spicy, chili based flavours mixed with specific regional curing and smoking techniques. Ingredients are fresh and varied, with a concoction of clear tantalising aromas that culminate in a taste explosion.”
I couldn’t say it better myself, so I didn’t.
So we were seated and lusting after this menu. Of u ever get the balls to open a small place, I want a menu like this. It’s awesome, as I’ve said.
We are both offal freaks and any menu worth its salt to me has to have a good splattering of offal included in its pages.
Yipin China is no different, so seeing man and wife slices, well we had to have it. A dish of cold cuts, well thinly sliced beef and ox tripe with a hearty drizzle of chili oil over the top. It get your taste buds a going. Thankfully this wasn’t fridge cold as I’ve had before. The beef and tripe were both tender and chili oil always makes things taste better.
This got us excited and was anticipating the mains of Boiled Fish in Sizzling Chili Oil and some wok fried green beans. As you can see everything was from the Hunanese section. Oh well an excuse to go back.
We’d been meaning to have the fish in chili oil in Chili Cool, but somehow just never got round to it. So cannot say if it is as good as theirs, but this was really good. The fish was still firm, but juicy, tasteful even though there was a good sprinkle of Sichuan pepper on top.
By the end of the meal, the top of my mouth was pretty numb, but the taste of the fish and the oil sang like a bird in a Hong Kong teahouse. Heaven it was people. Absolute heaven.
Yipin China is more expensive than Chilli Cool, but it does fir the location and I will need to go back a few more times to say for sure that it was better. A tough one to call, but what we had was bloody good.